KATHMANDU, April 16: Sattya Media Arts Collective, a resource network for artists, writers and filmmakers, in collaboration with Catalist Design, an interdisciplinary design and community development organization, are working on a self-sustainable urban garden called Hariyo Chowk within the Sattya Space at Jawalakhel.
The project aims to remodel the vacant piece of land, 45’x 50’, into an ecological urban garden by using sustainable landscape design. The project is underway at the moment and is scheduled to be completed within five months.
“If you look at the historical buildings that we used to have, you’ll notice that they’re all built in a very eco-friendly way,” says 24-year-old Nischal Oli, freelance artist also working for the Hariyo Chowk project. “We used to have water wells that didn’t consume any energy at all and even old buildings with indoor plumbing didn’t have indoor source of water.
People used these wells because they were built naturally, with the help of gravity and green technology, and we’re hoping that the garden will resonate with that old Kathmandu as well,” he adds.
Hariyo Chowk is also going to be a ground for experimentation on sustainable development projects. The interns and volunteers involved with the projected researched on various techniques of sustainable development and will be helping in the construction of these ecological designs.
Some of the ecological projects planned at Hariyo Chowk include an outdoor pavilion built out of recycled and natural materials, an organic garden with urban gardening techniques like food forest gardening, vertical gardening and raised-bed gardening, a rainwater harvesting system and composting area to manage food waste, among other projects.
“Green design, sustainable development design is taking the world by storm,” says Sagar Chitrakar, 23, an architect volunteering at Habit for Humanity and Hariyo Chowk, adding, “Today, we’re under a very fuel- and energy-consuming culture and are already experiencing an energy crisis. We aren’t focusing on reusable and perpetual energy, so with Hariyo Chowk, we want to bring this to light to educate people about eco-friendly and sustainable ways of development.”
Hariyo Chowk, once completed, is going to be a free place for people to hang out, conduct workshops, display art and learn about sustainable living. Hariyo Chowk aims to be an experimental space for people to come and try out new and different ways of implementing sustainable designs. It is also always looking for volunteers willing to help with the development of the garden, and the team seems to be open to new innovative experiments to try out with.
“We have a small place but I’m glad because this is the area of space that many people have access to,” says 28-year-old Meredith Marks, founder of Catalist Design and architect for the Hariyo Chowk project. “We want people to learn from Hariyo Chowk and show others what can be done, even in a small place,” she adds.
Hariyo Chowk is raising funds through Kickstarter and needs your help for it to turn into a reality. Help the team by funding by May 6 or volunteering at Sattya.