Rebuilding historic urban neighborhoods after disasters: Balancing disaster risk reduction and heritage conservation after the 2015 earthquakes in Nepal
In this paper the authors use quantitative and qualitative data to investigate how traditional housing was transformed during the post-earthquake reconstruction of four historic neighborhoods in the Kathmandu Valley. The 2015 Nepal earthquakes devastated the Kathmandu Valley and exposed the challenges of conserving and restoring architectural heritage in historic urban neighborhoods damaged by disasters, while also trying to rapidly rebuild houses, revitalize livelihoods, and reduce vulnerabilities to future hazards.
The researchers assess how traditional housing stock in these neighborhoods was transformed by a combination of the direct impact of the earthquake; the enforcement of seismic-resistant modern building technology; the costs and logistics of rebuilding; and the priorities of local residents. Their findings indicate that the enforcement of seismic safety building codes and the expense of incorporating traditional architectural elements led to notable changes to the tangible cultural heritage of Kathmandu's historic urban neighborhoods, but likely also improved seismic safety.