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The City Café

For those interested in sharing ideas and perspectives regarding local government.

Per previous blog posts, Cameron and Lincoln spent time in Nepal volunteering at an eye clinic in Phaplu with the University of Utah’s Moran Eye Center.  The entire trip was led by World Wide Trekking, a Utah-based expedition company, and its Human Outreach Project.   We previously compared Utah city infrastructure to Nepal infrastructure, and this final blog post focuses on land use in Nepal cities and Utah cities as well as a link to how you can help the Moran Eye Center’s efforts in Nepal.

ULCT’s own Lincoln and Lisa on Phaplu’s Main Street. Main Street (even if the street is actually a dirt road), like countless Utah cities, is the lifeblood of rural Nepal. You’ll see porters carrying goods, trekkers seeking refuge, kids playing outside, and utility infrastructure overhead. Nepali villages follow a similar pattern as their Utah counterparts. Buildings (tea houses, lodges, restaurants, shops) are concentrated on the main highway through town with the farm and ranch land extending to the terraces above town.

Most cities do not have any formal zoning and Nepali villages are essentially mixed-use developments with retail and residential units in the same building and agricultural uses everywhere. This is Durbar (Royal) Square in the urban heart of Kathmandu. We often see deer in Bountiful neighborhoods, but nothing like this!

We also found that cities in Nepal have billboards. Your correspondent wanted to meet with representatives of the outdoor advertising industry to discuss city-industry relations, but Lincoln reminded me that we were on vacation.

Historic Preservation District, Kathmandu style. Durbar Square in Kathmandu and Patan are UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the Patan Durbar Square and is one of the oldest Buddhist cities in the world. Many Utah cities boast of historic LDS Temples or Tabernacles, but the temples in the Patan and Kathmandu historic districts date to 250 BC with temples finished between the 12th and 17th centuries.

Despite the difference in level of service, we were still able to find such government buildings as the Post Office and City Hall in Patan, Nepal.

A similarity between Patan City Hall and Salt Lake City!!!

As you’ve seen, we had a remarkable and memorable experience.  We were humbled by the sweet Nepali people and the amazing work that the Moran Eye Center doctors performed.  If you would like to contribute to the Moran Eye Center’s Division of International Ophthalmology, please contact Esther Pomeroy at 801-587-9942 or esther.pomeroy@hsc.utah.edu.  You can also go to the Moran gift webpage.  Every dollar makes a difference to the wonderful people of Nepal.

Thanks for reading, remember to thank your city for making life better, and Happy Holidays!

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