Kathmandu, Nepal

Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal, is one of the most seismically at risk cities in the world. In November 2012, in partnership with the government of Nepal, the World Bank and GFDRR launched a project to build seismic resilience in the Kathmandu Valley’s education and health infrastructure, in part by creating a disaster risk model to determine the relative vulnerability of the relevant buildings. Once complete, the model will be used to prioritize plans for retrofits of schools and health facilities to improve structural integrity in the face of earthquake.

To support the development of this model, Open Cities Kathmandu worked with university students and community groups to collect structural data for 2,256 schools and 350 health facilities in the Kathmandu Valley. In addition, the team worked to create a comprehensive base map of the valley by digitizing over 100,000 building footprints, mapping the road network, and collecting information on other major points of interest. The Open Cities team also conducted significant outreach to universities, technical communities, and government in order to expand the OSM community. Over 2,300 individuals participated in OSM trainings or presentations during the first year of the project.

A local NGO called the Kathmandu Living Labs, staffed by participants in the first phase of the Open Cities project, has been created in order to continue the work. KLL has recently received funding from ICIMOD, a local technical organization, and the US Embassy in order to conduct OpenStreetMap trainings and mapping activities.