Hariyo Chowk is a collaborative educational space for sustainable design and urban farming in Kathmandu. We practice environmental awareness through art, workshops and community engagement.
As Kathmandu rapidly urbanizes, there are fewer green spaces left in the city once known for its strong tradition of urban farming. Issues of air quality, street pollution, and electricity scarcity are escalating. While locals are attuned to their resource rarity, sustainable solutions have yet to prevail over methods that use energy, water, and export materials intensively. Traditional seed and saving methods are disappearing.
In Spring of 2012 Sattya Media Arts Collective planted an initiative to transform a courtyard into a modern adaptation of the traditional chowk. Hariyo Chowk has since blossomed by building a rain collection system, a compost bin, a bamboo structure for vertical growing, a mudbrick oven with bricks we made ourselves, and a small amphitheater for showing documentaries.
By teaching economic solutions specific to the region’s resources–mud, bamboo, and junkyard scraps, and monsoon rain– we are trying to empower the community to forge a more sustainable and creative future for Kathmandu.
1 – Communal - Reaching out to the local community to start where they stand and live sustainably in Kathmandu
2 – Collaborative - Sharing decision-making and leadership in a way that allows everyone to learn and participate
3 – Accessible - Providing free information for sustainable design and gardening, and pricing workshops fairly
4 - Encouraging – Creating a welcoming atmosphere where people feel comfortable to voice opinions and ideas
5 - Creative - Experimenting with sustainable solutions and creative methods of inspiring environmental action
6 - Growing - Seeking to learn and grow as much as we seek to teach and share
7 – Grateful – Valuing our relationships with staff, interns, volunteers, followers, donors, neighbors, and collaborators
8 – Sustainable - using minimal resources and choosing materials that are locally-sourced and recycled
Goals for 2013:
1 – Hold workshops - We will provide 7 workshops on alternative living and natural food systems.
2 – Host events – We will provide bi-weekly community events including documentary screenings and food prepared on site.
3 – Provide gardening information – We will post graphics on seed saving and urban gardening.
4 – Preserve traditional food – We will start a seed bank and learn preservation techniques like canning and pickling.
5 – Spread awareness – We will inspire community engagement through the use of environmental art techniques like reverse graffiti, once a month.
6 – Inspire youth – We will invite clubs, schools, and neighborhood kids to learn in our garden each month.
7- Become financially solvent- We will support ourselves with grants; workshops; the selling of our produce and briquettes; and through finding local sponsors, we want to become financially self-sufficient.