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Balancing values : development strategies that sustain the cultural heritage of rice paddies and the natural landscape in Thimphu, Bhutan

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dc.contributor.advisor Eran Ben Joseph. en_US
dc.contributor.author Dudley, Rosemary Carolyn, 1975- en_US
dc.contributor.other Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.coverage.spatial a-bt--- en_US
dc.date.accessioned 2009-11-06T16:37:41Z
dc.date.available 2009-11-06T16:37:41Z
dc.date.copyright 2002 en_US
dc.date.issued 2002 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1721.1/49803
dc.description Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2002. en_US
dc.description Includes bibliographical references (p. 125-128). en_US
dc.description.abstract This thesis focuses on the impending urban development of the terraced rice paddies in the valley surrounding Bhutan's capital city, Thimphu. It makes the argument that this unique landscape is deeply rooted in Bhutanese culture and its preservation can provide Bhutan with environmental, cultural and economic benefits. Escalating development pressures are such that the government cannot salvage the paddies at any cost, but sensitive development strategies can mitigate development's impact on the terraced land and the bodies of water that have supported life in the valley for centuries. This thesis argues that it is possible and necessary to absorb the current and predicted growth without obliterating the valley's previous use. The Royal Government's agendas to maintain Bhutan's living cultural heritage, sustainable "middle path" development strategy, and self-sufficiency cannot be fulfilled if agricultural land is not valued as a resource. Issues of government capacity, coordination between the Ministries, reliance on modern methods of development, and the exclusion of agricultural land in the nation's conservation efforts have prevented a holistic development plan from being realized. In response, this thesis offers six guiding principles that can help preserve the cultural, agricultural, and natural landscape. Stressing the environmental and cultural risks involved in rapid development of the traditional landscape, the principles offer recommendations to value traditional sources of livelihood, undeveloped land, environmentally and culturally sensitive development, and the inclusion of communities through participation. They provide sustainable development approaches that balance and recognize the cultural, environmental, and economic value of the farmland and existing housing settlements. An overview of international urban development precedents that demonstrate these principles offer insight on how Bhutan can remedy these risks and benefit economically. Last, specific mechanisms that can guide the government in their development process will make preservation of the traditional landscape realistic. In conclusion, Bhutan can provide culturally and environmentally sensitive urban development that does not detrimentally impact the landscape and its inhabitants. en_US
dc.description.statementofresponsibility Rosemary Carolyn Dudley. en_US
dc.format.extent 128 p. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher Massachusetts Institute of Technology en_US
dc.rights M.I.T. theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission. See provided URL for inquiries about permission. en_US
dc.rights.uri http://dspace.mit.edu/handle/1721.1/7582 en_US
dc.subject Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.title Balancing values : development strategies that sustain the cultural heritage of rice paddies and the natural landscape in Thimphu, Bhutan en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US
dc.description.degree M.C.P. en_US
dc.contributor.department Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning. en_US
dc.identifier.oclc 50856232 en_US


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