Our Dream City is a campaign designed by StoryCycle that focuses on empowering local youth and communities to take an active part in designing and making their places vibrant by using technology. The campaign focuses on enabling instigators with digital tools, arts, and a platform to engage their own community as well as civic processes. 

In 2019, StoryCycle worked with the British Council to do a chapter of Our Dream City at the Bagmati Promenade, which stretches from Thapathali to Teku. This work was undertaken as part of the British Council’s 60 Years in Nepal programme, wherein youth from the area were engaged in mapping exercises using multimedia tools for writing, capturing audio/video to weave narratives exploring the socio-political and historical narratives of the Bagmati area. The programme was initially inspired by research on the area done by British architect John Sanday OBE.

Fifteen youth were selected through an open call—made in collaboration with the local government—and were given the opportunity to participate in a three-day story and mapping workshop. This engagement led to the participants finding and capturing historical and mythological stories of the Teku-Thapathali stretch, which resulted in the addition of 40+ places in Google Maps along with text+images narratives of 30 of the places. 

For more information on the project, visit the official Our Dream City website.

During one of the guided tours.
Workshop in Madhesh.
Birgunj safe and unsafe mapping.
Janakpur safe and unsafe mapping.

Heritage Walks

Based on the information gathered through the workshop, a three-kilometre guided tour titled Bagmati Promenade was established with the focus on the following themes led by various experts: 

  • Governance 
  • Heritage 
  • Religious Philosophy 
  • Youth Engagement in Resource Mapping 
  • Architectural Structures 
  • Religious Iconography 
  • Storytelling 
  • Water System 
  • Space Mapping 

These walks are targeted towards tourists, culture enthusiasts, creative professionals, urban dwellers and youth who would like to know more about the city that they inhabit. More than 400 people participated in the walks last year.

Take a virtual tour of BAGMATI PROMENADE HERE.

Tour Manual

StoryCycle produced a tour manual that accompanies the various guided walks, which could be accessed by guides as well as visitors to undertake tours independently. Download the manual from the 'downloads section' below.

Workshops in Madhesh

Linking Our Dream City work with WOW Madhesh, two digital storytelling and mapping workshops as part of WOW Madhesh 2019’s WOWser programme were facilitated by StoryCycle in the cities of Birgunj and Janakpur. The workshop was thematically aligned with the British Council’s women and girls focus area and encouraged participants to look at local stories through a gender lens and explore the change in gender dynamics in recent times and challenges in their communities. Young women were given a platform to tell their stories, which were taken up as reference points to create dialogue during the workshops. The group talked to over 200 women from the two cities to map safe and unsafe spaces in their respective cities, the infographic output of which was showcased in WOW Madhesh.

Janakpur participant Priyanshu Karn documents the traditional Maithili art of Godhna. Read here.

*More projects undertaken by participants are on going and will be shared soon.

Phase II

Our Dream City work in 2009 has successfully fostered relationships between the project organisers, the community and local leaders as well as the City Planning Commission of the Kathmandu Metropolitan City. The planning body has pledged to contribute to the ongoing efforts at the Thapathali-Teku stretch, which will give StoryCycle the opportunity to engage youth in a more thorough exploration and documentation of the area. The British Council will contribute, during Phase II, as the outreach and strategic partner during this process.

*Physical tours and programmes have been postponed during the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting lockdown. Please keep updated on virtual tours through StoryCycle’s and the British Council’s social media.

See also

External links