Annual Report 2015: 2015 Gorkha earthquake response

Heritage Loss Documented with ICIMOD-Devised Tool 

Kathmandu is famed for its architecture, from spectacular temples and palace squares to the traditional homes and neighbourhoods that give the city much of its character. But in less than a minute, the Gorkha Earthquake toppled historic palaces, temples, and thousands of homes. To support future restoration efforts, it was important to move quickly to document the damage, ensuring that heritage assessment focused not only on wellknown historic sites but on Kathmandu’s distinctive neighbourhoods and communities.

Realizing that paper-and-pen documentation would limit the capacity to capture a full picture, ICIMOD set out to create a tool that would take advantage of digital imagery and enable beforeand-after comparisons. Within ten days, with the help of community volunteers and Kathmandu University students, 

ICIMOD had combined the pre-existing inventory with new documentation into a dynamic platform that incorporates old and new information, maps and visualizes the damage, and sets the stage for future restoration projects that include communities and neighbourhoods.