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Town Planning after the 1934 Bihar-Nepal Earthquake: Earthquake-safety, colonial improvements and the restructuring of urban space in Bihar
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences. (Huseby in the World)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5938-0966
2017 (English)In: Studies in Nepal History and Society, ISSN 1025-5109, Vol. 22, no 2, p. 321-354Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article addresses urban reconstruction in Bihar after the 1934 Bihar-Nepal earthquake by arguing that the aftermath became an opportunity for the local government to implement town planning according to ideas of urban improvements guiding sanitation, engineering and control of spaces since the late nineteenth century in colonial India. While earthquake safety surfaced as a central aim of town planning, the local government used the reconstruction phase to improve sanitation facilities, widen roads and restructure plots in bazaars of the three worst affected towns—Monghyr, Darbhanga and Muzaffarpur. Arguably, sanitation engineering with more spaced and simpler structures in effect meant buildings less likely to kill people in future earthquakes. Congestion and overpopulation were blamed for the many deaths in the bazaars but the same factors were also seen as the major cause of “insanitary” conditions according to town planners and the government officials incharge of the planning process. Wider roads and lanes, and more sparsely populated areas and lower houses were measures likely to prevent deaths on the same scale in case an earthquake visited again.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Kathmandu, Nepal, 2017. Vol. 22, no 2, p. 321-354
Keywords [en]
Historical disaster research, Global history, South Asian history, Earthquake, Earthquake engineering, Disaster reconstruction, Town planning, Postcolonial studies, Bihar, India, Nepal
National Category
History
Research subject
Humanities, History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-75307OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-75307DiVA, id: diva2:1214876
Available from: 2018-06-07 Created: 2018-06-07 Last updated: 2018-06-15Bibliographically approved

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Marcussen, Eleonor

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf