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An Interview with Prof. Kwaak, the Designer of Lumbini Vision Plan

Renowned Urban Planner and Designer South Korean Professor Kwaak Young Hoon recently presented his proposed sketch for the Lumbini Development Master Plan (LDMP) in an interaction program amid the presence of major stakeholders in Lumbini including Er. Temba Sherpa, the Project Chief LDT and Ms. HaengLan Jo, the Resident Representative of KOICA on Dec. 04 in Lumbini. Prof. Kwaak said that main objective of the plan is to develop Lumbini as an international centre for world peace, prosperity and harmony. Below is given the highlight of his vision interviewed by Mr. Hari D. Rai, the Information Chief, LDT.  
 
Professor, will you kindly tell us what Lumbini Development Master Plan (LDMP) is? 
 
Prof. Kwaak: Well, the LDMP is the plan to develop Lumbini into Vishwa Shanti Nagar (World Peace City) that incorporates the religious, socio-cultural, historical, archaeological, environmental, educational and spiritual significance of Lumbini, the holy birthplace of Sakyamuni Buddha and other important Buddhist sites in its peripherals conveying the message of universal peace, harmony and prosperity.  
 
Will you please kindly explain the technical aspect of the design?  
 
Prof. Kwaak: It is a lotus-shaped plan designed being inspired the philosophical significance of the lotus flower underlying in Buddhist principles and teachings. The project area will cover five by five miles or 6,400 hectares. To pursue the heart and spirit of Buddhism, the overall area has been divided into four zones namely; Buddha, Dharma, Sangha and Upasaka with lush forest area and abundance of greenery. The design incorporates the eight Buddhist paths in theme and concedes to the socio-physical, eco-natural, socio-economic, historic-cultural, visuo-aesthetic and mind-spiritual elements in each of the cities. 
 
What is the land acquisition polity that you will want to adopt Professor? 
 
Prof. Kwaak: No single house will be shifted for this project. I have designed the plan is such a way that respects value of local culture and right of local people where urban and rural settlements will help each other to learn, grow and win together.
 
Kenjo Tange's Lumbini Master Plan is lying incomplete for many years. In such a context, don't you think that your plan will be only a sweet dream but impossible hypothesis?  
 
Prof. Kwaak: Lumbini is being one of the most desired pilgrimage destinations worldwide. Many people in Thailand, Japan, South Korea and other Buddhist countries are willing to assist in whatever ways they can. As a planner, I see Lumbini a ‘soon-to-be city’ like Mecca of Islam and Jerusalem of Christianity. But it requires combine effort of Nepal Government, Nepalese people, international Buddhist communities and international organizations. Nevertheless, the will power and priority of Nepal Government will be the vital one to complete the LDMP.    
 
How do you define the potential of the plan? 
 
Prof. Kwaak: Nepal will be a symbol of humanity and peace. People throughout the globe will definitely benefit from Lumbini’s outstanding universal value for peace and humanity on one hand and Nepal on the other hand will have unlimited economic and cultural achievement upon success implementation of the plan.  
 
Thank you very much Professor for enlightening us with your outstanding Vision Plan for development of Lumbini. May the lord Buddha guide and bless you to make your noble vision come true. 
 
Prof. Kwaak: You are welcome Mr. Hari. I indeed thank you too for the chance provided me to share my vision to the readers. I am offering my sincere service very honestly. I humbly request peace loving people world over to join hand in this noble work. Thank you once again.