I saw the King’s talk to the country during the current National Day celebrations, which took place on December 17, 2023. Knowing he had a lot to say, the military going group members who were standing in front of their King at “attention” were all asked to sit down out of an incredible act of kindness and compassion.
In line with His Majesty King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck’s vision for a fresh financial hub in Bhutan, Gelephu capital is being transformed into the Mindfulness City. The masterplan, which covers more than 1000 km2, incorporates Bhutanese culture, the Gross National Happiness index ( GNH) standards, and the nation’s spiritual heritage. Gelephu Special Administration Region, which is located in Southern Bhutan, close to the India-Bangladesh borders, is intended to take advantage of its site to promote economic growth and offer opportunities for the native populace.
The Mindfulness City intends to increase healthy wealth by building a connected network of ecosystems and thriving neighborhoods while keeping Bhutan’s beautiful landscapes in thoughts. Green systems, education, and facilities, such as an international airport, railroad connections, a hydraulic dam, open spaces, will all be included in the plan. Additionally, it accepts local developing typologies based on the nine National Happiness domains, which take into account factors like well-being, health, education, and the promotion of political centers and cultural hubs.
Bhutan is home to a wealth of wildlife, with 70 % of its area covered in woodland. It is surrounded by mountains, forests, and rivers. By establishing a connected network of ecosystems and thriving districts, the Mindfulness City seeks to increase this natural money. The state’s design features slopes cascading from rocks to valleys, ribbon-like neighborhoods resembling paddy fields, and is influenced by the 35 rivers and streams that flow across the page. A smooth transition between various living environments is facilitated by the city’s density slowly rising from remote highlands to urban lowlands.
The Gelephu Masterplan, according to recognized artist Bjarke Ingels, gives structure to the King’s eyesight.
” The Gelephu Masterplan gives shape to His Majesty’s perspective to build a city that is rooted in Bhutanese nature and traditions while also serving as an incubator for growth and innovation.” We consider Mindfulness City to be a unique location, he said.
Gelephu is” Shaped by waterways, becoming a territory of roads, connecting nature and people, past and present, local and global.” Similar to the standard Dzongs, these livable bridges serve as both transport and municipal infrastructure, according to Ingels.
Bhutan: Gelephu Mindfulness City SOURCE