The Druk Journal contributes to Bhutan’s growth as a democracy and as a modern nation. It is a vibrant public space in which we encourage our contributors to expand our national discourse by introducing new ideas and concepts into the Bhutanese conversation. Through regular publications, an interactive website, and open discussions after each edition, we engage Bhutanese society in conversation so that all citizens can exchange open and frank views on national policies and issues relevant to Bhutan. The Druk Journal hopes, not only to inform citizens, but to build a community of people who will take an active role, as individuals and as a community, in the development of analytical attitudes toward national policies. It is our hope that participation in such a community will encourage individuals to engage in policy research that can be made available to the government and larger Bhutanese society. The Druk Journal thus serves as a vehicle for the development of a society which is concerned about national issues and wants to participate in the development of policy by thinking publicly and through conversation. Such a community of thinkers will also draw on the experience of other countries in those areas of political, social, economic and cultural experimentation that are relevant to our own concerns. The twelveth issue looks at Urban Developmen in Bhutan, a process that has come under focus with growing critism of the poor implementation of past plans. This discourse comes at a particularly significant moment when the COVID-19 crisis has forced Bhutan to reflect on the current situation and reorient its national strategies in a changed world. Specialists and discerning observers on different aspects of urbanisation share their frank views, drawn from real experiences, on how to live with the inevitable reality that humanity are moving from the village to the city.

Urban Bhutan – the Story

Autumn 2020 Volume 6, Issue II

Table of Contents


Urbanisation in Bhutan

Urban Development – the Concept

Rural Villages to Urban Villages
From the Zoning Task Force with contribution from Dasho Kinley Dorji

Urbanisation and Climate Change
Azusa Kubota

Seeing the Rural in Urban Bhutan
Riamsara Kuyakanon Knapp

Beyond Brick and Mortar
Siok Sian Pek-Dorji

Urban Conundrum — Bhutanese Style
Ugyen M. Tenzin

Bhutan’s Cities – What Consequences? 

Towards a Well-Tempered Thimphu
Jonathan F. P. Rose

Thimphu City — The Real Challenges
Meghraj Adhikari

Towards an Effective, Efficient, and Engaged Thimphu Thromde
Karma Wangchuk

Missing the Trees for the Forest
Karma Gelay

Innovative Approaches to Affordable Housing
Jigme Thinley and Chimi

Preserving Bhutan – the Last Chance?

Traditions — Lost in Change
Dr. Karma Phuntsho

Managing Water to Sustain Life
Ichharam Dulal

The Healthy City
Watanabe Kozo

Planning Urban Development
Yangchen Lhamu and Krishna Subba