Kathmandu, Feb. 21 -- For those growing up in the 1980s in Kathmandu, the 'Green Belt' became a familiar term as poplars rose up along the Ring Road. Over the years, this strip of green gave Kathmandu some breathing space as the city grew at breakneck speed.

Slowly, encroachment, carelessness and road expansion decimated the trees. The poplars were the first to go, then the jacarandas that lined the streets were cut, too.

From a Green Belt Kathmandu has become a Dust Bowl. But all is not lost, the tree-lined Darbar Marg to neighbourhood beautification at Narayan Chaur have shown that if communities get together it is possible to revive the Valley's lungs.

Kathmandu will benefit from developing a series of linked water bodies, open spac...