Today marks Global Doughnut Day, an inaugural celebration of local action and global connection through Doughnut Economics. This socio economic framework helps to strike a balance between essential human needs, our social foundation, and the planet’s ecological limits. An example bringing this model to life is our Thimphu Structure Plan, which was recently launched by Bhutan’s Prime Minister Dasho Dr. Lotay Tshering and His Eminence Gyalse Trulku Rinpoche.

Set in the Eastern Himalaya, at an elevation of 2,500 metres, the capital city of Thimphu has grown rapidly since 2003, yet the quality of life for the majority of residents is falling short of Bhutan’s foundational aspiration of Gross National Happiness.

Working arm-in-arm with the Ministry of Infrastructure & Transport, Royal Government of Bhutan since 2019, Prior + Partners have lead an inter-disciplinary consultant team including Arup and Gerald Eve. With the guidance of an expert international advisory panel, including Kate Raworth and the Doughnut Economics Action Lab (DEAL), we have developed together the vision and future spatial strategy for Thimphu and the surrounding region, integrating Gross National Happiness firmly within the Doughnut. The goal is to invest in creating a place of opportunity for the benefit of the whole community; supporting a better balance with nature and the living culture of Bhutan.

It has been the start of an immensely rewarding journey so far in this tremendous place, and we look forward to implementation next year.