Kochi’s green-blue network, with interconnected canals, rivers, lakes, and backwaters along with the coast is the backbone of urban development. However, the pressure of urban expansion has resulted in acute stress on the ecological networks of Kochi and exposes it to the adverse effects of climate change.
Weaving with Water is a water-driven collective framework towards a climate-proof Kochi, that addresses the intersections between four layers: Ecology, Infrastructure, Community, and Governance. The integrated Kochi Water Vision is built on 4 distinct, yet complementary strategies: Regenerative green-blue networks for resilience, Adaptive infrastructure for a thriving economy, Livable neighborhoods for social inclusion, Collaborative decision-making for equitability.
The Mullassery canal is considered as the testing ground and conceived to be realized through a ‘Play to plan Toolkit’, containing water-based solutions to specific issues observed along the canal in the layers of ecology, infrastructure, community, and governance. The solutions are organized along with scales, stakeholders, spatial typologies, cost, and carbon footprint of the interventions. A ‘scenario building game’ can be played with the Toolkit, among communities, municipality, designers, developers, and individuals to reimagine the city for the future, in a participatory process.
The site-specific interventions follow a streamlined spatial approach as REVIVE, RETROFIT, and REDEVELOP for Sub-sites A, B, and C respectively, based on the existing urban fabric and associated values. REVIVE is an approach that sheds its primary focus on enriching ecology through mangrove belts, retention basins, micro wetlands, and floodable sports arenas. The challenges of the dense urban are proposed to tackle through the RETROFIT approach that includes green roofs, roof gardening, and micro detention basins in the form of rain gardens, water courts inside buildings, in order to nurture liveability. The REDEVELOP approach capitalizes on the economic potential along the Mullassery Canal Road through a phase-wise redevelopment for mixed-use, high density, and affordable urban infrastructure.
Seamless last-mile connectivity, user inclusivity, sensitivity to gender and other vulnerable groups, and spatial integrity in resource management were the supportive principles that molded the proposal as a whole.
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