Connecting people to rivers has been an essential component of initiatives taken by the National Mission for Clean Ganga (NMCG) to sensitize people towards rivers and their ecology. The development of riverfronts has been part of the objective to establish a people-river connection. NMCG has also been working with different stakeholders to make river-sensitive urban master plans. NMCG has published many significant publications in this regard.
“Guidance Note for Environmentally Sensitive, Climate Adaptive and Socially Inclusive Urban Riverfront Planning and Development” was launched by NMCG at ‘Connect Karo’organised by World Resources Institute (WRI), India. Explaining how this publication will be useful in making river-sensitive urban designs, Shri Rajiv Ranjan Mishra, Director General, NMCG said, “This guideline will help city planners across the Ganga River Basin, and the country at large, understand how to integrate urban riverfronts into a Master Plan.” He said, “Riverfronts help in re-connecting people to the river and makes their visit to river pleasant.” He added that riverfronts are essential in meeting the increasing demand for public spaces in urban areas.
The document is a primer for all stakeholders who wish to implement urban river flood projects, which as environmentally sensitive, climate adaptive, and socially inclusive. The book offers a pathway to look at urban riverfronts as social spaces and thriving ecosystems and collaborate to develop environmentally sensitive, the climate is adaptive, and socially inclusive riverfronts. The 3 main objectives of the book are:
a. Appraisal tool to support decision making on urban riverfront development based on environmental and social indicators
b. Informs project proponent, decision-makers, and other stakeholders about environmentally sensitive, climate adaptive, and socially inclusive riverfront developments
c. Guidance to various service providers on design and planning and implementation of ecological URFD
The book also presents various international and national case studies on river city management.
Shri. O.P. Aggrawal, CEO, WRI explained that the connection between people and rivers is forgotten and it is essential that we rebuild that connection by creating recreational spaces around rivers. Shri Samrat Basak, Director, WRI said that rivers are not only cultural heritage but also bring ecological and environmental heritage. He said that this document will be a good starting point to make river-sensitive urban plans. Ms. PratimaMarwah, Assistant General Manager-Landscape & Architecture, Tata Consulting Engineers Limited shared the vision behind the publication of this guidance note. She explained the principles on which the guidelines were developed.
The book launch was followed by a panel discussion. Mr. Owen Richards, Mcgreger and Coxall, Ms. Swati Janu, Social Design Collab, and Mr.IanRutherfurd, Professorial Fellow, The University of Melbourne; Research Director, Alluvium Consulting shared their experiences & learnings in river city planning during the panel discussion. Dr. Victor Shinde, National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) presented the insights from preparing an urban river management plan – The Kanpur Experience.
Connect Karo is WRI India’s flagship event that brings together Indian and global leaders and policymakers committed to designing inclusive, sustainable, and climate forward Indian cities. This year Connect Karo, with the theme ‘Clean, Green & Just’, was held virtually from 13th-17th September 2021.NMCG participated in the session ‘Thriving Cities, Living Waters’ on 17th September from 11 am to 1 pm.