First Urban Design Thinking workshop lists issues on storm water management in Bhubaneswar

Bhubaneswar: “Urban Design Thinking Workshop on Storm Water Management in Bhubaneswar’’ was organised today by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) and GIZ (German funding agency) having stakeholders from all line departments and city-level agencies to “analyse and define’’ storm water and drainage issues through participatory approach and a field visit to Behera Sahi in Nayapalli from where Drainage Channel No. 10 is originating.
The participants of the BMC-GIZ workshop went near the origin of Drainage Channel No. 10 close to Nayapalli Haza (low-lying area) on a field trip and studied the local conditions and issues and discussed them at the workshop to get a preliminary study report on basic studies.
Earlier delivering the keynote address, BMC Commissioner Prem Chandra Chaudhary said the water sensitive urban design guidelines will be implemented across the city to ensure greater rainwater harvesting design elements on the roads as they collect major rain water during heavy showers. “The use of percolation-friendly pavers blocks and rain water harvesting initiatives in open spaces will also reduce the risk of urban flooding,’’ he added.
Marcus Jeutner from Technology University, Berlin, spoke about the “Design Thinking exercise on Storm Water Management’’ and Bhubaneswar Smart City Limited made a presentation on Lake Neutral Project.
Besides the Municipal Commissioner BMC City Engineer and the engineering team including engineers from BMC Drainage Division, urban planners from Bhubaneswar Development Authority and other line departments and educational institutions in the field of architecture, planning and engineering were also present.
The Urban Design Thinking Workshop on Storm Water Management is part of the “Climate Smart Cities’’ project and it works with three Indian Smart Cities i.e. Bhubaneswar, Kochi and Coimbatore. The focus is on smart and climate-friendly measures for infrastructure and area-based developments and measuring and monitoring their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions.
It can be noted here that India is ranked 6th among the 10 most affected countries in the world as per Gobal Climate Risk Index 2016 by Germanwatch and accounts for about 7 percent of the GHG emissions, thus being a crucial player when it comes to dealing with climate change related issues.
While today’s first workshop was on analysis and definition, a series will be organised in near future aiming at imaging climate sensitive urban design from a user perspective. For this purpose a selected area is analysed by different methods including field observation, surveys, mapping and visioning with regards to the challenge of storm water drainage in Bhubaneswar. The objective is to develop design principles for the selected project. The workshop series would include group works, field visits and expert talks and will held over a time of one year.
In fact, recent sudden rains due to cloudburst like situation in Kerala, Maharashtra, North India and in Balangir in Odisha are some examples of the serious impact of climate change related urban flooding. As the City of Temples is also facing a drainage problem due to incessant rains in the past leading to water logging issues, the preliminary workshop by BMC and GIZ is very important for the city.
The “Climate Smart Cities’’ project aims at the capacity development of additional 10 urban local bodies on climate relevant solutions. National Institute of Urban Affairs, research and training institute of Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs and two German institutions Technology University Berlin and German Institute of Urban Affairs (DIFU) will support the project in wider dissemination and up scaling of the partner cities across the other Smart Cities through innovative formats of peer learning and knowledge exchange.

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