Increased frequency of natural hazards and sea level rise are expected impacts of climate change in India. Marginalised urban settlements are often vulnerable to disaster due to their location in hazardous areas and the use of non-durable building materials.Their inhabitants are therefore strongly affected by climate change. But amidst strives to meet climate targets, the poor's needs are mostly overlooked.

In this context, there is an urgent need for paradigmatic shift in the education of graduate students in spatial planning and design as well as training of urban professionals from different backgrounds in order to confront upcoming challenges related to climate change impacts on urban informal settlements.

The BReUCom project conceives and pilots short terms post-graduate Professional Development Programs (PDPs) targeted at real world problems. It aims to produce Open Educational Resources by developing 10 comparative case studies and 10 descriptions of new courses for graduate students in existing programs, following MIT's OpenCourseWare model. It shall pilot new courses on urban resilience in existing curricula for graduate students.

The Professional Development Programs (PDPs) are designed to function as modules on urban resilience for urban professionals from different backgrounds and working experiences, pilot modules including internships with NGOs in India and Europe.

For more information: https://www.breucom.eu

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

KRVIA Masters Newsletter, October 2019 Edition



 KRVIA Masters Newsletter, October 2019 Edition



KRVIA Masters News, October 2019 edition, documents the dissemination of activities in the KRVIA Masters program across the semester, along with participation and contributions from a variety of resource-people and academics.

It showcases students' works from Studio I and Studio III as well as workshops and conferences conducted through the semester, as part of the academic program.


The newsletter can be viewed online at

KRVIA Masters Newsletter, October 2019 Edition

Thursday, October 24, 2019

BReUCom Case Study 09: Socio-Ecological Resilience of Peri-Urban Coastal Areas





Introduction

“Thirteen of the world's 20 largest cities are located on the coast, and more than a third of the world's people live within 100 miles of a shoreline” (World Bank 2010). Coastal areas face multiple risks related to the climate change crisis and allied bio-geo-climatic variability thus affecting a large population. Vulnerability of coastal areas to climate change is an issue that has gained attention globally. Peri urban areas have peculiarities and challenges which are different from urban cores and these needs to be addressed while dealing with issues of ensuring resilience. They are often characterized by communities whose existence and livelihoods have been traditionally dependent on the environmental resources which are undergoing rapid change with time. 



Objective

To understand and illustrate systems and methods involved in ensuring socio-ecological resilience of peri urban communities of the global south using various techniques of documentation (both digital and analogue) and analysing the effects of climate change related transformations on three peri-urban land-water edge settlements of Mumbai each with a distinct relationship with the water’s edge- Coastal Edge settlement, Settlement on an estuarine island, a settlement on the Riverine Floodplain.

The focus of the study centres on the threatened communities, their vulnerable habitats and their environment dependent livelihoods which may be affected adversely by the frequent and erratic climatic events. The study intents to explore possibilities of imagining methods for coping and adaptation to these climate related changes.  



Preliminary Findings

The case study sites are unique in their physical geographic locations, communities inhabiting those areas and the way the communities and settlements interact with the larger landscape:


  • The unprecedented urban growth of Mumbai Metropolitan Region in the last 30 years had an impact in all the three sites. There has also been a steady migration of workers from inland regions.
  • The increase in the pace of urbanization (the unregulated and ill-informed choices) have made them more vulnerable to the increased frequencies and intensities of climatic events.
  • The recent developments in all the three sites ignore the natural processes of the site.
  • These communities are also vulnerable to everyday threats 




BReUCom Case Study 06: Marginalised Communities and Climate Change




Introduction


Slums in Mumbai can be seen from various perspectives. Each perspective has its positive side and perhaps huge possibilities in cross learning for it to enable the urban inclusion in planning, policy and practice. The larger question is how new methodologies of research and formats of representation of informal settlements support their recognition in urban design, planning, political and policy-making processes. How could these processes in turn contribute to the sustenance of informal and formal aspects of the urban form.


The Site: Gazdhar Bandh

The formation of Gazdhar Bandh, a large pocket of self-built-sustain model of slums resulted from various parameters. Largely it owes its origin to the generic problem of state body (MHADA) for not being able to provide affordable housing at the city level along with the absence of policy not being able create housing stock for the urban poor. These two issues are coupled with large scale land speculation in the open market and market driven real estate resulting in unaffordable housing in Mumbai.



Preliminary Findings

  • Creation of community living (and land) within the land starved condition of the city displaces the development plan initiatives and state housing inability
  • The creation of Land comes in direct conflict with the fragile ecology at estuary condition.
  • The community has strong economic network with its surrounding and the city. The informality within the city has formal occupational engagement with the city.
  • The overall perspective of resilience requires the study of social- economic resilience and its understanding with ecological resilience and finds the balance.


BReUCom Case Study 05: Water Resilience in the Historic Core City of Jodhpur






Introduction


Historic cities have survived over centuries based on how they have managed their natural and manmade water systems. Jodhpur has been one such city in the arid region of Rajasthan which exhibits a hierarchical water system that has supported its population over the last 1500 years. These extraordinary water bodies such as manmade tanks, step wells and jhalaras are well integrated in the fabric of the core city to serve its residents till recently when water is served through pipelines putting these  extensive water bodies to disuse. Further disinterest of the city residents and pollution have further aggravated the situation thereby leading to excess water, rising water levels and flooding on the onset of rains. This situation of excess water and flooding is tackled by pumping water from most of these water bodies for 12 hours daily into nallahs, whereas the nearby regions are undergoing water shortages and the entire city suffers extensively from heat gains in summers. An excellent example of extreme conditions and mismanagement of natural resources.



Objective

  • To assess the sensitivity, adaptive capacity and coping mechanism of communities to water stress in urban areas
  • To derive a mechanism for assessing Institutional and community arrangement for enhancing resilience to water stress
  • To propose a policy framework as well as spatial strategy for enhancing institutional and community resilience to water stress.




Preliminary Findings

  • The five hundred year old settlement is still self sufficient by way of holding of fresh water through its holding ponds, water channels and array of water systems.
  • These water systems have been in thorough neglect by way of disuse and pollution thereby leading to excess of water which is leading to excessive flooding in the monsoon and non monsoon months leading to damages and losses.
  • Other than using the existing water bodies and systems appropriately, excess water is pumped for 12 hours daily into the nallah whereas water to be used in the city is pumped from kilometers away through the Lift canal which seems very illogical.
  • Further the city suffers through the year through excessive heat gains thereby making it difficult for its residents to live comfortably.
  •  Preliminary awareness and vulnerability surveys of the residents prove that the extensive and well conceived water resources need to be appropriately managed through institutions thereby increasing the resilience of its residents as well as the city.


BReUCom Case Study 02: Resilience in Historic Indian Towns






Introduction

Resilience amidst communities is a function of its ability to negotiate and overcome chronic stresses and shocks. Historic urban spaces in a rapidly urbanising economy like India are extremely contested and exhibit social as well as spatial stresses. Coupled with these ‘natural’ stresses, the state developed tools & mechanisms fail to protect the urban fabric or actively abets a biased unreal development model. In this context, methods to develop studied proposals aimed towards safeguarding the cultural identity embedded in built heritage of the historic town is very much required both in people’s imagination as well as the state vision.
In Mumbai, the recent World Heritage tag for the Gothic Architecture and the Art Deco Ensemble prompts one to relook at the status of the communities, their livelihood and their housing within the Inner Fort Precincts as well as the Native Town.


Objective

The course intends to identify inherent resiliences of the historic urban communities and develop models to further strengthen them based on the values, interests and aspirations of various stakeholders. The studio also seeks to update and enrich the base data of the housing and livelihood conditions.


Preliminary Findings

  • Rich community network across religious, regional identities, food and cultural diversities 
  • Spirit of Entrepreneurship reflected in the livelihood activities
  • Unreal Estate driven Speculative development pressures are not sustainable and resilient solutions. The new high rise typologies are leading to poor quality of urban spaces.
  • Lack of empathy towards heritage and myopic vision for a holistic development reflected in the development plan leading to relatively rapid erasure of the identity of the place.
  • Lastly the preliminary interactions with stakeholders elicit mix responses ranging from largely despondency to few voices of hope.