NADI Conversations-: Riverfront Development Projects: The Potential Outcomes

Date:   Sat Oct 09, 2021 - Sat Oct 09, 2021


 Riverfront is the land or property along a river or rivers. These are essentially projects that seek to alter the ecological and social scape of the river transforming them into an urban commercial space rather than protecting the natural, social and cultural landscape. Many of the ongoing river development projects lay emphasis on beautification of the rivers whereas riverfronts are treated as extensions of urban spaces which can be transformed into vibrant, throbbing and breathing spaces by prospective designers.

Historically, transporting goods by boat was the most expedient way of trading commodities. As a result, the riverfront was monopolized by warehouses where goods were stored awaiting riparian transportation.Eventually as trade and industry grew many factories were set up near the rivers, so as to be able to use the natural resource to facilitate production as well as to dispose waste and effluents directly into the water. Harmful chemicals got introduced into the waterways as a consequence and large bodies of water were polluted this way thereby contributing largely to the pollution menace in cities.

Traveling overland using animals and carts on tracks had been the norm before the advent of the combustion engine and the materials used to construct permanent roads. As road construction gathered speed, the need for boats and frigates to transport goods declined rapidly.

Riverfront Development Projects have both merits and demerits. Providing urban spaces for the growing population and subsequent development of the region is one point. But as a result, these rivers have narrowed far more than their actual breadth thus reducing the volume of water that they carry. Binding the rivers into narrowed concrete channels have effectively affected their flow pattern that has impacted their flooding capacity and their aquatic life. Concrete in the riverbed also cuts off source of water in the river. Citing this as a probable negative outcome, many such projects seek to connect these rivers with the nearby waterways and canals so to avoid them from drying up.

Ecosystem stability is an important aspect of sustainability. Over time, the structure and function of a healthy riverine ecosystem should remain relatively stable, even in the face of adversity. If detrimental circumstances do alter the riverine ecosystem, it should be supported in a manner so that it can be put back on the path of recovery.

The purpose of this conversation would be to understand the pros and cons of riverfront development and how has it affected the natural ecology of the river. By understanding the debate between conservation and urbanization it will give us an opportunity to explore the methods and means to urbanize and conserve the environment at the same time.

Registration Link:

Programme and Agenda

6:30- 6:40 PM: Opening Remarks

6:40 - 7:00 PM: Professor C. R Babu, Distinguished Professor of the Environment and Ecology at the School of Human Ecology, Ambedkar University, New Delhi

 7:00-7:20 PM: Mr. Prem Singh Rana, Chairman, Board of Governors, Construction Industry Development Council (CIDC), India.

 7:20-7:30 PM: Questions and Answers