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    Architects and environmentalists identify needs for a larger city building process

    We need to scale back to the master plan laid out by the CMDA in 2008. There is no space to sprawl, so the way forward is building up. We need vertical communities that are sustainable with more green areas too. This will require a lot of budgeting
    —Suraksha Bhatla, environmental architect

    We will be the first set of victims of climate change. Disaster preparedness, disaster response and disaster management are three areas where the city needs to be sensitised. We’ve started a phase of sanitation, health care, water security and environment conservation. In addition to our weekend cleanups, we will also have outreach programmes that will go to homes, colleges, neighbourhoods, etc
    —Arun Krishnamurthy, founder, Environmentalist Foundation of India

    Firstly, a scientific study needs to be done to identify water shed areas and keep development away from them. Secondly, restoration of the rivers has to be taken up or there is no way to prevent this again. Thirdly, efforts have to go towards rehabilitating the people who have lost everything. Also, it is civil responsibility to let some heads roll as the alternating governments over the last two decades are responsible
    —KT Ravindran, dean emeritus RICS School of Built Environment

    We have to be more engaged citizens. The streets acting as water channels during monsoon is not acceptable. Within the plots we should maximise the permeable surface (instead of paving it completely) and push for properly planned drains on the road outside. We have a collective ownership in keeping drains and inlets garbage free
    —Kavitha Selvaraj, urban designer

    More percolation pits will make sense in already built up low lying areas. They need to be added every six or seven feet. They will take a lot of stress off rainwater stagnation. People can also consider raising the plinth height at entrances at least, if not the entire floor. This is not very expensive to do. Also, is it right to allow the slum dwellers to resettle in the same places they have been living?
    —Meena Chandrasekharan, architect, proprietor Haven Design Consultancy

    It promises to be a long haul. Building over marshes, flood plains and coastlines have regulations. But they all have loopholes that have been misused and need to be plugged. Laws need to be applied stringently and the various civic bodies need a good interface to link them all
    —Sujatha Shankar, convenor INTACH, vice chairman Indian Institute of Architects Chennai Centre

    The part of Pondicherry that did not suffer is the part that still has the French stormwater drains. There are too many little things that need to be done, but start with a halt on unplanned building. As far back as the 80s, directives were given to keep wider regional planning in mind, but they were not followed along the way. We need to take the example of the Cholas who built farms in low lying areas and their cities on higher areas
    —Sunaina Mandeen, cofounder PondyCAN

    Team Indulge

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