IDRim Conference

Special session: Building Resilient Urban Communities (BReUCom): Case studies from India at IDRim Conference

Chairs: Funda Atun-Girgin, Javier Martinez

Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands


In India, climate-change impacts affecting cities the most are water and heat stress. Water scarcity, as well as flooding, have become a common phenomenon in cities across the country. Especially in the arid and semi-arid climatic zones of India, water stress is getting aggravated with time and needs to be looked at from the perspective of enhancing community and institutional resilience. Similarly, rising temperatures due to climate change lead to heat stress and need remedial actions in designing and planning built spaces at all scales of city planning. The spatial exposure to heat risks due to the design and planning of built spaces is becoming well understood. However, practices that increase the resistivity towards the hazard or the relative vulnerability of communities are not yet influencing decision-making and are not being reckoned. During the 11th International Integrated Disaster Risk Management (IDRiM) conference, on the 23rd of September, we shared the result of our case studies with the IDRiM society.


1) Co-Production Through Tacit Knowledge for Water Resilience

Namperumal Sridharan, Rama Umesh Pandey

School of Planning and Architecture Bhopal, India


It is inevitable that the present form of Urbanisation Pattern in India cannot sustain the water requirements in cities, and to achieve the SDGs target.  More so in semi-arid regions of India it is difficult to provide the basic requirements. India experiences both flooding as well as water scarcity in a year across the country aggravating the water stress. The tacit knowledge for water has been used in the time immemorial to tap and address water demand and risk in India. It is a right time to blend the traditional and modern technology to address water issues for water resilience.  International and National Standards for Resilience  for cities are in place since 2019.  It is a challenge to integrate these standards to tacit knowledge through co-production of water at local to city level to meet the water demand and water stress. In this study we explore the traditional knowledge and its usage in water management system in arid areas and how the water resilience can be achieved through co-production of water at local level. Using the city of Jodhpur in Rajasthan, analyses the water stress, how the tacit knowledge helps to address the water crisis through co-production for water with the help of local communities. Dwelling upon the use of ISO/BIS indicators to apply the possibility of using the tacit knowledge to address the sustainability and resilience issues of water in Jodhpur, it shows whether ISO/BIS can help in addressing water resilience.  Using visual data survey as well as primary and secondary data gathered in the city of Jodhpur, the paper comes out with a way and means of co-production of water for sustainability and resilience. It suggests eco-restoration of traditional water system, built-heritage of water system, etc in addition to ways and means of addressing SDG 6.1, 6.4, 6.5, 6.6, 6a and 6b.

Keywords: Water Stress; Tacit Knowledge; Co-production; Water Resilience; ISO/BIS Standards; water governance; SDG 6


2) Socio-Ecological Resilience of Peri-Urban Coastal Areas. Climate Change and its impact on Urban Peripheries of Mumbai

Sandeep Balagangadharan Menon1 ,  Javier Martinez2, Funda Atun Girgin2

1USM’s Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture and Environmental Studies, Mumbai, India;

2ITC | Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands



This study provides new insights on the ground realities of the peri-urban coastal settlements and integrates them within the academic course developments for higher education in India.  Coastal areas face multiple risks related to the climate change crisis and allied bio-geo-climatic variabilities, affecting a large population. The vulnerability of coastal areas to climate change is an issue that has gained attention globally. Peri-urban areas in the global South have peculiarities and challenges that need to be addressed while dealing with issues of ensuring resilience. The peri-urban communities depend on the environmental resources for their sustenance which are undergoing rapid transformations in the recent spate of urban sprawl. Through a case study approach and a detailed community survey, the study approaches the socio-ecological resilience of three peri-urban waterfront communities- each with a distinct relation with the water’s edge and their vulnerable habitats north of the city Mumbai, along the River Ulhas. The study highlights the importance of expanding the understanding of socio-ecological resilience to include ‘everyday resilience’ to address the vulnerabilities faced by the coastal peri-urban communities. The study also highlights the consequences of rampant disregard for the environment in the newer developments in the peri-urban areas of the global South cities.

Keywords: Socio-ecological Resilience, Peri-urban communities, Climate Change


3) Low-income residents' strategies to cope with urban heat - Findings from India and Austria

Tania Berger1, Faiz Ahmed Chundeli2, Rama Umesh Pandey3, Minakshi Jain2, Ayon Kumar Tarfdar2, Adinarayanane Ramamurthy

1Building & Environment, Danube University, Krems, Austria

2School of Planning and Architecture Vijayawada, India

3School of Planning and Architecture Bhopal, India



Rising temperatures due to climate change and urban heat island effects lead to heat stress and need remedial actions at all city planning scales. The design of built spaces strongly influences residents' exposure to heat risks. However, practices that increase communities' resilience to heat are not yet influencing decision-making in urban planning. In this study, qualitative and semi-structured interviews were conducted in low-income households in three different cities in India and Austria to understand residents' strategies for coping with excess summer heat in their homes. Although significant differences are discernible between India and Austria, low-income households in both continents lack agency over their housing situation and have little means to adapt it to heat. This lack strongly influences how they can handle the heat. Lack of resources forces them to accept unfavorable thermal conditions and keeps them from affording any but the most basic remedies. While buildings constitute the single most important and effective means of protection against heat stress for most interviewees in India, design restrictions and the appliance of cheap building materials limit this protection's effectiveness, especially during evening and night times.

Keywords: Urban heat, climate change, coping strategies, low-income residents, India, Austria, building design, plot layout


4) Green and Blue Infrastructure (GBI) for Climate Responsive Planning- A Case of Navi Mumbai City, India

Anusha Roy1, Adinarayanane Ramamurthy2, Faiz Ahmed Chundeli2

1 Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India

2School of Planning and Architecture Vijayawada, India



The local climate of the region is influenced by various control parameters that decide the functions of the sub-system of the environment. In this research, climate dynamics at the grassroots level i.e, the lowermost planning unit of Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) is investigated using Urban Climate Map (UC map) developed.  UC map of the study area is generated through the weighted sum of the two climate control parameters i.e. thermal load and dynamic potentials using GIS. Based on the UC map of Navi Mumbai, strong thermal loads are detected in high built-up areas with sparse green-blue infrastructure (GBI) and vice-versa. Similarly, a strong dynamic potential or cooing factor is detected in the system that can minimize the heat ingress into the city. It is observed that the thermal load impact on the Koparkhairne node is relatively less because of strong dynamic potentials in the area. About 40% of the Koparkhairne node falls under the lowest temperature in the region. Similarly, Vashi experiences a higher thermal load with negligible dynamic potentials to counter the heat ingress. Further, the study recommends protective, defensive, offensive, and opportunistic strategies using UC maps to minimize thermal load and capitalize on the dynamic potentials prevalent in the study area for future planning and development.

Keywords: Green and blue infrastructure; Thermal load; Dynamic Potential; Urban Climatic Map; Sustainable Built Environment


5) Role of Cultural Heritage in Conservation of Natural Environment amongst the Indigenous Communities of Kullu Region, Himachal Pradesh, India

Faiz Ahmed Chundeli1, Minakshi Jain1, Adinarayanane Ramamurthy1, Inderpal Singh2

1School of Planning and Architecture Vijayawada, Survey No.4, 4, ITI Rd, Krishna Nagar, Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh 520008

2National Institute of Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh 177001



In this paper, an attempt is made to document the cultural heritage exhibited by the indigenous Pahari community of the Kullu region, Himachal Pradesh, India. This study intends to show how the local culture, customs, tradition, and religious belief demonstrate the inherent nature of community in the preservation and protection of nature. Documentation of physical, socio-cultural, and religious aspects of local communities was carried out through an ethnographic approach i.e. non-participant observation coupled with the primary investigation and unstructured interviews with the local community. In addition, mapping of one of the most prevalent indigenous styles of construction i.e. Kathkuni is carried out. The findings of the study show that the folklores associated with the Devis and Devtas are the decisive factors in safeguarding the fragile natural environment. Further, it was observed that the Kathkuni style of construction is one of the ancient techniques used by the local community. Kathkuni constructions are extremely efficient in countering extreme climatic conditions. However, the study finds that the knowledge and required skills for constructing Kathkuni systems are gradually vanishing for various reasons, including urbanization, lack of skilled labor, and inherent-intense material usage. Preservation of rich cultural heritage and unique indigenous practices may help us to develop an inclusive coping strategy for addressing climate change and other environmental issues.

Keywords: Cultural Heritage, Indigenous Knowledge, Kathkuni construction, Environment


6) Increasing Children’s Awareness of Flood Risk: Panju Island, Mumbai, India

Funda Atun-Girgin1, Javier Martinez1 and Sandeep Menon2

1 ITC | Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands

2 USM’s Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute of Architecture and Environmental Studies, Mumbai, India;



Climate adaptation challenges are most acutely felt in the most vulnerable locations like estuarine Islands and by one of the most vulnerable groups, children. In December 2019, we conducted a workshop with 40 children in the Municipal School on Panju Island to understand their awareness of flood risk. The workshop started with the theatrical representation of a flood situation with puppets. Then, the children were divided into two groups based on their age group (5 - 9 years and 10 -12 years old). The children who were in the primary school were asked to draw a disaster scene. The children in the primary and upper-primary schools were asked to draw a map of the Island. The workshop encouraged children to express themselves through the medium of drawing regarding their perceptions of flood risk. We developed an educative material for children by converting the outcome of the workshop into a board game using various drawings of children. It is going to be the first game drawn with input from children for an inhabited estuarine island which is highly prone to sea-level rise. 

Keywords: Children led disaster risk reduction, flood risk, climate change adaptation


Last modified: Friday, 21 January 2022, 4:41 PM