Henk Ovink visits Chennai along with Ooze to lead stakeholder partnerships

Between July 22-25, Eva and Sylvain along with Dutch Water Envoy Henk Ovink, travelled to Chennai for our project, City of 1000 Tanks as part of the Water as Leverage Programme. This time, the visit was focused entirely on stakeholder meetings and building partnerships with important dignitaries of the local government.

An official working lunch was hosted by the Principal Secretary of Municipal Administration and Water Supply and attended by the local administrators. The delegates discussed the future of the proposals developed by the team in the neighbourhoods of Mylapore, Chitra Nagar and Mambalam.

At SIPCOT, Asia's largest IT Office, the team conducted discussions of ongoing initiatives and opportunities for collaboration. Led by the Additional Secretary to the Government of Tamil Nadu Mr. Hans Raj Verma, also the Tamil Nadu head of the newly inaugurated Jal Shakti Mission in India, the team also carried out site visits to the peri-urban areas to assess the ground realities in Chennai's water scarcities.

In collaboration with the Greater Chennai Corporation, the City of 1000 Tanks team is developing our Mylapore proposal for the Green Climate Fund.

With resilient on-ground partnerships, the team is now working on prospective pilot projects in Mylapore supported by the local elected representative as a first step to proving technical as well as socio-cultural feasibility. Watch this space for more updates.

With Mylapore MLA Dr. R. Nataraj (7th from left) ©Ooze

With Mylapore MLA Dr. R. Nataraj (7th from left) ©Ooze

With Principal Secretary Mr. Phanindra Reddy (1st from right) ©Ooze

With Principal Secretary Mr. Phanindra Reddy (1st from right) ©Ooze

City of 1000 Tanks' Mylapore project published by The Lede, India

On July 15th, The Lede published an exclusive coverage of our project proposal in Mylapore as part of the City of 1000 Tanks programme in Chennai, India. The article which went into depths on the team's vision and the array of Nature Based Solutions (NBS) proposed in various parts of the historic neighbourhood also shared insights from Ooze director, Eva Pfannes about the impending water crisis and the extent of ground water extraction.

Developed by the consortium led by Ooze, the City of 1000 Tanks, under the Water as Leverage programme is an innovative and holistic urban water strategy addressing the issues of water stress in Chennai. The Mylapore proposal is further being developed for the Green Climate Fund with support from the Tamil Nadu Department of Environment and Greater Chennai Corporation.

Thanks to Sandhya Ravishankar for the article.

Read the full article here.

Resilient Chennai strategy includes contributions from City of 1000 Tanks

City of 1000 Tanks led by Ooze, through the Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities Asia, has made key contributions to the 'Resilient Chennai' strategy as part of the 100 Resilient Cities - Pioneered by the Rockefeller Foundation initiative. Released on 27 June, the strategy adopts our proposals for the neighbourhoods of Chitra Nagar, Mylapore and Mambalam. Our team is currently in conversation with the Greater Chennai Corporation and other key local stakeholders to implement our transformative urban water solutions in the city, which is currently facing its worst drought in 75 years.

WALCITYOF1000TANKSImage82copyrightOoze.jpg

Phase II regional workshop of Water as Leverage explores financing

Between 23-25 April 2019, the City of 1000 Tanks team participated in the second regional workshop in Singapore as part of the Water as Leverage programme. This time, the workshop focused on the teams’ bankable solutions and their potentials to match the financial partners’ capacities and then together, move towards the phases of feasibility and implementation. Presentations and discussions were organised with first, the Water as Leverage advisory board and second, the representatives of the different International Financing Institutions such as the World BankAsian Development Bank (ADB), Dutch Development Bank (FMO), German Development Bank (KfW) and the Green Climate Fund. The workshop enabled the participating teams from all regions (Chennai, India; Khulna, Bangladesh; Semarang, Indonesia) along with the representatives of the respective governments, to explore financing options with the International Financing Institutions.

On behalf of the Government of Tamil Nadu (India), Mr.Harmander Singh, Principal Secretary of Municipal Administration and Water Supply attended the presentation of the teams and expressed his support and the government’s buy-in for the projects developed by the City of 1000 Tanks. Mr.Ashok Natrajan, CEO, Tamil Nadu Water Investment Company, who was also present, gave key advice on the status quo of water projects in Chennai and the relevance of the City of 1000 Tanks approach.

The team is now currently in the process of developing funding proposals for the individual projects. Watch this space to stay updated.

Members of the City of 1000 Tanks team present at the workshop ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Members of the City of 1000 Tanks team present at the workshop ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Henk Ovink and team members in conversation with Mr.Alastair Morrison of the GCF ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Henk Ovink and team members in conversation with Mr.Alastair Morrison of the GCF ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Mr. Harmander Singh, Principal Secretary of MAWS at the workshop ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Mr. Harmander Singh, Principal Secretary of MAWS at the workshop ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Mr. Harmander Singh, Principal Secretary of MAWS addresses the workshop in Singapore ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Mr. Harmander Singh, Principal Secretary of MAWS addresses the workshop in Singapore ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Discussions underway at the workshop ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Discussions underway at the workshop ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Jesse Honsa from Ooze and Sudheendra NK from Madras Terrace engage in group discussions ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Jesse Honsa from Ooze and Sudheendra NK from Madras Terrace engage in group discussions ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Delegates at the second regional workshop in Singapore ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Delegates at the second regional workshop in Singapore ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Finance, a key topic of discussion at the third local workshop in Chennai

Between 6-7 March 2019, the international and local experts of the City of 1000 Tanks team came together in Chennai for the third local workshop of the Water as Leverage programme. The two day programme included interactive working groups, an engaging walk through Mylapore organised by City of 1000 Tanks and presentations with Partners for ResilienceRVO and UN-Habitat under the direction of Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs in the presence of the Marten van den Berg, the Dutch Ambassador to India.

The workshop was attended by government stakeholders like Dr. R. Nataraj, MLA Mylapore Constituency; Usha Kakarla, I.A.S., Managing Director – Tamil Nadu Urban Infrastructure Financial Services Ltd & Member-Secretary – Chennai River Restoration Trust; Dr. T. Prabhushankar, I.A.S.,Executive Director - Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board; and L. Nandakumar, Chief Engineer - Greater Chennai Corporation.

Through working sessions with representatives from WWF - World Wildlife Fund, we explored financing options for our project 'City of 1,000 Tanks'. We are now preparing for the next round of regional workshops in Singapore between 24-26 April 2019, where we will meet with Multilateral Development Banks to discuss prospects of financing for our projects.

Eva Pfannes from Ooze architects presents at the third local workshop in Chennai ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Eva Pfannes from Ooze architects presents at the third local workshop in Chennai ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

(from left) MLA Mylapore Dr. R. Nataraj, Eva Pfannes from Ooze Architects, Sudheendra N.K. from Madras Terrace and Prof. Balaji Narasimhan from IIT Madras in conversation during the third local workshop in Chennai ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

(from left) MLA Mylapore Dr. R. Nataraj, Eva Pfannes from Ooze Architects, Sudheendra N.K. from Madras Terrace and Prof. Balaji Narasimhan from IIT Madras in conversation during the third local workshop in Chennai ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Delegates representing the Local Legislative Assembly, Greater Chennai Corporation, Chennai River Restoration Trust, Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board with the Dutch Ambassador to India, Dutch Special Envoy, Chief Resilience Officer of Chennai and members of the two teams in Chennai ©Rvo/WaL

Delegates representing the Local Legislative Assembly, Greater Chennai Corporation, Chennai River Restoration Trust, Chennai Metro Water Supply and Sewerage Board with the Dutch Ambassador to India, Dutch Special Envoy, Chief Resilience Officer of Chennai and members of the two teams in Chennai ©Rvo/WaL

Delegates at the third local workshop in Chennai ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Delegates at the third local workshop in Chennai ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Day one of the local workshop ends with the Mylapore Trail walking tour!

“From religious to cultural diversity and the spirit of secularism, Mylapore is the true embodiment of what Chennai has to offer” - Shilesh Hariharan from Madras Terrace

On March 6th, the whole team of City of 1000 Tanks with our local and international experts attended the third local workshop of the Water as Leverage programme. As part of this workshop, our team organised a guided walk of the ‘Mylapore Trail’, one of the proposed projects in Mylapore as part of the 'City of 1,000 Tanks' strategy. On this evening of engagement with the local context, the participants from Partners for ResilienceUN-Habitat and the two design teams, City of 1000 Tanks and Rise Chennai interacted with the members of the Mylapore Resident Welfare Association and experienced the historic tanks, potential areas for nature based solutions, ongoing rainwater harvesting initiatives and the bustling life and culture in Mylapore.

Recharge wells at the P.S. Senior Secondary School, Mylapore ©Ooze

Recharge wells at the P.S. Senior Secondary School, Mylapore ©Ooze

The participants engaging in conversation on the Mylapore Tank ©Ooze

The participants engaging in conversation on the Mylapore Tank ©Ooze

Participants at the P.S. Senior Secondary School, Mylapore ©Ooze

Participants at the P.S. Senior Secondary School, Mylapore ©Ooze

Glimpses of the walk through the Chitra Kulam Tank area in Mylapore ©Ooze

Glimpses of the walk through the Chitra Kulam Tank area in Mylapore ©Ooze

Public engagement workshop follows trail for City of 1,000 Tanks

The whole team of the City of 1,000 Tanks with local and international experts united again in Chennai last week for the third round of Water as Leverage design workshops. As well as meetings with key institutional stakeholders, we also organised an engagement workshop in the form of a public walk to interact with the local members of the community and the vibrant Mylapore locality. The walk followed a historic trail, connecting sites related to water and locations where implementation of the City of 1,000 Tanks project will happen. Stay tuned to learn more about our visit.

The Mylapore Walk ©Ooze

The Mylapore Walk ©Ooze

City of 1000 Tanks collaborates with Madras Inherited for a Heritage Walk in Mylapore

On 13 January 2019, the team of City of 1000 Tanks presented our proposal of the ‘Mylapore Trail’ to the participants on the heritage walk organised by Madras Inherited, a local initiative for heritage management and conservation in Chennai. The proposal sparked valuable discussions about the future of Mylapore and the residents were excited by the innovative green-blue strategies proposed by the City of 1000 Tanks. Our team through diverse methods of community engagement which it upholds as its core value, has paved the way for dialogues on transformative urban projects in the city of Chennai.

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

Mylapore Trail displayed at the Annual Mylapore Festival 2019

Between 10-13 January 2019, the team of City of 1000 Tanks exhibited their proposal, ‘Mylapore Trail’ to the members of the community as part of the Mylapore Festival. Displayed on South Mada street, the exhibit attracted interest and curiosity from the members of the local residents and important decision makers in the neighbourhood. During the Margazhi season, the entire neighbourhood of Mylapore is decorated with Kolams, traditional drawings on the floor with rice flour and the Mada Veedhis (streets around the Kapaleeshwarar Temple) are brimming with cultural performances, activities and heritage walks. Team City of 1000 Tanks was excited to be part of this historic festival!

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

©Madras Terrace

Green light for 'City of 1,000 Tanks' at the Water as Leverage regional workshop in Singapore

As part of the Water as Leverage programme, the team travelled to Singapore for the first regional workshop on 6-7 December 2018. This workshop enabled participating teams from all regions (Chennai, India; Khulna, Bangladesh; Semarang, Indonesia) to present their conceptual designs to the Water as Leverage advisory board (among which 100 Resilient Cities and Architecture Workroom Brussels) and potential financial partners, including the World BankAsian Development Bank (ADB), Dutch Development Bank (FMO), and the Green Climate Fund.

We're pleased to share that the advisory board has given the green light for our project, 'City of 1,000 Tanks', to proceed to the next phase, where their feedback, as well as input from the financial institutions, will be incorporated in to the further development and refinement of the designs.

Eva Pfannes from Ooze and Shilesh Hariharan from Madras Terrace present at the first regional workshop in Singapore ©RVO/WaL

Eva Pfannes from Ooze and Shilesh Hariharan from Madras Terrace present at the first regional workshop in Singapore ©RVO/WaL

Teams from Chennai, Khulna and Semarang gather in Singapore for the regional workshop ©RVO/WaL

Teams from Chennai, Khulna and Semarang gather in Singapore for the regional workshop ©RVO/WaL

Delegates at the first regional workshop in Singapore ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Delegates at the first regional workshop in Singapore ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

'Money on the table' at Second Local Workshop of Water as Leverage in Chennai

Between 25-27 November 2018, the Ooze team joined their partners in India for the second local workshop of the Water as Leverage programme. The three day programme included site visits with Partners for ResilienceRVO and UN-Habitat, as well as interactive working groups and presentations under the direction of Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs.

The workshop in particular provided a platform to test conceptual designs for our project 'City of 1,000 Tanks' with stakeholders and decision makers engaged in water issues in Chennai, including local government, academics, NGOs and community representatives.

We developed an interactive game to ‘put money on the table’, which was a huge success in prompting discussion among participants about the feasibility and bankability of each of the 5 designs – Mylapore, Chitra Nagar, Mambalam and Koyambedu, and a regional urban plan. From this we gained valuable input to further our designs as well as identifying the enabling environment required to get projects off the ground.

Nilofer Tajuddin from Ooze leads one of the workshops to present proposals for 4 sites across Chennai, and a regional strategy ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Nilofer Tajuddin from Ooze leads one of the workshops to present proposals for 4 sites across Chennai, and a regional strategy ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Coloured coins enabled different stakeholders to express their preference for projects ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Coloured coins enabled different stakeholders to express their preference for projects ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Delegates at the second local workshop in Chennai ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Delegates at the second local workshop in Chennai ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Eva Pfannes, Hans Gehrels, Henk Ovink and Jayshree Vencatesan in conversation with the Greater Chennai Corporation, Deputy Commission (Works) M.Govinda Rao, I.A.S ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Eva Pfannes, Hans Gehrels, Henk Ovink and Jayshree Vencatesan in conversation with the Greater Chennai Corporation, Deputy Commission (Works) M.Govinda Rao, I.A.S ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

City of 1000 Tanks panel discussion moderated by Rogier van der Berg ©RVO/WaL

City of 1000 Tanks panel discussion moderated by Rogier van der Berg ©RVO/WaL

Field visit in Chitra Nagar, one of the proposed project locations of the City of 1000 Tanks ©Ooze

Field visit in Chitra Nagar, one of the proposed project locations of the City of 1000 Tanks ©Ooze

Exciting first Local Workshop of Water as Leverage in Chennai

Between 6-7 September 2018, the Ooze team joined their partners in India for the first local workshop of the Water as Leverage programme. The two day programme included site visits with Partners for ResilienceRVO and UN-Habitat, as well as interactive working groups and presentations under the direction of Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs.

The workshop in particular provided a platform to present the visions of our project 'City of 1,000 Tanks' with stakeholders and decision makers engaged in water issues in Chennai, including local government, academics, NGOs and community representatives. This workshop is the first of many such local workshops that are designed to enable the team to further our transformative proposals for Chennai.

Delegates at the first local workshop in Chennai ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage

Delegates at the first local workshop in Chennai ©CynthiavanElk/WaterasLeverage