Water as Leverage for Resilient Cities: Asia is an initiative of the Dutch Special Envoy for International Water Affairs, Henk Ovink and the Dutch Government (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Netherlands Enterprise agency RVO.nl) in partnership with the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank(AIIB), the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR), Architecture Workroom Brussels (AWB), the Global Center of Excellence on Climate Adaptation (GCECA), and 100 Resilient Cities(100RC), supported by the Dutch Development Bank (FMO) and endorsed by the UN/World Bank High Level Panel on Water. Six international teams of water and climate experts, engineers, scientists, architects and urban planners have been selected to develop groundbreaking, innovative approaches to tackle the immense climate and water challenges in three cities in Asia: Semarang (Indonesia), Khulna (Bangladesh) and Chennai (India).

The project City of 1000 Tanks, led by Ooze Architects, is one of 2 teams commissioned to develop transformative urban solutions for the city of Chennai under the WaL Asia programme.

Starting in September 2018, the City of 1,000 Tanks team has participated in three workshops in Chennai as part of the WaL initiative that brought together experts, government officials, vulnerable communities and other stakeholders to collectively devise solutions. Through various other meetings, presentations and events, the project has gained support from a wide array of public and private stakeholders. The team also participated in two WaL workshops in Singapore with representatives of several International Financial Institutions such as Green Climate Funds (GCF), the World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the German Development Bank (KfW). This innovative process, bringing potential financiers onboard in the gestation period of the project, has been a crucial way to ensure the long-term bankability of the project.