Kochi City In Works To Become Keralas First Ever Sponge City To Tackle Flood-Situations

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The Logical Indian Crew

Kochi City In Works To Become Kerala's First Ever 'Sponge City' To Tackle Flood-Situations

The Development authorities are exploring options to incorporate urban development models to avoid flood and sea invasion situations in Kochi city. Currently, they are looking into the "sponge city" model, first-of-its-kind in the state.

A growing number of urban areas have been experiencing devastating floods, with the existing drainage systems not being sufficient to manage the long and unusual rain spells brought in by climate change. Several urban development architects had then pitched in a "sponge city" model that combines the natural flood management system with that of the urban models.

Taking inspiration from this global model, Kochi is now planning to transform itself into a sponge city that would effectively tackle flood situations. The idea was proposed during a discussion on the "Future of Kochi", attended by Lokanath Behera, managing director of Kochi Metro Rail Ltd, Raghuraman, secretary of the Goshree Islands Development Authority, Dr Rajan C of the Centre for Heritage Environment and Development, officials from the development authorities, and so on.

Towards Sustainable Urbanisation

The Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) is looking into options to transform Kochi into a "sponge city" to tackle the growing concern of floods and sea invasions caused by increased urbanisation, climate change, and so on.

Kochi is among those cities in Kerala that are constantly put at risk of flood with the rising sea levels. Commenting on this, the GCDA senior town planner M M Sheeba said, "According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, the sea level in Kochi will rise by 11cm by 2030 and 23cm by 2050".

Speaking during a discussion at the National Urban Conclave-Bodhi 2022, she noted how the future of the city lies in such urban development projects. By adopting these measures, Kochi will potentially become the first city in Kerala to have implemented the sponge-city idea, according to an article by the New Indian Express.

As per the plan, the GCDA aims to preserve the central business district (CBD) of Kochi as a parent city and extend the developmental project to outer regions like Keezhmadu, Puthencruz and Mulanthuruthy. These are among the towns that require the cushion from threats of flooding.

What Is The Sponge City Model?

Sponge city is a model that strengthens the ecological infrastructure and drain networks to blend with the urban area model and provide a proper flood management system. It explores the potential of urban areas with abundant natural areas such as trees, lakes and parks that can absorb rainwater and prevent flooding.

It is a nature-based solution that has efficiently tackled the climate shocks in large cities such as Shanghai, New York and Cardiff earlier. Through developed river drainage, plant-edged sidewalks, and inner-city gardens, they build a sponge around the city that absorbs the excess water that could flood the lands.

Read Also: Kochi Metro Rail To Adopt 'Circular Economy' Methods For Sustainable Development

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Writer : Laxmi Mohan Kumar
Editor : Snehadri Sarkar
Creatives : Laxmi Mohan Kumar

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