Riverfront Development – An Effort to make it a Socio-Interactive Space

Ashish Kapoor

Abstract

A waterfront of any city is a major avenue for recreation opportunities and open green spaces within city development from an urban perspective. The urban waterfronts in the form of riverfront development, canals / lake front development or even seafront development have been long neglected. These urban forms have undergone a dramatic metamorphosis and cities are turning to the development of their rivers and lakes. To improve the quality of the city‟s urban life and enhance cultural growth; Lakefronts, beaches and riverside promenades are being developed with a view that such planned spaces would attract investment, tourism, employment and add to the economic growth of the city

The smart city planning for Shivamogga is to create a “GLOBAL ECO TOURIST DESTINATION” under the guiding principle of “GREEN URBANISM” leveraging in such a way that it opens new opportunities for socio-economic expansion. The city‟s vision is as stated below:

“Transforming Shivamogga, a City of Lakes, Tradition and Heritage into a leading destination for Smart, Connected and Eco Friendly communities focused on Education, Research, Entrepreneurship and Tourism”.

The background of the city:

Shivamogga is located on the banks of the Tunga River. The city is popularly nicknamed as “Gateway of Malnad” as it lies at the entrance of the hilly region of the Western Ghats. Shivamogga has an area of 70.01sq km (35 wards) with a population of 3.5 lakhs. Topography of Shivamogga being part of hills of Western Ghats which is famous for plentiful rainfall and lush greenery plays an important role in the settlement pattern. Strong connectivity to neighbouring districts and also to state capital has enhanced the growth of Shivamogga urban areas.

Tunga River originates in the Western Ghats from a hill known as Varaha Parvata at a place called Gangamoola. Approximately 8.5 KM 1 of River Banks lies in the ABD Area for River front Development under Shivamogga Smart City and is identified for development with heritage walks, community activities such as parks, walkways, sports and water sports areas along with the visual improvement of river banks.

Existing Situation of the site of River North Bank

Re-defining urban aesthetics in the development:

Exhibit the River’s History

  • History has always played a role in the development of any place
  • It helps in giving a unique identity to the place
  • The development can be utilized to educate people about the place.

Create an active space along the Riverfront

  • Fitness and Recreation
  • Tap into tourism potential to improve the economic wealth of the city.

Public Accessibility

  • Obstacles to be curtailed and connect to the river
  • Accessible waterfronts
  • Provide cycle trails and walkways
  • Secured multiple entrance plazas to have an effective riverfront with dynamic uses.

Community Participation

  • Ensure participation in early stages of planning the development

Preservation of activities

  • Preserve existing activities like boating, fishing, temples, markets, etc. along the river
  • New Development should not intrude the prevailing activities.

Stabilization of Bank

  • Selection of high quality architectural and sustainable materials, strategic heights, native plants for landscaping and buildings within the development framework.
  • Use of sustainable engineering practices to enhance the flora and fauna
  • The approachability factors to the river along with bank stabilization methods.

Redesign and Rejuvenation of the river/riverfront

Define

The riverfront is defined by adding cultural and recreational activities along the entire stretch. Development of the riverfront precinct will give it an identity making it a landmark within the city.

Activate

Various activities have been added along the riverfront making it a vibrant public & cultural place. Active public spaces will make the area safe. The recreation, activity & commercial areas will also help generate revenue.

Integrate

Integrating the riverbank with promenade development, landscape & activity spaces. Continuous promenade & cycle track play an important role in linking the different types of spaces along riverfront.

Conserve

Developing knowledge & awareness centre, bio diversity centre and conservation design initiatives will aid in overall sustainable development and improve the ecology of the region.

Challenges faced:

  • Discharge of sewage and solid waste.
  • Water pollution and environmental damage to the River ecosystem.
  • Recycling waste water and reuse of treated waste water to landscape the river front development & River rejuvenation.

TCE’s role and scope in re-creating the riverfront

TCE‟s scope in this project is to provide complete support from the concept stage, detailed design stage, preparation of tender documents and BOQ (item-rate contract) and support during construction activities until handover to the Shimoga Smart City Limited.

Heritage

Shivamogga city is rich in heritage. Architectural elements designed on the riverfront represent the architecture of the place.

Following are the objectives to be achieved by developing Tunga Riverfront:

  • Improved Riverside infrastructure and healthy environment to the nearby community.
  • Create beautiful landscape, parks, sports and recreational facilities within the area
  • Generate public pressure through improved River side development to vacate the encroached area from slum dwellers.
  • Various activities like, yoga center, kid park, open gym, library and sitting spaces for senior citizens, jogging, cycle track can be planned under the development with proper and efficient safety, security, lighting, basic infra services and facilities.
  • Projects such as Bio-Diversity Themed Park, Water Sports, Audio Visual Show & Amphitheatre, Heritage Walk, Landscape Park, Zip line, Rope Way, Tourist Plaza & Information Centre etc. can be explored through various activities to take care of the O&M expenses.

The design theme of the Tunga Riverfront Development Project is to create a „Safer, Cleaner, Sustainable, diverse and integrated‟ riverfront for Shivamogga. The Riverfront Development Project is envisioned to renew and rejuvenate Tunga Riverfront by creating an active and public riverfront with improved physical and social infrastructure through overall experience and recreational activities that will transform the heart of the city while still preserving the natural environment of the river. The Riverfront will also be filled with cultural and recreational activities celebrating the rich culture and heritage of Malnad region.

Reference: 1 : http://www.indiasmartcities.com/states/karnataka/shivamogga.html

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