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Rejuvenation of Cooum River Bank, Chennai with a proposal of Tiny forests

Abinaya.G, Divya Kamatchi.S & Haridharani.J.B

Chennai, formerly Madras, city, capital of Tamil Nadu state, southern India, located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. The natural ecosystem of Chennai comprises three rivers, five wetlands and six forest areas. The three rivers of Chennai are Kosathalaiyar, Cooum and Adyar. And then there is the Buckingham Canal, which though manmade, plays an equally important role in the water map of the city.

Cooum River
Once known as ‘Thames of South India’, the highly polluted and toxic Cooum river flows through several areas of the Chennai city. The narrow, slow and meandering 65 km long Cooum river, once a freshwater source, originates in a village of the same name in neighboring Tiruvalluvar district and ends in the city. It almost bisects the city. At present the river faces a number of problems like excessive use of water for irrigation upstream, inadequate sewage collection, industrial pollution, encroachments along the banks and closure of the river mouth due to littoral drift.

Location : India , Tamilnadu , Cooum river co- ordinates: 13 deg 4’40.83 N 80 deg 12’ 0.96 E Site Area : 11.4 Acres ( 1.9 km corridor )

Design Approach
Creating Forest patches along with scrubs jungles along the river basin The site area ( River basin ) is separated as zones. Zone A - Undisturbed zone Flood way and Flood way fringe area as a riparian zone planned with Dewats ( decentralized Wastewater treatment system ) , PGF ( Planted gravel filters ) and the scrub jungles ( plants suitable for river basins ) Zone B - Managed zone Creating Forest Patches that are native to the locality and also helps in achieving Carbon sequestration . These forest patches will enhance the ecological benefit and the bio diversity of the space. Creating passive recreation spaces between the forest patches. Zone c - Active recreation zone Creating Jogging and cycling tracks to connect people with the nature. Creating a upland ecosystem with trees where people can experience while the forest patches are undisturbed.

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