Reimagining Chennai’s Buckingham Canal

Eyes on the Canal – Open Ideas Competition 



Chennai, Tamil Nadu



GIZ India



Urban Design Ideas

Water has a dynamic relationship with Social, economic, political and environmental risks. This proposal understands these complexities and challenges to work towards a Sustainable and Integrated solution. Through an integrated and inclusive approach it strives towards a long term resilient solution.
It perceives the canal as a unifying element to tackle with multiple risks and issues
and creates a synergy between local and central systems.
Interdependency of centralised and decentralised approach: This proposal acknowledges the risks involved in a Top-Down approach or only a Bottom-Up Approach and proposes a collaborative approach wherein the local systems work in collaboration with centralized systems, resulting in resilient and robust solutions. These localized systems are contextual and sensitive to the ground realities. It builds on the community strength and engagement. Use of various ‘hard’ and soft Interventions at various scales to create comprehensive solutions.
The proposal projects the canal as a multifunctional infrastructure that positively impacts the ecology, local economy, and social equations along the length of the canal.
Through decentralized solutions for waste management and sewage treatment it addresses the issue of pollution. It engages the community as not just the user but also as a custodian. It focuses on improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable social groups such as children, women and senior citizens. With the help of smart infrastructure and data monitoring it attempts to prepare the communities for a potential natural disaster. Through placemaking, it tries to transform locally undesirable land into a valuable community asset. The social infrastructure helps create connected communities that benefit from various activities and tasks. The proposal also works to create a Micro-economy that benefits the vulnerable community.

http://Eyes on the Canal

Related Publications :

StudioPOD, 2019, Eyes on the Canal: The Canal Collaborative’, LA Journal of Landscape Architecture, vol. 58-2019, pp. 51-57

StudioPOD, 2019. Retrieved from

Collaborative Approach

Opportunity Areas

An Inclusive Public Place