Open Ideas Competition

Potential climate/ disaster impacts addressed by approach & Justification for approach:

Heat waves, flooding, and water-borne diseases are a core problem of the people living close to the polluted water bodies of the Buckingham Canal in Chennai. The surrounding areas are mainly inhabited by poor, marginalized people, which do not possess the capacities and the lobby to change the situation. The waterbodies are used as a dump site for wastewater and rubbish. The municipal government did not see the rehabilitation of waterbodies as essential and did not know how to design the conversion process. Bottom-up participatory processes especially in the urban context are still new in India.

Process of Implementation:

The Open Ideas competition was structured in four phases: (1) The preparation of the call of proposals, (2) the development of proposals/ ideas of measures based on the call, (3) the selection process, and (4) further development of the proposals. The preparation involved various activities such as awareness walks and community engagement meetings based on which the call was developed. In the implementation phase, ideas were developed by multidisciplinary teams that considered climate adaptation measures, followed an integrated, holistic approach, involved participation of all stakeholders, and promoted the canal and its potential for sustainable and integrated urban development. The selection was undertaken by a multi-disciplinary jury composed of national and international experts and based on pre-established criteria. Further awareness raising was undertaken through public exhibitions which displayed the shortlisted competition entries in various public places within the city. The prioritized three best proposals were further developed as details project proposals and presented to the municipality as well as in different international fora.

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