Event — River Cities Network Presentation Series

Riverse & Water Environs

The fourth River Cities Network (RCN) online presentation! Our RCN colleagues from Mumbai will present their initiative named 'Riverse'.

This meeting will take place on Thursday 14 December 2023, 13:00 CEST.
You are welcome to join this online meeting. Find the Zoom link here.

Project Summary

Riverse is a journey initiated in 2010 by a group of three urban professionals called Water Environs. The team's working principles were:

1. The awareness and meaningful understanding of the word 'Nullah'
2. Turning back yards into front yards

The disconnect and disassociation were very evident and hence mobilizing people was one of the initial steps undertaken by joining the people's movement called 'River March'. Various clean-up drives and neighbourhood awareness campaigns were conducted within the neighbourhood. The activism was necessary because the team believed that dialogue with the administrative bodies was also essential to create the change. Local representatives too joined hands and created roadways to get the officials on board to discuss the issue of the rivers of Mumbai. On 29 Jan, 2016 a workshop was conducted with all the stakeholders of Dahisar River at MNP, Mumbai. The event acted as a turning point for the project, it got the local voices and administrative officials on the same platform. The dialogue was initiated and the struggle began. Citizen's numbers did catch the eye of the government officials, who started moving their machinery to develop a beautification project for the rivers of Mumbai. The proposals had several ground issues and a lack of a sensitive approach. The premise of the project was based on an engineering outlook rather than identifying the river as a living entity and then trying to address the ground issues which intensified with time and negligence. Reversing this equation was very important and that is where the transformative change-making (TCM) method was our tool to create hope of possibility and reinstate the dialogue with the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), the governing body in action. It allowed the team to step back, take an overview of the work and spend some time identifying the allies and their role in the entire game plan. It helped us evolve strong narratives which in turn directed our action plan. Currently, we are in the process of addressing the ground issues by initiating discussions with the governing bodies at various levels. Trying to create a small venture by providing guidelines on creating the project mandate, articulating the team by specifying the kind of experts required on board and so on. How much of it is adopted might be questioned at this moment, however, the team believed that the exchange of ideas across the table and being heard was one of the larger leaps into the system. To create an impact one will have to work with the system and Riverse, which is a small step towards it.

River Cities Network presentation series

The River Cities Network presentation series is an online platform for teams in the River Cities Network (RCN) to introduce their river-city case study projects to other members of the network and to an external audience. Teams have approximately 30 minutes to present their projects, after which there will be approximately 30 minutes for discussion. RCN teams that are interested to present can contact the RCN coordinators to sign up for a presentation slot.

The Presenters

Ajay Nayak

CEO EdEn- Educated Environments and founding member of Water Environs, is an architect working with communities on sensitive approaches to local ecologies and resilience. He had been the editor of a popular architectural journal and is a sustainability activation strategist for community-based approaches to environmental issues. 

Kimaya Keluskar

Assistant Professor, KRVIA, and Sustainability & Energy Analyst at EdEn – Educated Environments, working on implementing a Holistic Sustainability Initiative (HSI) approach and energy-efficient building systems. She is a founding member of “Water Environs, - a social-purpose professional services enterprise for rivers and water environment conservation. 

Vikram Pawar

Professor, KRVIA; Director, SAHEC; is a Mumbai-based practising Urban Conservation Architect. Together with Ajay and Kimaya and through Water Environs, a social purpose professional service enterprise, he is actively involved in ‘RiVERse’- a project about reconnecting people with their water bodies.

Date + time

Thu, 14 December 2023, 1pm CET