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new water sensitive capital city: amaravati, india

REALMstudios are collaborating with Alluvium Consulting, Terracon and the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities in the development of integrated best practice water management strategies for a new state capital city called Amaravati in central eastern India.

Our role is to integrate best practice Water Sensitive Urban Design systems and strategies into the master plan from city-scale canal and drainage systems to streetscapes and individual lot/building scale strategies.

With a site that must be seen to be believed - located in a flood plain, set lower than the adjacent Krishna River - the new city must work hard to mitigate the threat of flooding. Construction of the ruthless grid-form trunk infrastructure and roads is well underway.

As a capital and entirely new city the objective of Amaravati is to be the cleanest city in India. The same or better water quality will return to the Krishna River making the city a global exemplar. Multiple tools are employed at various scales to address water quality - which is the main focus of the project. This is set against a backdrop of highly eutrophic and degraded waterways across India - no mean feat!

The goals focus on delivering multiple benefits including strengthening green infrastructure to mitigate urban heat and improve amenity and health of residents through cleaner water.

Two central canals, known as 'Vagus,' drain much of the city and are reconsidered as bio-filters and blue/green infrastructure. We want the Vagu waterways to be healthy ecological systems and places of daily recreation - a place the people of Amaravati will be proud of. Treated waste water is directed into large wetland systems prior to entering the Vagus.

Working with Foster + Partners and STX we have also provided advice for the Amaravati Government Complex - a 5km long urban spine central to the city that features a major central park, water canal and ceremonial Assembly building. Treated water from the adjacent urban run-off provides monsoon season flows into the central water canal which is recirculated through wetland systems. It is then topped up from the Krishna River as required. Clean water at the end of the system will be suitable for use in the massive Assembly building reflection pond.

A number of trips and presentations to the client group in Vijayawada are amazing cultural experiences where we learn intensively about the complexity and vision of this huge project as well as enjoying the buzz of local culture. Our innovative Australian expertise has been well-received, and we now look forward to the adoption of ideas and ongoing involvement with this amazing project.


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