Kolkata: The IIT Kharagpur has joined hand with three Ivy League universities of the United State for water urbanism project at Varanasi. Water urbanism is a geo-hydrological exploratory study of Varanasi, where river Ganga is integrated with the past and present of the ancient city and key to the growth of the city over the ages. The Water urbanism project is part of the multi-focal point of research under the Science and Heritage Initiative (SandHI) spearheaded by IIT Kharagpur.
To conduct the water urbanism exploratory study from January 5, a 50-member team of students, research scholars and academicians from three Ivy League US universities are collaborating with IIT Kharagpur.
The three Ivy League varsities are Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of Columbia University led by Professor Kate Orff and Professor Geeta Mehta, University of Pennsylvania led by Professor Dilip DaCunha and Harvard University led by Professor Julia Watson.
Water urbanism enables inter-disciplinary study of infrastructure, healthcare and hydrology of a region. Through it integrated urban planning and system can be designed in sync with the natural environment of the region instead of isolated urban developments, Professor Bhargab Maitra, Head, Ranbir and Chitra Gupta School of Infrastructure Design and Management, IIT Kharagpur said.
Professor Joy Sen, Head, Department of Architecture and Regional Planning at IIT Kharagpur, said the exploration work will be conducted from January 5-14.
IIT BHU and BHU, Varanasi are part of the water urbanism project as well. Director IIT BHU Professor Rajeev Sangal and Director IIT Kharagpur Professor Pratim Chakrabarti are the two key advisers of the project.
A frontline team of the British Geological Survey (BGS) are also expected to join with Dr Martin Smith of BGS and Professor Abhijeet Mukherjee of IIT Kharagpur providing the geo hydrological insights to the exploration.
The Water Urbanism Project : Varanasi 2018 will open up new frontiers and explore potential of Varanasi, which the UNESCO has identified as ‘the World Heritage City of Deep Culture and Music, Professor Sen said.
A similar field exploration and development plan in water urbanism had previously been conducted in Kolkata.