Investigating Urban Post-Industrial Landscapes in India: A Case of Kollam, Kerala

  • YEAR
    Sarasram, Ar. Sindhuja
    Haneefa, Ar. Hind
    Nair, Ar. Janaki S.
    Riannan, Ar. Mary
    Suresh, Malavika
    Raje, Ar. Richa
    Tiwari, Dr. Sonal
    2022 Conference Papers
    Conference Papers


In India, Industrialization had its beginnings in its colonial history. Several industrial campuses were established in coastal, or riverine belts due to the presence of water as a resource, and for ease of transportation. Such industrial centres as anchor points have witnessed the growth of these urban cores in the decades since, affecting riparian health in proportion to development. The city of Kollam, Kerala is one such example, where a cotton mill established in pre-independent India has been sited neighbouring a sensitive mangrove ecosystem along the Ashtamudi estuary that has been declared a Ramsar wetland. The campus is now non-functional and under neglect since 2008, due to various issues centred around outdated machinery. In this study, effects of industrialization and urbanization in transforming the estuary and mangrove ecosystem of the wetlands were assessed. Data collection was carried out in terms of traverse survey, visual-spatial mapping, quadrat analysis of vegetation. Physiological maps were made to understand natural topography of the area through on-site observations and validated with the help of GIS applications. The results indicated depletion of the mangrove vegetation, consequent decrease in local biodiversity, and disconnect between locals and the water edge. Landscape architects, designers and planners have a role in providing solutions that mitigate urban issues with sensitivity. In Kollam, adaptive re-use of the industrial campus for recreation, symbolizing the dependant livelihood on water and its supporting biodiversity, and promotion of sensitive eco-tourism to re-establishing the connectivity between humans and water were arrived at as primary landscape development strategies.

Keywords: Post-industrial-landscape; urbanization; estuarine-ecosystem; adaptive-reuse.


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