From Storm Drain to Sidewalk

An architect and planner in India has proposed a plan to convert Delhi's storm drains into a network of walkways and passages.
August 25, 2010, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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"As far back as 700 years ago, the 18 major passageways (and their 15,000 sub-branches) provided a drainage system for excess rainwater, but unfortunately, they are now mostly filled with untreated sewage waste.

Rastogi says his Delhi Nullahs revitalization project ( will provide multiple environmental, cultural and transport benefits, breathing new life in the city of 17 million people. It would improve public health and restore ancient aquifers by installing small-scale equipment to treat Delhi's sewage at its source, relying on organic compounds like weeds and algae to clean the waste before it flows into the nullah network. It would boost activities related to everything from tourism to sports, as people explore the city's various monuments, museums, theaters and other cultural and historical assets along the River Yamuna. And finally, it would ease the city's traffic congestion by encouraging more commuters to bike and walk on paths along the waterways, which in turn, leads to increased physical activity, reduced air pollution, and other health and environmental advantages."

With more than 350 kilometers of storm drains, the proposed system could create an entirely new transportation network for the city.

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Published on Monday, August 23, 2010 in The City Fix
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