This research and vision exercise is based upon a collaborative methodology intended to facilitate a wide-ranging discourse, resulting in a series of multi-disciplinary solutions to restore the ecological and urban health of the Yamuna River.
Originating from the Lower Himalayas, the Yamuna River, the largest tributary of the Ganges, is a vital resource for the rapidly growing capital city of New Delhi. The Yamuna supplies the city of New Delhi with much of its drinking water, channeled from the river by a network of pipes at the Wazirabad barrage. Within the space of a few kilometers, so much untreated sewage and other toxic effluent are dumped into the Yamuna that the water is rendered “dead,” posing serious health hazards to the citizenry of New Delhi. Teeming with a rapidly increasing population and a fraying network of urban infrastructure, New Delhi has severed all spatial links to the Yamuna.
Led by professor Inaki Alday and professor Pankaj Vir Gupta, faculty at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, the multidisciplinary teams have proposed designs for the Najafgarh Drain, facilitating access to improved mobility within the city, revitalization and public access to the culturally and ecologically vital Najafgarh Drain linking to the Yamuna River, improved infrastructure, access to sustainable sources of potable water, improved air quality, and linking of archeological sites flanking the river’s western edge. The resultant design propositions propose a series of site-specific speculations, re-establishing the Yamuna River as a geographical center vital to the existence of the citizens of New Delhi.