Mumbai has been suffering for years from severe monsoon floods, drinking water depletion, and sea level rise. The latest predictions from the IPCC AR-6 report predicts strong implications of climatic impacts on 22 cities in India, including Mumbai which are susceptible to coastal and flooding hazards due to climate change. There is a serious need for an environmental protection study with specific focus on the coastal resiliency of Mumbai city and suburbs. The BMC sees this need and is working towards making historic data on climate assessment of the city to researchers for further examination of the climate impact. The University of Notre Dame today signed an MoU to receive relevant datasets that will be a useful first step in future studies to help Mumbai create better predictability of the impact on the city from climate hazards.
As the metropolitan area grows, it plays a vital role in the city’s future development, its suburbs, and surrounding rural areas. The existing first estimate studies made by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) indicates increased sea levels by 2100 up to 0.58m on the coast of Mumbai. UND intends to collate data for further studies on climate resiliency for the city of Mumbai with specific reference to stormwater drain network and infrastructure development.
On this project, Harshita Narwekar comments, “Global warming has triggered numerous catastrophic natural disasters in recent times, making it critical for us to redirect our attention towards developing innovative solutions,” says Harshita Narwekar, thought leader and advocate for climate action. “The rising sea levels in Mumbai are a serious concern, and this project serves as a vital preemptive measure to mitigate its impact. I am deeply appreciative of Dr. Krupali’s efforts to uncover the root causes and gaps in our understanding, and believe that this research will provide invaluable insights for tackling the complex challenges posed by climate change.”
Harshita Narwekar has been the driving force behind this project and has ensured a swift turnaround and successful execution of the initiative.
“We are ready to harness the technical expertise necessary to create a comprehensive response to climate issues,” said Dr. Krupali Krusche, scientist and principal investigator of the initiative and associate professor at the Notre Dame School of Architecture. “With this critical data, and in partnership with Indian research organizations, we can solidify a plan and then execute it,” said Dhiraj Mehra, Director for Initiatives at the Mumbai Global Center for Notre Dame International.
A team of global experts are forming a consortium called Development and Advancement of Resilient Cities Alliance (DVARCA) that works on tackling issues related to climate change, with a focus on sea level rise and the heat island effect, using digital planning tools.
The team is interested in deepening the study and impact of climate change by assessing onsite responses to existing yearly recorded site conditions that will create enhanced predictability for cities and large regions affected by climate change. The data about the improved cumulative impact of various natural hazards assists planners and MCGM to formulate future policies with respect to development of the city.
“Ultimately, the goal is to serve the future communities in Mumbai with a plan for them to respond to the worsening climate crisis in a safe and resilient way,” Krusche said.
The multidisciplinary team from University of Notre Dame teams includes researchers and practitioners from its School of Architecture, Notre Dame International, College of Engineering, College of Science, ND Energy, and the Lucy Family Institute for Data & Society.