Urban wetlands and the built environment: Eco-tourism as a strategy for sustainable co-existence and management of Deepor beel-a Ramsar wetland in India

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Today, amidst the rapidly expanding urbanized world, around 54% of the world’s population lives in cities. The concept of ‘Green Design’ has now become a new trend for the development of sustainable cities. With the intervention of green infrastructure to save the cities, the urban planners and policy makers are addressing it in a much bigger way. Urban aquatic environments are a part of the green infrastructures that possess very high ecological value and play an important role in a healthy and functional ecosystem. It provides ecosystem services such as regulating the microclimate, maintaining biodiversity, regulating floods and providing recreational and educational opportunities, which is highly correlated with the human development. For a liveable city with a better habitat quality, it is essential to protect and conserve all aquatic environment and their biodiversity. Together the green-blue infrastructure makes a better trend for holistic development in creating sustainable and humane cities. Building a sustainable environment within the urban fabric, needs a special environmental consideration for conservation and co-existence of distinct ecologies. Eco Parks and Urban Wetland Parks are gaining popularity as a strategy for enhancing the tourism and providing an outdoor recreation while conserving these rich and complex urban ecosystems. Interdisciplinary design approaches by integrating scientific as well as Eco Political frameworks, are found to beneficial for the wetland protection, restoration, conservation and management. Ecologists are involved in land use planning to develop in depth understanding of ecosystem structure and function, combining the information into usable form and communicating the ecosystem knowledge to civil engineers, architects, landscape architects, and planners who further jointly take decisions on urban land use plan. While taking such decisions architects and planners keep mainly three aspects in mind; content, container and context.
Supervisor: Chandan Mahanta