Chennai

Chennai’s Resilience Journey

Chennai emerged from a cluster of fishing villages in the 16th century. Now, as the fourth most populous urban agglomeration in India, Chennai boasts a strong manufacturing and services hub with an automobile and auto-spare parts industry, and information technology, healthcare, and financial services.

This transformation has invited a range of challenges: uneven and unsustainable development that aggravates the risks faced by vulnerable communities, rapid and unplanned growth that encroaches on natural habitats, increasing exposure to natural disasters and climate extremes (floods and droughts), and uncoordinated governance systems.

Recognizing these challenges and their complex interrelationships, Chennai has realized the need to address these shocks and stresses in a more integrated, just, and environmentally-sensitive manner. The city is investing in a more resilient urban food system, which involves setting up farms (including rooftop farms) to simultaneously address issues of food, nutrition, physical and mental wellbeing, job security, storm water management, waste management, urban heat island mitigation, and disaster risk reduction.

In 2020, the Chennai Resilience Center (CRC) was institutionalized within the Centre for Urbanization, Building & Environment (CUBE) – a joint initiative between IIT Madras and the Government of Tamil Nadu. CRC is fostered by the Adrienne Arsht Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Centre, the Atlantic Council (ARRFRC), and the Global Resilient Cities Network. CRC will lead Chennai in its participation in the Extreme Heat Resilience Alliance, of which it is now a member.

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News and Resources

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