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At the Cross-Rivers: Reconnecting Chennai

The vibrant city of Chennai is located on the Coromandel coast off the Bay of Bengal, in South East India, Chennai is significant as a state capital, a bustling port, a cultural destination, and an important automobile and industrial hub. The Chennai Metropolitan Area is one of the largest city economies of India. It sustains unique water bodies that have, over time, reminded its citizens of their potential to re-energize the urban environment. With a resurgence in efforts to restore the rivers and reclaim the wetlands, Chennai is at a crossroads, or should we say at a cross-rivers. A myriad of possibilities to reconnect with water—in a manner that is new yet linked to the past—has been offered. The Chennai installation explores the city’s defining commons, especially the mobility that can enrich the urban social experience. Clues from the past, lessons from the present, and scenarios for the future are proposed for a new architectural narrative of the city.