No single image or story captures the city of Chennai. Experiences overlap, refract and reflect to form an ever-changing collage of the city’s struggles and triumphs.
Discover the city’s many stories through the eyes of its people. Immigrants seeking work, students, industrialists, fisher folk, movie stars and scientists all living side by side. You will find today’s Chennai is a kaleidoscope of traditional Madras and modern Chennai.
Classical and Contemporary, Rich and Poor, Acceptance and Aggression, Discipline and Disregard, Floods and Drought, Concrete and Greenery, all come together to give you a city with a history and a future.
This, then, is the path to building resilience in our city. When you plan for one, you plan for the other. When you make room for the river, you recharge ground water. When you resettle the poor, integrate them with the more affluent. When citizens talk of their rights, remind them of their responsibilities. Consolidate when you need to, decentralise where appropriate. Where there is blue, plan for green. Where there are silos, integrate.
As we move into the future, we need a city strategy that considers and respects these many truths, embracing diverse conditions and needs. A strategy that makes our city enlightened, just, integrated.
Authors: Resilient Chennai, Okapi Research & Advisory