Climate change is an emerging reality, with settlements increasingly facing the challenges

of urban flooding. With this background, strategies for mitigation at the local and regional levels need immediate attention. In regions with a rich history of land and water management, these strategies can be derived from traditional systems; land-water interfaces and evaluations of land potentials offer a more potent opportunity as an adaptive planning tool to address development and resilience.


The coastal settlement of Panaji offers an important opportunity to develop such mitigation strategies, where land and water are not seen as a duality – where the water is restricted and contained from the land – but as a more interrelated system. Traditional settlement

and land management patterns of the region where water is allowed to expand, spread and finally be absorbed within the land system are important frameworks to understand, revive and adapt to meet current development challenges.


Strategies include widening of flood plains, integrating agriculture practices as the surface of absorption, creating ‘seasonal’ public spaces, integration of urban services; equally important is the strategy of linking natural systems back to the city’s fabric in a socially and culturally appropriate manner.


The team studied the importance of resilience against negative water events and demonstrated that development and resilience are two sides of the same coin, not opposed to each other. Only by adopting approaches that treat these two aspects as an integrated whole can conventional planning have a hope of being successful in ecology like Goa’s.


Sanjay Prakash

Principal consultant at


Mohan Rao

Co-founder of INDE

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