THIS IS AN international, interdisciplinary, intercultural project to reimagine the ‘good city’ from Ennore Creek in north Chennai, India. The creek is a tidal channel with extensive wetlands that were once dense with diverse habitats and interwoven histories – mangroves, saltpans, marshes, sand dunes, fish, crabs, prawns, and humans of various castes, occupations and cultures. From the 1960s, many of these lives, linkages and histories began to unravel with the descent into this watery landscape of a state-sponsored heavy industry complex which obliterated and transformed it into a contaminated techno-scape. Local fishers and artisanal communities, whose lives were almost erased by these changes, fought back. Their struggles to reclaim the wetlands and their livelihoods have been multi-stranded and multi-layered, with shifting frames, methods, actors, audiences and collaborators.
Drawing on interviews and stories gathered from local people, on archival research, including the archives of the Save Ennore Creek Campaign, and on a variety of co-design strategies, the project is bringing together diverse communities of knowledge and practice to tell the history of the creek and to co-design its eco- restoration as a thriving lifeworld and buffer against weather extremes and climate challenges.