History has countless evidence of civilization growing by the water-fronts. Rivers like Indus, Nile, Tigris, etc., are known for the human settlements which developed here. The river fronts today are degrading due to uncalled interventions and human ignorance towards their ecology. The trend in case of many contemporary urban rivers, surrounded by a modern society and a predominantly technology driven economy, is no different. The dying Dravayawati River in Jaipur, India, in last two decades of urban sprawl in Jaipur has been a witness to occurrence of a significantly large number of industries of different types along its urban edge. These economic growth poles have attracted population, leading to unplanned development and encroachments. Disposal of domestic and industrial waste directly into the river, lack of seasonal rainfall, encroachment on river bed, etc., have contributed adversely to the natural environment and quality of living in the urban city. Strategies to save and improve upon the quality of natural and built environment along these river-fronts are essential for an optimal ecological balance. This would also make them socially cohesive and of help to create breathing spaces amidst the dense built fabric of the urban centre. Planning interventions and design solutions, as proposed, can be relied upon as immediate and long term measures to revitalize the river and further enhance its character, locally and regionally.
Key words: Water-front, urban growth, environmental degradation, revitalization, social cohesiveness.
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