Interrelationship between Brownfield development as a mitigating factor for climate change and critical infrastructure within a metropolis: a case of Kolkata Metropolitan Area

Mouli Majumdar, Joy Sen


The growth of an inclusive and sustainable metropolis is motivated by a close interaction between the (i) investment and maintenance of it’s critical infrastructure, (ii) maximisation of the available resources and (iii) incorporation of the technological advances. This growth trajectory is often affected adversely by extreme climate changes like rise in sea level, heat waves, scarcity of food and frequent floods or storms. One of the major reasons for this being the negative impact of climate changes on the critical infrastructure of the city which in turn guides its spatial form. A more compact urban form therefore has positive climate effects of low carbon emissions, more efficient use of energy, reduced environmental costs for infrastructure, more urban green spaces. Along with climatic benefits it reduces construction and operational cost of infrastructure, optimises travel time and encourages interactions creating an environment for innovation.
A metropolitan area expanding at the expense of green areas faces the consequence of drastic climate changes like frequent flooding, extreme rainfall, floods etc which further aggravates the problem by depleting its infrastructure. Renewal of Brownfield developments encourages a compact urban form reducing the pressure on metropolitan expansion. Brownfield development discourages urban sprawl improves environmental conditions and has other positive economic and ecological effects.
Kolkata Metropolitan Area in this context provides an interesting study opportunity at two levels (i) Kolkata is one of the most vulnerable flood prone coastal cities considering the hydro-geological factors that influence climate changes like cyclones, sea-level rise, and storm surges. (ii) The trend of the metropolitan structure interrelated with its socio-economic condition of Kolkata that is shaped by its physical –environmental setting. The methodology has a bipartite approach of (a) exploring the factors influencing scope of Brownfield development at a metropolis level and (b) influence of the critical infrastructure amongst the factors influencing the Brownfield development on the same scale.

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ISSN : 2251-1571