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Architecture, urban planning and research in, on and next to water
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City App Bihar, India

Over a decade ago, Waterstudio launched City Apps, its applied research project, to address the challenges flood-prone areas. This initiative was a response to the urgent need for solutions in these regions.

To do so, City Apps merge standardized systems with materials and craftsmanship available locally. These solutions cover a wide range of functions, such as sanitation, healthcare, energy generation, communal workspaces, and other vital facilities. The goal of City Apps is to deliver flexible and sustainable infrastructure that effectively caters to the needs of communities in these flood-prone areas.

Thanks to the discovery of a significant local ally in Kumar Prashant, founder of the Centre of Resilience, the City Apps project reach the floodplain of Bihar in India. This partnership marks the preliminary steps in assisting the inhabitants of this flood-stricken region to build a more promising future.

The prototype resulting from this partnership signifies the initial stride towards actualizing the City App vision for adaptive growth on floodplains. This is a crucial step forward, with the ultimate aim of expanding to thousands of standardized floating units built locally. Upon completion of the testing phase, an exhaustive study will be undertaken to assess the wider impacts of this pioneering project.

This research is essential to understand the full implications of the project. The information and insights collected will lay the groundwork for devising long-term strategies for sustainable management of floodplains in Bihar. This data-driven approach ensures that the strategies developed are effective and beneficial for the communities involved.

The City Apps initiative exemplifies a holistic approach to floodplain development, recognizing the importance of not only providing physical infrastructure but also empowering communities to become self-reliant and resilient. By fostering collaboration and sharing knowledge between global experts and local stakeholders, City Apps aims to transform the way we approach floodplain development.

Client: NGO
Realization: 2023
Expertise: Architecture

A tranquil sunset scene on the Gange river in Bihar, with the sun casting a golden hue across the sky and water. The City App prototype is visible in the background, moored near the shore. A large tree with a prominent trunk dominates the foreground, its branches creating a natural frame around the City App. The uneven ground near the shore, scattered with grass and fallen twigs, adds to the picturesque view.
Under a sky awash with the sun’s golden and crimson hues, a solitary figure is perched on a floating bamboo structure, the City App prototype under construction. Bathed in the sunset’s glow, the structure stands out against the backdrop of dancing tree silhouettes and other elements of nature.
A group of three people is working on the thatched roof of the City App prototype, in Bihar. This floating structure is moored to the grassy shores of the Gange, under an overcast sky.
Two individuals are diligently working on the City App prototype, a floating structure under construction on the Ganges river in Bihar. The structure, built upon barrels for buoyancy, is divided into three sections. One section is already covered with wooden planks, the two other sections have incomplete wooden frames, indicating ongoing construction. The soft lighting of dusk bathes the scene, highlighting the intricate details of the structure and the calm waters around it. In the distance, an electricity pylon and transmission lines stand against the evening sky, adding a touch of modernity to this serene riverscape
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