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Strategic Habitat Assessment based on natural resource management, human resource conservation, and future development perspectives



The world today is moving towards rapid urbanization and India is not far behind in this race. On one hand in India we have metropolitan cities that are growing rapidly with complex problems of infrastructure, social disparities, lack of identity, and mismanagement of natural resources. The hinterland around these areas is also being influenced by these towns leading to imbalance in distribution of facilities and resource management. The rigidity of the master plan and lack of facilities in other town leads to migration and the problems of these large cities get aggravated. In the era of virtual reality, progress of information technology and exceptional communication network through mobile, television and internet all over India, it may be time to strengthen the smaller towns and develop them as ideal place to settle with quality infrastructure and good communication facilities. Could a central support system of rating and evaluation help in development happening in habitat design and help the development be in tune with sustainable practices.  The proposal is to develop a tool for habitat design for the site in India for west Coast, to identify and map context in four layers as per the following steps

1.    Ksetra is defined by natural features, is mapping the geographical characteristics and natural resources of existing in the area with quantitative and qualitative aspects using GIS and on ground scanning system.It will will be rated with EIA and geomorphology, hydrology, drainage assessment map, pollution control, norms and policies etc. responding to issues such as sea level rise, coastline behavior, fisheries, deforestation, landform analysis, pollution mapping of air, water, soil, and interaction with anthropogenic activities.

2.    Desa (human resource conservation) is mapping the physical infrastructure, traditional wisdom of the existing development and identifying positive aspects and reusable aspects in terms of sustainable development for the future.

3.    Loka (social and cultural paradigm) is defined by space syntax analysis and behavioral studies. Social and cultural patterns will be read through perceptual studies and  travel behaviour, association value, behavioural patterns in public domain, sustainable practices which need enhancement and traditional wisdom in built form that need encouragement.

4.    Kala (future perspectives) is captured by questionnaires and documentation which are done to define social norms, political norms, market trends and legislation in force guiding development activities.

Once the context matrix is fed using ARC GIS, SPACE syntax, Behaviour mapping tools and charts,

A final map where the results of various analysis are integrated to give the overall assessment of the region facilitating the decision making process.Then the tool-kits will disseminate knowledge system available and resources in general available with government reports and guidelines and procedures for sustainable development.



Which proposals are included in your plan and how do they fit together?

Key aspects addressed in the proposal itself is

  1. Efficient natural resource Assessment to see potential assets such as wetlands, beaches, mangroves, forest, rock formations and natural minerals, ground water, rainfall, sunlight, fertile soil, productive landscape,  and threats such as coastal erosion, flooding, sea level rise, vulnerable environments, threatened bio-diversity, fisheries and fishing activity etc.


2. Identifying Conservation opportunities- reuse, recycle of best practices and existing human development to avoid too many new development and conversion of land-use, reuse old traditional houses, upgradation of exisiting town infrastructure for better efficiency and facilities, highlighting use of local materials and recycled materials for construction, learning from traditional wisdom of climate responsive passive design systems, water conservation systems, rain water harvesting systems in regional landscape, reduce waste generation through use of local produce, reduce transportation requirement for education, work and food.  

3. Reading  social and cultural paradigm to ensure ease of implementation and relevance in day to day activities in future design. the patterns of life style, education, health status, rituals, social activities, social interactions, media and communication facilities, festivities, political dynamics and social groups etc.

4. Compact essential needs, its details with future perspectives in focus so as to make the habitat relevant to future generation.

In communication other projects of interest are:

A collaborative solutions communication platform. /  @conserveaction

National campaign in India aimed to create a network of young Energy Ambassadors /  Vijnana Bharati

which will help spread the assessment and best practices to society

In assessment to evaluate and derive rating of existing built form and future practices

.Passive Architectural Design Index: A benchmark for passive building tec...

COFA: Climate Optimized Fenestrations for Buildings in Developing Nations.

in best practises

CargoFish: A Physical Internet Utility to... "Move Only What Matters!"

Generation of Biogas energy from animal waste for use in rural areas /  asigealex

since energy demand is increasing in rural areas and they need to address this in most sustainable option within local resources.

GreenNerds Techies at work for environmental cause

who are local technologists working on organic waste conversion to compost and compressing other wastes for recycling at village level/ sector level in urban areas

http://www.iari.res.inIndian agriculture research institute to give weather forecast, best practices and facilities available for farmers and

www.skymetweather.comwho has taken initiative to make accurate weather forecast easily accessible to al especially farmers.

Food production needs to be made profitable and efficient to support India's growth and urban and rural areas needs.  

To collaborate in taking the rural areas to future where urban infrastructure could be provided








Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab

What are the plan’s key benefits?

The quantification of resources in four layers will make the designers aware of complexity and possibilities of 

  1. Management of resources efficiently and awareness of environmental factors
  2. Assess quality of existing built environment impact rating and possible future use or reuse or adaptation possibilities
  3. respond to social and cultural trends for development and use
  4. Define the gap of present facility to future prospects


Single platform to inform and educate people of the existing situation and possible solutions and places of reference for policies and guidelines and information



What are the plan’s costs?


GIS software


FARO® Laser Scanner Focus 3d X 330 integrated with GPS with laser scanner starter kit, tripod with power dock and battery.


Leica Nova TM 50 or similar Imaging Survey Total Stations with accessories like tripod, prism, poles etc.


Portable laptop to store data of survey and processing of high end graphics.


Contingency of consultation for the equipment maintenance and repair






Total Cost: 240,410.00$

Cost of certain software and lab faciltities would be procured from funding of other sources.

Earth science lab, sustainability lab, and general chemistry lab has been initiated in Manipal University.

Heritage management and documentation cell is present in the department

The faculty strength and multidisciplinary streams present in the campus would help find trained personel for the proect.

Already 8 senior and 12 junior faculty are working in similar fields. 

What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?

The data  for rest o f India other than coastal Karnataka would be compiled by secondary research data and primary data needs to be contributed by people implementing project. Investing time and money in assessment and documentation needs to be emphasized in government policy and approval and implementation procedures.

hence this project will have phase one as demonstration with Karnataka's coast to attract other projects from rest of India and use it to collaborate with Indian Government at policy level



2015-2016- compile information and resources on the topics of interest and make a website for easy reference for people

2015-2017- assess and document coastal Karnataka for the habitat studies with detailed documentation and put up the assessment matrix for reference

2017-2020- evolve- centres for dissemination of knowledge in collaboration with schools and colleges and government instituitions

2017-2050- include projects and resources for rest of India as per the consultancy demanded and make resources available for rest of India

Related plans




Climate change and India: towards preparation of a comprehensive climate change assessment , Ministry of Environment and Forest, OCT 2009,

Shetty, Deepika. (2013). Comprehensive plan of Coastal Regulation Zone in Udupi District for CRZ-III zone . Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Karnataka, Bangalore: Karnataka State Coastal Zone Management Authority , 

Subash Chandran M.D, R. G. (oct 2010). Green Walls For Karnataka Sea Coast. Karnataka Forest Department,, Honavar Forest Division. Bangalore:Indian Institute of Science,.

T G Sitharam, N. J. (April 2012). A study on seismicity and seismic hazard for Karnataka State. Journal of Earth System Sciences, 121, No. 2, 475–490.