Rivergreens is a unique integrated township community, which is a paradigm shift in site planning and urban form-making in India, all of which is centred around a resilient landscape heart. The site at Manjari enjoys proximity to the river Mula-Mutha in Pune and its rich ecosystem. The master planning of the new township has been developed as a community that can Live, Work, Play and Learn through landscape and placemaking.
The township boasts of a rich mix of uses with residences, office spaces, school, civic amenities, retail shops supplemented by a throbbing town centre. The master plan has been organised around a boomerang shaped linear park, envisioned to be an Eco-loop connecting the sensitive ecosystem of the Mula-Mutha river to the existing ravine system on site.
River Greens master plan focuses on creation of high-density walkable neighbourhoods with a good balance of built form and ecologically sensitive open spaces. Manjari River Greens plans to redefine master planning in the Indian context with its sensitive ‘people-with-nature’ centric approach.
The process of design involved carefully mapping out the hydrology on site, celebrating its ravine ecology, and conserving the existing watershed and trees on site resulting in creation of an iconic Ravine Park, as the centre of passive recreation within the township. A sensitively designed, elevated canopy walk built around existing trees on site allows the residents to appreciate and get closer to nature. The landscape is crafted using locally available stones and rubble from construction on site, native species of fauna and steel structures that have a minimal footprint on the sensitive ecology of the ravine.
The canopy walk is connected to a Machaan (Observation tower and deck), perched 15m above its surroundings, allowing users uninterrupted panoramic views of the entire Ravine Park as well as the Mula Mutha river. The Machaan is also perfect for stargazing on clear nights.
The Ravine Park has dedicated zones for meditation, camping, picnics, exhibitions as well as natural playscapes, creating varied user experiences, all of which are seamlessly integrated within landscape.
The Ravine Park then transitions to become an active sports-centric central community
greens culminating at the school, at the other end of the green loop. The network of universally accessible pathways ensures young residents of the Rivergreens community as well as their parents can cycle or walk to school through the linear park, without having to cross any external vehicular streets. The integrated circulation within landscape and connectivity with the residential partners helps give impetus to non-motorised and sustainable avenues of moving around within the township.
The Central community greens has dedicated sports facilities such as a 100m racing track, jogging path, football field, box cricket nets, basketball, skating rink as well as multipurpose playscapes for users of all age groups. Apart from this, the programs also include a mini golf course, open gym areas and multifunctional open spaces. The central clubhouse of the township is also a part of the community greens.
The central clubhouse, along with town-centre boast of world class outdoor and indoor sporting facilities, swimming pool, library, and other amenities, forming a strong civic heart for the community. This complex anchors a vibrant central plaza, flanked by ground floor retail on one side, and spill out for the town centre on the other. Central plaza is the main congregation point of the township, which can accommodate large crowds during various festivities celebrating the rich cultural heritage of Pune.
The township is designed to recycle 100 % greywater on site and reuse it within the landscape. Water management is further enhanced using bioswales that aim to restore and enhance an already thriving ravine system on site. To remain true to the ecological approach of respecting existing vegetation and hydrology on site, several revisions were made to the design and alignments of various built elements were modified, based on constant updates that were received from the survey and site execution teams.
Coordinating with the site team remotely, during the pandemic and making sure the essence of design was carried forward through every discipline during execution, was a huge learning experience. Many collaborative sessions of design charrettes with various teams ensured the architecture integrated well with the landscape, the structural design was not overpowering, the lighting complemented various character zones within the master plan and wayfinding and signage celebrated the biodiversity on site.
Rivergreens and its landscape is a ‘one of its kind’ executed project based on the principles of resilient landscapes at this scale, in the country. It also takes a significant step towards proving that even the private sector and large community master plans can participate in creating ecologically sensitive developments.
Eventually, the landscape and our approach towards its design have become a unique selling point for the township.
Landscape Urbanism: StudioPOD
Master plan: StudioPOD
Structural Consultant: Ashoka Structural Consultants
Lighting Consultant: AIMS Lighting Design Consultancy
Signage Consultant: Landor and Fitch
Project Location: 18.538410148094464, 73.98060773785316
Design year: 2019
Year Built: Ongoing
Photographer: Umang Shah
Manufacturer of playground equipment: Replay India