Waste, worship and cricket

Material Information

Waste, worship and cricket bridging phytoremediation and ethnobotony on recreational landscapes in India
Bruce, Kristy Wasserbach
Place of Publication:
Denver, Colo.
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Physical Description:
xvi, 117 leaves : illustrations ; 28 cm

Thesis/Dissertation Information

Master's ( Master of Landscape Architecture)
Degree Grantor:
University of Colorado Denver
Degree Divisions:
College of Architecture and Planning, CU Denver
Degree Disciplines:
Landscape Architecture
Committee Chair:
Komara, Ann
Committee Members:
Jha, Ajay
Ramaswami, Anu
Chase, Charles
Redmond, Quint


Subjects / Keywords:
Phytoremediation -- India ( lcsh )
Recreation areas -- India ( lcsh )
Water -- Pollution -- India ( lcsh )
Phytoremediation ( fast )
Recreation areas ( fast )
Water -- Pollution ( fast )
India ( fast )
bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )


Includes bibliographical references (leaves 111-117).
General Note:
Department of Landscape Architecture
Statement of Responsibility:
by Kristy Wasserbach Bruce.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Colorado Denver Collections
Holding Location:
Auraria Library
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
465013060 ( OCLC )
LD1193.A77 2008d B78 ( lcc )

Full Text
Kristy Wasserbach Bruce
B.E.D., University of Colorado, 2005
M.L.A., University of Colorado, 2008
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
master in landscape architecture

by Kristine Wasserbach Bruce
All rights reserved.

This graduate thesis
by Kristy Wasserbach Bruce
has been approved
Ann Komara
Dr. Aiav Jha
Dr. Anu Ramaswami
Charles Chase
Quint Redmon

Bruce, Kristine Wasserbach (Masters in Landscape Architecture)
Waste, Worship and Cricket: Bridging Phytoremediation and Ethnobotany on
Recreational Landscapes in India
Thesis directed by Professor Ann Komara
Throughout India water pollution and lack of open recreational space are causing
long term negative health effects. While efforts have been made to clean water resources
along major rivers and to create recreational space on expired landfills, they have not
been entirely successful due to cultural frameworks that prevent or underestimate the
level of infrastructure needed to meet sanitary conditions. Overlapping the idea of
ethnobotanically significant plants with the use of phytoremediation detoxifying sciences
in an educational landscape bridges the cultural and scientific understandings of
remediation resulting in healthier communities. Although this thesis is based in India,
because of the extreme pollution levels, living densities, and number of sacred plants, the
core concept of cultural integration with phytoremediation could work anywhere in the
This abstract accurately represents the contents of the candidates thesis. I recommend its
Ann Komara

Dedicated to my Dad, Jack Wasserbach

First I would like to thank my father, Jack Wasserbach, not only for journeying to
and around India with me, but for helping me to see the bigger picture, for his unending
support and for always encouraging me to do my best work.
I would like to thank Ajay Jha for his aid in setting up contacts throughout India
as well as his insights regarding the future potential of phytoremediation in Indian
landscape design. Without his help giving cultural and sustainable input, as well as
multiple helpful contacts, I would not have been able to understand the conduct and
design the project to its full potential.
Additionally I would like to thank Ann Komara, my thesis chair, for her
encouraging words, as well as her aid in comprehending the most effective thesis
Many thanks to my advisors, Charles Chase, Anu Ramaswami, and Quint
Redmond for their time, attention, and expertise. For help with editing I would like to
thank Mike Lane, Melissa Cairns, and Kate Dueber.
For his time, attention, and effort, I would like to thank Arun Kumar for aiding
my understanding of the Indian culture and the landfill process in Patna.
This thesis would not be completed without the camaraderie and constant
progress and theory discussions with Jenn Thomas, author of The Education of Jane
Silverstein Ries at the Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture for Women, Groton,

MA, 1928-1932, I would also like to thank my husband Matt Bruce for his unwavering
support throughout the prolonged process of research, travel, discussion, and writing,
without whom, thesis writing and editing would have been much more difficult.

1. Introduction................................................1
2. Framing the Issue...........................................9
The History of India and the People Today..................9
Pollutions Effect on Health and Resources................15
Cultural Perception of the Water Issue....................33
Health Issues Related to Lack of Open Space......39
Landfill Programs in India.......................41
3. Practices and Platforms for Solutions......................48
Landfill Landscapes..............................48
The Science of Phytoremediation 52
Sacred Plants and Phytoremediation...............55
4. Proposal.................................................. 58
Phytoremediation, Open Space, and Landfills......58
Patna, India.....................................62
Site Analysis....................................61
Design Components................................85

Design Phasing..................................97
Further Cultural Application of Phytoremediation.106
5. Conclusion...............................................198
6. Bibliography..............................................HI

1.1 Muhgal tomb, New Delhi, Kristy W. Bruce (3/9/08)..........................8
2.1 Cows in the streets, Varanasi, India, Kristy W. Bruce (3/20/08)...........11
2.2 Hindu religious practices on the steps next to the Ganga River, Varanasi,
India. Kristy W. Bruce (3/21/08)..........................................11
2.3 World map with countries resized to represent the countries percent of world
2.4 Map of Indias states, and major rivers and drainage basins...............18
2.5 City locations where the Pollution Control Board tested the Ganga water
quality.................................................................. 19
2.6 Map graph of pH levels along the Ganga River...........................20
2.7 Map graph of fecal coliform levels along the Ganga River...............22
2.8 Map graph of biochemical oxygen demand levels along the Ganga River... 24
2.9 Map graph of dissolved oxygen levels along the Ganga River.............26
2.10 Map graph of water temperature levels along the Ganga River............28
2.11 Map graph of nitrate levels along the Ganga River......................30

2.12 Map of cities with the greatest pollution levels indicated by the water quality
parameters tested by the Pollution Control Board....................32
2.13 Ganges river, Patna, India, Kristy W. Bruce (3/18/08).................32
2.14 Map of India with States involved in the Ganga Action Plan in red.....34
2.15 Morning bath and prayer Varanasi, India, (3/21/08)....................37
2.16 Laundry in the Ganges, Varanasi, India, Jack Wasserbach (3/21/08).....37
2.17 Landfill beside a major highway, Patna, India Kristy W. Bruce (3/15/08) 44
2.18 Trash collector making runs, Patna, India, Jack Wasserbach (3/15/08) 45
2.19 Park space developed on top of expired landfill, Jack Wasserbach (3/15/08) 46
3.1 Plan view of Fresh Kills Park on Staten Island
(http://www. nyc. go v/htm 1/ dcp/html/fkl/fkl4. shtml)...................48
3.2 Fuzhou China canal before restoration (
3.3 Fuzhou China canal after restoration (
4.1 Patna, India, The black areas are wetland conditions 62
4.2 Structures in the marshland are built up on trash and soil to prevent flooding,
Kristy W. Bruce (3/16/08)..................................................63
4.3 Map of India, the yellow circle marks the location of Patna, India.......65
4.4 Patna, India site marked by yellow circle.................................66

4.5 360 degree panorama of the Patna landfill site Kristy W. Bruce (3/15/08)...71
4.6 Google Earth aerial photograph of the site..............................72
4.7 Google aerial photograph of the project site with a circulation analysis overlay
and image of a typical road Electrical Board Colony, Patna, India........72
4.8 Google aerial photograph of the site with an open space analysis overlay
image of site vegetation.................................................73
4.9 Google aerial photograph of the site with an analysis overlay of frequently
flooded areas, and an image of site flood conditions.....................73
4.10 Google aerial photograph of the site with an open space analysis overlap
and image of site vegetation.............................................74
4.11 Google aerial photograph of the site with an user-ship analysis overlay image
of site residential conditions Image of site Business conditions and Image of
the school...............................................................74
4.12 Design parti: Percolate...............................................76
4.13 Motion diagram analysis.................................................77
4.14 Motion analysis parti application to the site...........................78
4.15 Final design plan @ 100= 1............................................79
4.16 Site Diagrams nts..................................................... 80
4.17 Large site section @ 100 = 1..........................................81
4.18 Conceptual sections lnts................................................82

4.19 Conceptual sections 2 nts..........................................83
4.20 Site elements......................................................84
4.21 Hindu Temple in the garden of Sultan Tipus historical monument, Jack
Wasserbach (3/13/2008).............................................86
4.22 Buddhist stupa at the place Buddha first taught his message. Sarnath, India
Jack Wasserbach (3/23/08)..........................................87
4.23 The Taj Mahal of Delhi, New Delhi, India, Kristy W. Bruce (3/10/08).88
4.24 Diagram of water movement to the site..............................93
4.25 Conceptual Design of a monolithic ET final cover...................94
4.26 Methane collection from landfill waste diagram
4.27 Floating plant pod diagram (
4.28 Planting plan key............................................... 101

4.1 Site analysis of onsite toxins from landfill leachate in Chapter 4......69
4.2 Culturally relevant plants as phytoremediators in Chapter 4.......90 to 91
4.3 Site uptake efficiency results in Chapter 4.......................102 to 103
4.4 Percentage of toxin uptake on site in Chapter 4.........................104

My travels in Africa and South America, coupled with my graduate education
in landscape architecture sparked my desire to explore the possibility of bridging the
beauty of ancient traditions with the science of remediation. Though I still think there
is a lot to be explored in this area using indigenous knowledge systems and new low
cost sustainable remediation techniques, people are beginning to approach natural
remediation efforts in developing countries in a culturally sensitive manner. Because
plants hold such a vital role in any culture, especially those with ancient cultural
backgrounds, phytoremediation is a natural fit for incorporating culture into scientific
remediation. For this thesis I chose to look at India because the faith of millions of
people is so strong, and the culture is so deeply set that design efforts for cleaning the
natural resources have to be proposed through the lens of a different culture context
than my own. While in India, I found it very difficult to alter my scope of
understanding to the Indian cultural point of view. It seems that the western lens is
doomed to fail because it tends to counter deep cultural values and beliefs. The
pollution levels in the air and water are visibly unhealthy. The patriarchal society of
India was often evident as people were more interested in my male escorts opinion
about my research than in mine. Also, there is a constant struggle because the growth
rates of the population and city development without future planning creates constant
disorder and stressful transportation.

It was only after I returned home, and had time to reflect on what cultural
values created these circumstances, that I was able to appreciate many of these
conditions. Upon reflection, Hinduism does not renounce other religions, but
embraces them as part of Hinduism. As a result. India contains a diversity of people,
cultures and conditions. In the United States, we traditionally segregate ethnicities,
zoning of uses, transportation types, etc. In contrast, India encompasses all
conditions of income, building types, transportation, and activities occurring at the
same time in the same location. For instance, we saw a state-of-the-art shopping mall
made primarily of glass directly adjacent to a shack made of earth and plastic tarps.
The levels of pollution, and the way people embraced the pollution were the most
difficult obstacle for me to comprehend. However, when I considered how much
Indias wealth is growing as a result of increased industry and outsourcing, I realized
there is a direct relationship of pollution levels to the improved standard of life for a
huge portion of the population. It also became obvious how the United States and
other developed nations play a major role in those pollution levels due to the demand
for cheap products.
India is an adventure. I am grateful for the lessons I have learned and the
warm reception that I received with each of my presentations. They have expanded
my world view, and ultimately rendered me more compassionate, understanding, and
design savvy.

Several of the worlds potable water resources are in danger of depletion or
extreme pollution. Due to poor infrastructure and increased manufacturing, the water
quality in developing countries is far more affected than in developed countries. The
resulting negative health effects from polluted water can lead to prolonged suffering and
sometimes death. India is among the developing countries that has the most dire water
quality issues. There are several obstacles to remediate or physically alleviate the water
pollution issues. One obstacle is the Hindu religious context which believes that many of
Indias rivers are gods, and are therefore permanently clean. Another obstacle is the
dense and growing population that exceeds the supporting waste management
infrastructure, making it difficult to keep pace with the demand. Currently the pollution
levels in India are so severe there will be long term negative health effects. In order to
make a difference for India, these obstacles must be considered when proposing
remediation options.
There are two main groups of people considering these pollution and health
issues: the scientific community and the Hindu theological community. While most
people understand both aspects of the issue, the theological group that views water
resources as purely holy and clean has a much greater population. To that community,
there is no need to clean the river or reduce the amount of pollution. Although the

scientific community is gaining ground by publishing news articles and creating
informational kiosks that present the health hazards that result from sewage, industrial
waste and trash, many people are illiterate, or consider these efforts to be disrespectful to
the gods. In order to improve Indias unhealthy water quality standards, there needs to be
a bridge synchronizing the two ways of thinking that serve the community and their
cultural values and beliefs.
Phytoremediation (a science which uses plants to reduce toxins in the soil) can be
a critical bridge between culture and science. Phytoremediation is a potent key; it joins
the historic, ethnobotanically important, monetarily valuable, and sacred idea of plants,
with the cleansing, detoxifying properties of phytoremediative plants. Phytoremediation
is a cost effective, feasible, explainable science which has the potential to align the
scientific and religious groups to improve community health.
At the same time, because land near the city is at a premium, landfill sites within
many of the growing cities tend to be used as recreational open space. This creates
conditions in locations throughout India where people swim, play cricket, and recreate
among trash from the landfill sites, facilitating transfer of disease and from
contamination. Phytoremediation of leachates (toxic seepage from waste) from landfills
in Patna, India on an existing wetland landfill offers an opportunity to model a combined
recreation and remediation site using plants to bridge cultural values with remediation
resulting in improved community health. This thesis provides a model which will

improve water quality, further develop open recreational areas, and educate park users on
waste management and the impact waste has on water quality.
Landscape architecture has the potential to play a pivotal role in the improvement
of water quality and human health in developing countries. According to James Comer
in Recovering Landscape as a Critical Cultural Practice (1999), landscape architects
create spaces with ecology, culture, and social interaction in mind, thus the inventive
traditions of landscape architecture actively renew the significance of those cultural and
natural processes that undergirds the richness of all life on earth.1 This role becomes
essential in our world of increasing populations and exponentially affected climate
In order to best explore and present the relationship between phytoremediation as
a way of improving resource health with cultural acceptance in the design field, this
thesis takes a methodical approach based on the theoretical model of the landscape
architects mission suggested by James Comer. First, the thesis presents the cultural
background and living conditions in India today. Then it examines the scientific and
environmental pollution conditions. Then, the proposal considers what types of active
spaces are needed in the area, what space is available and optimal for community
interaction, and how that would work within the cultural and scientific parameters. In
closing, this thesis presents an estimation of the percentage of toxins that would be
1 James Comer, Recovering Landscape as a Critical Cultural Practice. New York: Princeton Architectural
Press, (1999): 1-10.

remediated by selected plots on the site to illustrate that the proposal has merit, and
demonstrate that the site has the potential to make a quantifiable difference.
As part of the methodology, it is important to analyze and apply the previous
studies about phytoremediation projects and landfill landscapes around the world into a
design which fits the cultural, environmental, and activity parameters of India. This
thesis provides a paradigm shift by integrating remediation practices into the theological
and cultural practices of a culture, thereby using a variety of precedents and applying a
diversity of research projects to its end result. As phytoremediation becomes more
widely used, many different entities from the EPA to universities world-wide are
recognizing it as a science with great applicable potential. The design component of this
thesis proposes the use of mulberry trees, among other plants, to phytoremediate PAH
and PCB. Using mulberries applies the research conducted by John S. Fletcher, from the
department of Botany and Microbiology, at the University of Oklahoma, Norman OK.
Another source of research on phytoremediation applied in this thesis is the technical
guidance manual for Puget Sound, which supports research done on the phytoremediation
qualities of lupine, clover, ferns, poplars, sedges, water lilly, osage orange, switchgrass,
ryegrass, and Indian mustard. Technical journal articles on the effectiveness of
individual plants were used to asses the possible toxin removal from the sight. Technical 2 3
John Fletcher, Rhizosphere Remediation of Recalcitrant Soil Contaminants: An Important Component of
Long-term Sustained Biosystem Treatment.
3 Sampling of Plant Species Studied for Phytoremediation. Appendix 6 Puget Sound, (accessed April 2007)

articles include an International Journal of Phytoremediation article called Bench-Scale
Phytoremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-Contaminated Marine Sediment
with Tropical Plants. By Daniel Paquin, and others, eds. This article highlights how
existing plants on the beaches of Hawaii have phytoremediated PAH from explosions on
Pearl Harbor from World War II. This is significant because there are several plants
listed, and they each accomplished man made toxin uptake in a natural environment
without human assistance.4 Another notably significant study is Macrophytes in
Phytoremediation of Heavy Metal Contaminated Water and Sediments in Pariyej
Community Reserve, Gujarat, India by J. I. Nirmal Kumar, and others, from the Turkish
Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences. This study was also conducted on plants
existing naturally in the field. As both an effective phytoremediator, and major cultural
icon in India, the lotus is a major icon in the park.5
Previous projects have applied phytoremediation in an artistic manner by planting
phytoremediative plants on display in isolated toxic areas. The most noted artist is Mel
Chin.6 In his famous work Revival Field, he uses the plants as an artistic medium,
4 Daniel Paquin, and others, eds. Bench-Scale Phytoremediation of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon-
Contaminated Marine Sediment with Tropical Plants. International Journal of Phytoremediation, 4 April
2002: 297-313. Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
5 J. 1. Nirmal Kumar, and others, eds. Macrophytes in Phytoremediation of Heavy Metal Contaminated
Water and Sediments in Pariyej Community Reserve, Gujarat, India. Turkish Journal of Fisheries and
Aquatic Sciences, 8 2008: 193-200.
6 Mel Chin Revival Field, (accessed June 16,2008)

while providing a research plot in a landfill in St. Paul, Minnesota that uptakes cadmium,
zinc, and lead.7 8
Relevant projects on landfill landscapes have been designed and implemented
around the world. The most famous of these are Byxbee and Candlestick Point Parks
designed by George Hargreaves in San Francisco and Fresh Kills Park on Staten Island
New York designed by James Comer and Stanley Allen. These landfill landscapes are
capped with sophisticated infrastructure which prevents toxic leachate from filtering into
groundwater, while also preventing methane gas from leaking into the air. They are
therefore preventing contamination of natural resources, but not in an interactive manner.
In contrast, John Todds company, Ocean Arks, has designed an accessible, interactive
phytoremediation design in what was a highly polluted canal in Fuzhou China. This
design allows people to walk through the remediation site and witness the process.9 It
does not, however, incorporate any cultural association with the plants or process that
would encourage cultural ownership or association with the process.
The research and design in this thesis recognizes the importance, and sustainable
nature of the traditional uses of plants. This research expands upon sustainable
application of ethnobotanically important indigenous planting practices studied by
7 Chin,
8 New York City Department of City Planning, Fresh Kills Park Project, New York City Department of
Planning, (2008), (accessed June 13)
John Todd Ecological Design, Inc. Solutions for Water Planning and Treatment,Urban Municipal Canal
Restorer, Fuzhou, China,
(accessed September 20, 2007)

diverse entities including the World Bank.10 In order to prevent the important references
for ethnobotanic sustainable knowledge bases from disappearing, the World Bank has
begun to inventory Indigenous Knowledge Systems around the world. This thesis project
applies indigenous cultural importance to new sustainable techniques, thus bridging new
scientific applications through historic cultural ideals.
Providing vegetated open landscapes away from industrial areas is proving to be
necessary for developmental health. Based on the research collected in the book Last
Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, children can develop ADHD or a fear of nature
from what is now being called nature deficit disorder.11 Improving and expanding
green areas can improve community health for today and for future generations. While
none of the precedents include all of the ideas supported in this thesis, scientific as well
as methodological elements from all of the collected works are utilized and built upon in
order to generate an effective, functional, culturally responsive design.
Indian water quality issues are a caused by a network of problems stemming from
industry, population, and religious beliefs. Therefore, the multidisciplinary nature of
landscape architecture, which incorporates ecology, culture, and spatial activation is an
appropriate field to address these issues. Overall, this thesis acknowledges all of the
outlying factors which are causing the health problems, and the reasons that they are
10 Warren, Flavier What is Indigenous Knowledge, 1991 (accessed
Feb 2008)
11 Richard Louv. Last Child in the Woods: Saving out Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Algonquin
Books of Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, North California. 2005.

allowed to continue. This thesis then addresses the pollution issues in a culturally
responsive manner to join remediation with culture on a theoretical scale as well as a site
design scale.
__- V"-________
Fig 1.1: Muhgal tomb, New Delhi (3/9/08)

The History of India and the People Today
Originating in 3500 BC from the Indus Valley between India and Pakistan, the
Indian people have been practicing Hinduism since the origin of their civilization.12 13
Although India has been ruled by a succession of outside forces including the Muhgals
and the British, core original Indian values are evident in every faction of life for many
people today. Hindus believe that many rivers are sacred, though the most important is
the Ganga River. The religion teaches that Ganga Ma, or mother river, is a goddess
which flowed in the sky until Shiva, the god of destruction, softly directed the water
down to earth in his hair to wash the ashes of Bhagirathas ancestors, allowing them into
the next life. Within this context, the river is seen by Hindus as consistently pure and
clean. The beautiful, antediluvian, enduring culture of India has adjusted to changing
conditions for thousands of years. Hinduism and these cultural beliefs must be included
in any cleansing application to inspire widespread change for the river.
The core of the Hinduism, all things are interconnected and the human life is one
in a progression of reincarnations. Living a more devout, kind life in the previous life
12 CIA World Factbook. The World Factbook: India. CIA (updated June 19, 2008), (accessed April 5, 2008)
13 Amberly Polidor, Sacred Land Film Project, (1999-2008), sites pages/Ganges.html (accessed April, 2008)

allows you to be re-bom into a higher life form, or free you from the cycle of birth and
death.14 Being cremated and having ashes spread in the Ganga and other rivers is the
means through which most Hindus believe they are able to be reincarnated into the next
life. Throughout the Hindu time span, God has been bom onto earth several times in
several different forms, and each time the God is associated with new sacred animals and
plants. Some of the important icons are cows, monkeys, peacocks, mice, vultures, crows,
eagles, bulls, elephants, cobras, lions, and various birds.15 Attributing religious
importance to certain animals creates a unique way of thinking. For instance, cows are
allowed to roam the streets, and calmly pass through six lanes of traffic unscathed.
Although it is an amazing adaptation of co-habitation, this contributes to problems with
waste management in that, it leads to poor sanitation.
14 Birla,L.N. Hinduism: A Philosophy of Life. New Delhi: Shri Lakshmi Narain Temple, 1,7.
15 Ibid Birla, 7.

Fig 2.1: Cows in the streets of Varanasi (left) (3/20/08)
Fig 2.2: Hindu religious practices on the steps next to the Ganga River Varanasi India
(right). (3/21/08)
Because for many people there is such security in the knowledge that the water
source is literally untainted, any effort to improve water quality standards is seen as
unnecessary or insulting to the gods. The mass volume of pollution sources, combined
with the religious mindset about the cleansing ability of the river, compound to create a
delicate situation that needs to be handled carefully.
Because the Indian culture teaches respect for and the interconnectedness of all
things, destruction and decay are held in the same high regard as the creation and
maintenance of life. This theological supports the idea that creation begets destruction
and vice versa. All three levels of life are presented by a different god. Brahma is the
god of creation. Vishnu is the god of maintenance. Shiva is the god of destruction. The

combination of the three main gods is called the Dattatreya.16 This Hindu way of thinking
is integral in Indian society, and it explains the Indian point of view with regards to living
conditions and society in India. As explained by the Rudra Center, The three gods
represent the three fundamental powers of nature which are manifest in the world viz.
creation, destruction and maintenance. These powers exist perpetually. Creation is going
on all the time. So is destruction and maintenance...They are inseparable. Creation and
destruction are like two sides of a coin. And maintenance is an integral part of the
processes of creation and destruction.17 The idea of creation, maintenance, and
destruction as one, along with the belief in reincarnation of deities, creates the position
that all the worlds religious gods are valid. This cultural association with broad
acceptance of all cultural deities prevents segregation of ideas, but allows every influence
to add a light layer of cultural integration. India is accepting of the best parts of different
cultures, and it has developed a strong cultural diversity which is adaptable within its
original Hindu doctrine. This ideology allows them to embrace new ideas which fit
within their ancient cultural history.
Today throughout India, ancient Hindu values continue to be very important and
influential in daily life. The natural resources that they treasure, however, are in dire
need of help in preventing pollution to keep the people, and surrounding environment
16 Rudra Center, Hindu Trinity, Rudra Center, (2007),
(accessed April, 2008)
17 Rudra Center

healthy. Besides religious affiliation with the river, population and economy also prevent
people from cutting off pollution sources.
Fig 2.3: World map with countries resized to present the countries percent of world population.18
As one of the countries with the fastest growing population in the world, with one
of the fastest increasing industrial components, India has some of the most polluted water
sources in the world.19 20 The population growth is attributed to cultural ideals of large
families, and the escalating industrial pollution is a result of increased out-sourcing of
goods production to India from developed countries. The current levels of out-sourcing
are significantly improving the Indian economy. Out-sourcing to India is attributed to
Garry Peterson comment on "Another world population map the Resilience Science Blog posted
February 16, 2006, (Accessed April,
19 BBC News. India population to be biggest. BBC (August 18, 2004), (accessed March 30, 2008)
20 Government of India Ministry of Commerce and Industry Department of Commerce, Robust Industrial
Growth Recorded in 2006-07 over 150% Increase in FDI Inflows Annual Report of the Ministry of
Commerce & Industry Department of Industrial Policy Promotion. New Delhi, Department of Commerce,
(2006), detail.asp?id= 1980 (accessed February 6, 2008.)

the importance of technological education, the low cost production, the huge workforce
population, and the widespread use of English.21 22 An out-sourcing trend is bolstering
industrialization, and therefore adding to the contamination of Indian water sources for
products which are shipped out of the country. Due to these factors, Indias surface water
is 70% polluted with an increasing amount of pollution within its aquifers. The surface
water source with the greatest dependent population is the iconic Ganges or Ganga River,
in Northern India. Because the Ganga has an extensive user population, and because it
supports many major cities, it carries extreme pollution levels.
21 Parija Bhatnagar, Is India's out-sourcing honeymoon over? Report: Labor shortage and wage inflation in
out-sourcing market has other countries in hot pursuit, New York: CNN Money (August 24, 2005), out-sourcing/index.htm (accessed April 6,
22 Gupta et al, India, the land of holy rivers, is fast becoming a land of highly polluted and even toxic
rivers." Developing Water Sustaining Livelihoods, New Delhi,( 1993),
http://www.devalt.Org/water/WaterinIndia/issues.htm#Gender%20and%20Class%201ssues (accessed
February 6, 2008)

Pollutions Effect on Health and Resources
Water, the very basis of life, is becoming increasingly polluted through
agricultural pesticides and fertilization, mining runoff, untreated industrial waste, and
mismanagement of human waste around the world. According to GEMS or Global
Environment Monitoring Systems, (a component of the United Nations), emerging trends
in water quality issues include: increased waterborne and water related pathogens,
chemical contaminants including exogenous chemicals which can effect human and
animal endocrine systems, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, and an increased
number of invasive species. All of these affect the water quality and health of people
and ecological systems. As a result of this increased pollution, 80% of the diseases
around the world are waterborne.23 24 Five million people die every year from these water
quality issues, and half of those are children.25 Water pollution is a major concern
because it affects the health of all life, including animals and crops used for food.
23 United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Monitoring System/Water Programme.
Water Quality Outlook. Ontario: United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Monitoring
System/Water Programme, (2007), (accessed January 31 2008), 4-5.
24 Idem
25 Idem

The conditions are extensive; the Ganga has 200 times the legal pollution limit for
bathing and 30,000 times the limit for drinking.26 27 The health-compromising
contaminates in Indian rivers are not different than those in other countries such as the
United States. The extent of the problem, however, is much greater. Throughout India,
pollution is causing a variety of illnesses including: typhoid, cholera, birth defects, skin
rashes, loss of bone density, hepatitis, amoebic dysentery, upset stomachs and ulcers,
respiratory problems, weakened immune systems, kidney and liver damage, nausea,
vomiting, diarrhea, and death. The pollution levels also have social repercussions.
Downstream populations, especially the urban poor, typically have little or no sanitation
infrastructure for water cleansing. This forces women and girls in these areas to walk
further to gather clean water, creating lower attendance for young girls in schools and
little time for women to contribute to income-generating activities.28
Using the Pollution Control Board of Indias water quality parameter data for
2006, Figures 2.6-2.11 show the trends in water pollution. The mapping exposes the
locations which have increased levels of various organic and inorganic toxins expressed
by the water quality parameters. From this data, it is possible to gauge the levels of
26, Somini Sengupta, Water Woes in India: Chrisis in Teeming India, Videos part 1,2, and 3 New York
Times, (September 29, 2006), Story=d7d85cbbd39dd68bbab690c6dcf30627b526f62c (accessed
January 31, 2008)
27 Amberly Polidor, Sacred Land Film Project, (1999-2008)
28 United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Monitoring System/Water Programme.
Water Quality Outlook. Ontario: United Nations Environment Programme Global Environment Monitoring
System/Water Programme, (2007)

different activities and pollution sources to better understand the overall trends and
issues, as well as issues pertaining to specific locations.
Figure 2.4 represents the states of India with major river drainage basins. The
largest basin along the northern region is the Ganga River Basin. It is 2,414 miles long29 30 31
with headwaters originating in the Himalayas, letting out into the Indian Ocean at one of
the largest deltas in the world, the Bay of Bengal. Over 400 million people rely on the
-3 |
Ganga River for their livelihoods, making it a major world resource.
29 Rivers of the Earth: The 25 Longest Rivers, (August 23, 2003), updated July 31,2005, (accessed April 6, 2008)
30 Amberly Polidor, Sacred Land Lilm Project, (1999-2008)
31 Charles Gibson, Booming Economy, but No Water: Indias Water Crisis: Millions Battle Pollution,
Lack of Suply, Diseases, ABC World News Webcast (accessed April 9, 2008)

Major Drainage Basins and Rivers of India
Fig 2.4: Map of Indias states, and major rivers and drainage basins
The Ganga Basin population distribution map illustrates the areas where cities are
more densely populated with the yellow circle size. Shown are the cities that the
Pollution Control Board of India has selected for water quality parameter testing along
the Ganga River. In the figures 2.6-2.11, these city areas will be shown to compare toxin
concentration in the river. 32
32 MindSites Group, LLC, India GIS data, Data Depot, MindSites Group LLC, 1995-2007 (accessed October 10,2008)

River Quality Data Collection Cities
*City icon size based on population
Drainage Basins
Major Cities
Fig 2.5: City locations where the Pollution Control Board tested the Ganga water
Note: The graphs depicted in figures 2.6-2.11 are meant to express water quality
parameter levels from city to city. The graphs are not scaled in comparison to other
water quality parameter graphs. This datascaping exercise exposes trends and sources
of pollutants at major city checkpoints.
PH Levels
The pH levels in the water can be attributed to the levels of air pollution as
evidenced through acid rain and industrial waste leachates.33 34 Industrial air pollution is a
product of factory leachates and vehicular emissions. Waste that has pH altering values
33 MindSites Group, LLC, India GIS data, Data Depot, MindSites Group LLC, 1995-2007
34 Charles, Chase, Water Quality Parameters

can also come from general household refuse such as plastics.35 36 37 pH levels become
dangerous below 5.5 and above 9.0. Shown in figure 2.6, none of the Pollution Control
Board water quality testing sites has dangerous PH levels.
pH 0 -14
Fig 2.6: Map graph of pH levels along the Ganga River.
35 Idem
36 Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Annual Report 2006, 2007-
2008 Central Pollution Control Board, ( accessed October 5, 2008)
37 MindSites Group, LLC, India GIS data, Data Depot, MindSites Group LLC, 1995-2007

Fecal Coliform Levels
The presence of fecal coliform is indicative of bacteria that cause typhoid,
hepatitis, and diarrhea. Alone doesnt actually have any negative health effects;
however, with 300 million gallons of sewage containing the fecal coliform and unhealthy
bacteria draining into the Ganga every day, the water becomes very unsafe for bathing
and drinking. The health standard attempts to achieve 0 MPN or Most Probable Number
of coliform group organisms per 100ml, though most rivers have some fluctuating level
of fecal coliform. Figure 2.7 shows that Coliform levels increase at Allahabad and
Varanasi, at the confluence of the Yamuna River and then are drastically higher at the
Bay of Bengal.38 39 40
38 Chase
39 Amberly Polidor, Sacred Land Film Project, (1999-2008)
40 Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Annual Report 2006, 2007-

63,334-406,667 MPN/lOOml
41 MindSites Group, LLC, India GIS data, Data Depot, MindSites Group LLC, 1995-2007

Biochemical Oxygen Demand Levels
The biochemical oxygen demand or BOD represents the amount of organic
material which is broken down by bacteria in the water.42 When the amount of organic
solids is too great, it can dramatically deplete the amount of available oxygen necessary
for animals and fish that live in the water.43 High levels of BOD become dangerous
when it depletes the amount of dissolved oxygen to less than 5 mg/1.44 As shown in
Figure 2.8, the BOD is never at a dangerous level.45
42 Chase
43 Idem
44 Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Biochemical Oxygen Demand. (accessed June 16,
45 Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Annual Report 2006, 2007-

46 MindSites Group, LLC, India GIS data, Data Depot, MindSites Group LLC, 1995-2007

Dissolved Oxygen Levels
Dissolved oxygen or DO is created in water sources through plant life and water
movement.47 48 Water is healthiest when it has as much oxygen in it as possible. The
amount of sewage, organic religious offerings, organic trash, and other biodegradable
materials that are added to the water increase the BOD and decrease the DO. Figure 2.9
shows that the DO is highest in the headwaters at the base of the Himalayas.
47 Charles, Chase, Water Quality Parameters
48 Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Annual Report 2006, 2007-

49 MindSites Group, LLC, India GIS data, Data Depot, MindSites Group LLC, 1995-2007

Water Temperature Levels
Water temperature is affected by several influences. Sediment in water can
darken the water, thereby increasing its temperature. Vast areas of hardscape can heat
water before it gets to surface water sources.50 Industries contribute to the increase in
water temperature by using water to cool their machinery, then draining the heated water
into surface water sources.51 52 53 Pollution levels can also increase water temperature by
changing the pH of the water in the air. Uncharacteristically warm water can result in
inhospitable environments for aquatic animals, less oxygen in the water, and an increase
in plant life; these factors all compromise water quality. According to figure 2.10 the
river is not unhealthily warm, but it does show warming tendencies as it runs southeast.
This could be from natural temperature variation as well as increased hardscape area.
50 Chase
51 Idem
52 Idem
53 Central Pollution Control Board, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Annual Report 2006, 2007-

Degrees celcius
54 MindSites Group, LLC, India GIS data, Data Depot, MindSites Group LLC, 1995-2007

Nitrate Levels
Nitrogen leaching into the water from agricultural practices not only negatively
impact the health of people consuming the water, it also increases the growth of aquatic
plants, thus increases the BOD, and decreases the DO.55 Pesticides are often used in
conjunction with fertilizers, according to an article by Professor Gupta, Current
pesticide use is estimated at 52 million tones while fertilizer use was over 14 million tons
in 1996-97.... Studies on the Ganga River indicate the presence of chemicals that can
indicate nitrogen such as HCH, DDT, endosulfan, methyl malathion, malathion,
dimethoate, and ethion in levels greater than recommended by international standards
(World Bank 1999).56 Some of these substances have been known to bioaccumulate in
certain organisms, leading to increased risk of contamination where these organisms are
used for human consumption and a persistence of the chemicals in the environment over
long periods of time.57 58 Nitrogen becomes dangerous to human health at levels of 40 mg/1,
much higher than were found in the Ganga, seen in figure 2.11. However, with the
increasing levels of pesticides and nitrogen for farming, nitrogen can be used as an
indicator for health hazard locations related to faming practices.
55 Charles, Chase, Water Quality Parameters
56 Gupta et al, India, the land of holy rivers, is fast becoming a land of highly polluted and even toxic
rivers." Developing Water, Sustaining Livelihoods, New Delhi, (1993)
57 Idem
Lani Holtzhausen, When Water Turns Deadly- Investigating Nitrate
in SA Groundwater, The Water Wheel (November/December 2005),
(accessed 6/14/08)

1.31-3.35 mg/1
59 MindSites Group, LLC, India GIS data, Data Depot, MindSites Group LLC, 1995-2007

The maps in figures 2.6-2.11 present the three major sources of pollution:
agriculture, industry, and human waste. The water quality parameters also illustrate the
interconnected health and ecology issues created by the pollution sources. In mapping
the pollution levels by area, trends in the polluted areas become evident. The locations
with the greatest pollution issues are Kanajuu, Allahbad, Benares, also called Varanasi,
Patna, and the delta area near Kolkata. These locations are also the major cities along the
Ganga River. Allahbad has consistently poor water quality because it is the junction of
the Ganga and Yamuna Rivers. The Yamuna passes through Delhi, the capitol of India,
where it acquires a huge volume of various pollutants. These maps indicate that water is
the least healthy in areas with the greatest populations. As the populations of all towns in
India increase rapidly, the health of the river will continue to degenerate. The scale of the
issue is too great to solve at once, but by introducing culturally responsive, scientifically
proven methods of improving water quality, successful projects have the potential to take
hold and improve water quality through a grass roots introduction.

Fig 2.12: Map of cities with the greatest pollution levels indicated by the water quality
parameters tested by the Pollution Control Board.60
60 MindSites Group, LLC, India G1S data, Data Depot, MindSites Group LLC, 1995-2007

Cultural Perception of the Issue
The efforts to clean surface water are complex due to the multi-layered network
of constraints including economic incentives in industrial development, religious
practices and standards, and population growth. One of the most difficult obstacles is the
cultural theology which believes that the Ganga is holy and pure regardless of what is put
into it. While Christianity and Muslim religions are present, Hinduism makes up 80% of
the Indian population61, and as the dominant religion, Hinduism dictates how resources
are viewed throughout India. Due to the religious significance and huge dependent
population around the river, the government has chosen the Ganga to initiate major
endeavors that deter localized pollutants from entering the River in an effort called the
Ganga Action Plan. The Ganga Action Plan, which was launched in 1985, includes
several detailed interventions that are proposed in 29 cities and 48 towns along the rivers
bank. The design interventions are proposed in the states of Haryana, Delhi, Uttar
Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal shown in red on figure 2.14. 62
1 Sarina, Singh et al. Lonely Planet India, 12th Edition. (Lonely Planet Publications Pty Ltd., 2007), 56
62 N9. Narayana P. Murty, V.K. Shunglu, Ganga Action Plan New Delhi, (Dec 13, 2000), (accessed February 8, 2008)

Fig 2.14: Map of India with States involved in the Ganga Action Plan highlighted in red.
Within the Ganga Action Plan, the main cultural criterion that had to be
considered by the government is that the Ganga is worshiped, and therefore considered
clean. The initial Ganga River improvement designs tried to adapt to the cultural and
religious parameters, but were only partially successful. They were not completely
effective for several reasons. First, the general population doesnt understand the water
improvement interventions purpose. Second, poor planning and lack of funding for
implementation by many states prevented maintenance or completion of the water quality 63
63 Philip Reeves, The Ganges: A Journey into India, Ganges Reveals Sublime Luxury, Polluted
Wasteland, NPR Morning Edition, (April 03, 2007), (accessed January 31, 2008)

element.64 Third, the expectations of state funded management and maintenance, were
higher than the local entities could handle.65 Fourth, misuse of available funds, and
failure or inability to include and educate communities impact these efforts.66 67 Overall,
the results of the Ganga Action Plan have been far less effective than anticipated.
In order to improve future efforts it is important to understand exactly what was
implemented in the Ganga Action Plan, and why those pollution intervention efforts
failed. The Ganga Action Plan specifically addresses sources of water pollution. The first
element of the water quality improvement intervention in the Ganga Action Plan includes
increasing the number of sewage treatment plants to manage and treat the waste going
into the river which was previously untreated. The second element of the plan includes
building crematoriums along the rivers edge to manage the number of partially cremated
bodies that are dumped into the river. This is important because the Hindu religion
believes that in order to be reincarnated into the next life the dead must have their ashes
spread in the Ganga River. One context of the problem exists in the fact that the
population of practicing Hindus who would be cremated is greater than the supply of
expensive wood used for cremating the dead. This causes corpses to be partially
cremated, if at all. The third element of the plan is to increase toilet facilities and the
number and quality of sewage pipes.68 The sewage management plan proposed several
64 Idem
65 Reeves, NPR
66 Idem
67 Narayana P. Murty, V.K. Shunglu, Ganga Action Plan New Delhi, (Dec 13, 2000)
68 Idem

sewage treatment facilities in the larger cities, most of which had not yet been built at the
time of the report (December of 2000).69 The plan assumed that the state would be able
to maintain the plants, but several states are producing more sewage than they can
process, or are unable to maintain those the plants built under the Ganga Action Plan.70
River-front bathing and washing areas are the final element of the plan.71 River-front
development includes managing areas for bathing and laundry. These cleaning methods
occurring in the river add to the pollution problem by increasing the amount of detergents
and bleach in the water.
69 Narayana
70 Idem
71 Idem

One context in which the interventions in the Ganga Action Plan have met with
limited success is community participation and understanding of the way pollution

impacts human and ecological health. This is especially clear with the crematoriums,
which provide a solution that is inconsistent with the traditional cultural methods of
cremating the body in the open using wood. Therefore, as designers and ecologists, we
must take a different approach that encourages cultural values and practices. One of the
ways this can be done is by supplying the river with cleaner water by tackling problems
at the tributaries rather than the river itself. This cannot be done with every cultural
practice at the river. Cremating bodies and laundry washing will likely continue to take
place at the rivers banks. Any decrease of pollution that could take place upstream,
however, could make a substantial difference. The soluble pollutants within most of
Northern India drain into the river either by surface runoff or underground constitute
most of the industrial waste effluents in the river. By managing upstream pollution
sources through culturally accepted water quality improvement interventions, there is the
potential for change in the populations mindset about waste without impinging on
religious values. 72
72 Narayana P. Murty, V.K. Shunglu, Ganga Action Plan New Delhi, (Dec 13, 2000)

Health Issues Related to Lack of Open Space
Travel within Indias inner cities is extremely difficult. The incredible density of
people on the road at one time, all traveling at different speeds, utilizing many different
modes of transportation makes it very difficult to move from one location to another.
Because commuting is so difficult and open, publicly accessible land near the center of
cities is at a premium. Due to the city streets loud, aggressive, polluted, and potentially
dangerous conditions, there is a strong desire for manicured open areas for relaxation and
recreation such as cricket, courting couples, and picnicking. Planning regulations often
do not extend to the new colonies on the outskirts of town. In addition, many of the
regulations were not in place when the core of the city was being built. This un-planned
trend creates a built environment which has very integrated land uses and building types
but very few maintained open public areas.
Open space there is a vital commodity in India that positively contributes to
quality of life by cleaning the air, facilitating exercise, and allowing people to re-connect
with nature. Interaction with nature is a part of Indias historic cultural value system that
is still practiced when possible. There has also been studies conducted which suggest
that lack of exposure to natural areas can cause inability to focus.73 74 As Richard Louv
73 Arun Kumar, interview by Author, written notes, Patna, India, March 16, 2008.
74 Louv, 108

explains in Last Child in the Woods. .The society that has disengaged the child from
nature is most certainly disordered, if well meaning. To take nature and natural play
away from children may be tantamount to withholding oxygen.75 76 Natural space needs to
be preserved, not only for healthy lifestyles but for continuation of the traditional
knowledge of important species associated with medicine and spirituality. In some cities,
the premium of open space is causing investors to build paid outdoor recreational areas
such as swimming pools and golf courses to reclaim the cost of land and meet the
demand of the citizens for recreational space. This will ultimately leave lower income
people with little open space. With the increasing densities around the city center, it is
important to ensure that all people will have affordable access to open space in the future.
One obvious solution is to investigate reclamation of landfills for cleaner water and open
75 Richard Louv. Last Child in the Woods: Saving out Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. 2005. 108
76 Deepak, interview by author, written notes, Patna, India, March 16, 2008

Landfill Programs in India
As open land continues to diminish or disappear, many parts of India utilize
marshland locations without buildings on them as landfills. In several cases the waste
materials are dumped into wetland areas without a liner or barrier against pollutant
migration. Waste dumping in wetlands is not unique to India, but where people dump
waste in several countries. It has historically been the inclination to put refuse in a
wetland because it is a natural void in the landscape, and because it is unusable land.
Trash in wetlands is an issue because wetlands provide valuable habitat which is sensitive
to the impacts of pollution. Other issues occur when the landfill is full, such as wetland
water displacing into other areas which causes drainage failure. This results in both
seasonal and constant flooding. There are human related issues as well, because the
water polluted by the landfill can infiltrate the groundwater system, damaging the quality
of potable ground water.77 78 79 When wetlands are the only option for landfill dumping sites,
precautions need to be taken to ensure that the health of the communities is not
compromised by toxins draining into the groundwater.
Although waste from households is not the most dangerous pollutant that India is
dealing with, it definitely contributes to the pollution problem. Pollutants travel from
Linda Poliak, Matrix Landscape: Construction of Identity in the Large Park. Princeton Architectural
Press, (September, 2007): 95-103.
78 Poliak, 96
79 Stephen C. James, Metals in Municipal Landfill Leachate And Their Health Effects, American Journal
of Public Health (May, 1977), 67 no.5, 429-432.

landfills to water sources through runoff from rain as surface water, or after it has picked
up soluble contaminants, by leaching through soil into aquifers.80 81 82 83 Another type of water
contamination occurs when additional water drains on to the site from the sides or moves
in beneath the landfill, contributing to the amount of overall quantity of pollutants in the
leachate. The degree to which the water is contaminated is dependent on the amount of
water which has passed through the waste. Leachate studies have been done on landfills
which have primarily paper, food waste, glass, metals, plastics, rubber, diapers, oils,
O 1
grease, and other liquid wastes. Over time, leachates from these contaminates can seep
into groundwater and cause health issues. Some of the health compromising toxins
found in household and industrial waste sites are selenium, mercury, chromium,
cadmium, PCBs, PAH, and lead. These problems affect health through
bioaccumulation, which is the bodys tendency to store chemicals and allow them to
accumulate causing health problems, examples are the painful and fatal Itai-Itai disease
caused by chronic cadmium poisoning, and Minamata disease, caused by chronic
mercury poisoning.84 85 These diseases are typically found in people consuming fish which
have been exposed to industrial chemical waste; in both diseases, the contaminants are
concentrated in fish found near industrial wastes. Contaminants do not only come from
80 Stephen C. James, Metals in Municipal Landfill Leachate And Their Health Effects, American Journal
of Public Health (May, 1977), 429-432.
81 Idem
82 Idem
83 Idem
84 Idem
85 Idem

water sources, they also can accumulate in the body from eating plants and animals that
have the contaminants in them. PCBs are manmade chemicals used in common products
such as electrical applications, hydraulics, paints, and plastics.86 PCBs cause a wide
range of health issues, including brain damage, spinal degeneration, loss of smell,
reproductive issues, and several forms of cancer.87 88 89 Another form of pollutant, PAHs are
<3 0
a product of incomplete combustion of organic materials. Some types of PAHs are
known to cause anemia and a suppressed immune system with short term exposure, and
developmental issues, reproductive issues, and cancer with long term exposure.
Because many of the landfills in India do not have liners beneath them, the water system,
and in turn, Indian residents are directly exposed to these waste associated contaminants.
When these landfills are converted to park spaces, the process doesnt stop; as the waste
continues to break down, contaminates in the water system persist.
86 U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), EPA, (February 20, 2008) (accessed April 6, 2008)
87 U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), EPA, (February 20,2008)
U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, Ground Water & Drinking Water, Consumer Factsheet on:
BENZO(A)PYRENE, EPA, (November 28, 2006), (accessed April 6, 2008)
89 Idem

Fig 2.17: A landfill site beside a major highway Patna, India. (3/15/08)
Trash and rubble are everywhere in India. The Indian mindset about waste stems
from the fact that not long ago all the waste was biodegradable and there was no need to
manage it. As municipalities started to recognize the spread of trash and building debris
as an issue, they have begun to develop collection programs and identify landfills. One
example of this is Clean India in Patna Bihar India. The Clean India program allows
colonies or neighborhoods to organize their community trash collection. Neighborhoods
pay a small fee to Clean India and trash collectors come once a week to collect their trash
and take it to the local landfill. This program creates jobs, cleans the streets, and
generates a community mindset about waste management and community pride. The
program disallows children from working in the landfill, to encourage them to go to
school. Clean India allows the pickers to sort the recyclable material from the trash so
that they can sell it to local manufacturers, both increasing the collectors income and
reducing the amount of trash going into the landfill. These programs are gaining
credence throughout India. In Patna alone, Clean India works with 100 out of 181

colonies.90 This trend is promising for the future because creating community oriented
opinions about healthy waste management is the first step in cleaning the streets and
neighborhoods of India.
Fig 2.18: Trash collector making runs Patna India (3/15/08)
Because space is at a premium, filled landfills are being used as open space
throughout India. Indian landfills are not often built up vertically, but spread out in low
areas. Once the area is full of trash, it is covered with dirt. Because it is unstable to build
on, filled landfills are being used as open recreational space. In Patna the landfill sites
are predominantly located in former wetlands; the trash fills these sites, thus allowing for
development of use as recreational spaces. For example, the previous landfill in Patna is
Arun Kumar, Patna, India, March 16, 2008.

now used primarily for cricket. Measures have been taken to maintain the space after it
has been filled in by planting and caging trees around the periphery and creating a
drainage channel around the outside of the park which is connected to the urban drainage
system. In Patna, these expired landfill areas are some of the only free publicly
accessible recreational open spaces.
Developing parks out of landfills in Patna generates permanent, aesthetically
beautiful recreation areas. However, the process of filling the landfills prevents them
from becoming recreational spaces until they are full. By designing the site to drain and
clean neighborhood runoff and pile waste to take up less area, it would be possible to use
the site sooner for recreational uses. It would also prolong the use of the space as a

landfill because it can be used longer if the trash is piled and compressed than it can
when the trash is spread out, thus slowing the uptake of new spaces for landfills. At the
same time, phytoremediation would be employed to clean the toxins from the leachates
created by the landfill.

Landfill Landscapes
There are several examples of landscapes on landfill sites around the world, but
none of them act intentionally to clean the water table and soils while also educating and
engaging the users through local cultures on the significance of the parks cleaning
purpose. Manicured landscapes built on landfills in the United States and India are
typically trying to hide the fact that the space is a decaying mass of waste beneath. Fresh
Kills Park on Staten Island in New York City, is an example of a park built on a landfill
that was previously in a wetland. Fresh Kills is a huge expanse of land which facilitates a
diversity of uses in an urban environment, ecology, and a minimally programmed
landscape design which allows for the respite of the urban surroundings.91
91 New York City Department of City Planning, Fresh Kills Park Project, New York City Department of
Planning, (2008)
92 Idem New York City Department of City Planning.

Designed by James Comer and Stanley Allen of Field Operations, an
internationally recognized large New York City design firm, Fresh Kills park site was
once the largest landfill in the world. As a park, it now has state-of-the-art ecologically
sustainable methane and leachate management system. It also provides a milieu of
programmed activities and native habitat.93 George Hargreaves, also a famous landscape
architect, has also designed several successful parks on landfills, namely Byxbee Park
and Candlestick Park in San Francisco. Hargreaves is recognized for his success in re-
forming wasteland spaces and encouraging higher real-estate value in the area. Though
these three park designs speak to the relationship of trash and the park space, there is no
educational component about how to treat waste. Instead, the waste is capped and treated
out of sight. In contrast, Fuzhou Chinas Bsima Canal Restoration project by John Todd
and his organization Ocean Arcs International allows people to view the remediation
process which uses phytoremediative plants to actively clean the sludge from the canal.
Several of John Todds projects have been highly influential in their ability to remediate
soils and water through a variety of ecological process including phytoremediation. The
Fuzhou China Bsima Canal Restoration project was able to reduce the BOD level 92%
through a series of ecological process.94
93 New York City Department of City Planning, Fresh Kills Park Project, New York City Department of
Planning, (2008),
94 John Todd Ecological Design, Inc. Solutions for Water Planning and Treatment,Urban Municipal Canal
Restorer, Fuzhou, China.

Fig 3.3: Fuzhou China canal after restoration
The landfills in Byxbee and Candlestick Point parks are capped, so there is no
leachate penetration or potential for water quality degradation like the landfill park
examples in India.95 In the Fresh Kills landscape design, wind energy generators are a
design element which brings attention to sustainable elements in the landscape. The
parks also reference the trash beneath the surface of the park using sculptural elements.
Because the landfills that Hargeaves is working on are capped, there is no opportunity to
95 Hargreaves Associates firm, (accessed May, 2008)

introduce phytoremediation as the bridge between the future of sustainability and the
history of waste on the site. The landfill associated projects that Hargreaves has worked
on are based in the culture of the United States, an out-of-sight-out-of-mind mentality.
People are currently interacting and recreating on landfills in India. The existing
examples of landfill parks have good elements, but none of them encompass the full
potential of remediation parks including remediation, recreation, interaction, and

The Science of Phytoremediation
Phytoremediation is a promising tool for soil and water cleansing, especially in
developing countries. Specifically, phytoremediation occurs when plants help in
removing organic and inorganic toxins from soil and water sources. There are five
known types of phytoremediation processes, and many plants do more than one type of
phytoremediation. One process is called phytovolitization. In this process, plants uptake
toxins into their roots and stems, then release the toxins from the leaves as nontoxic
vapor.96 One family of plants which exhibits this phytoremediative process is Poplars.
Rhizodegredation, another type of phytoremediation, allows enzymes to be released from
the roots that metabolize the toxins within the soil as exhibited in switch grass, osage
orange, mulberries, English ryegrass, buffalo grass, Indian mustard and sunflowers.97 98
The type of phytoremediation which occurs when the roots act to prevent spreading of
toxins into other soils or into water sources is called phytostabilization and is exhibited in
plants with extensive root systems. The most common method of phytoremediation is
phytoaccumulation which takes place when the plant uptakes and accumulates toxins in
its stems and leaves.99 Phytoaccumulation is a process which can be identified in vetech,
yarrow, alpine pennycress, brake ferns, lupine, poplars, birds-foot-trefoil, Indian mustard,
hairy golden rod, foxglove, chickweed, buffalo grass, water hyssop, water velvet,
Timothy Oppelt, Introduction to Phytoremediation, EPA, (February, 2000), http://www.clu- (accessed May, 2007)
97 Idem
98 Idem

sunflowers, indigo, chives as well as several more.100 Within this process the portion of
the plant which is storing the toxic materials must be harvested and managed at a toxic
waste site to prevent the plant from dying back and returning the toxin to the soil. This is
done by removing and incinerating the biotic plant material that has accumulated, and
taking it to a toxic waste site. The final type of phytoremediative process is
phytodegredation. This type of phytoremediation uptakes the toxin from the ground and
metabolizes the toxin into a benign material within the plant. Poplars and some varieties
of roses have been proven to metabolize toxins in the form of phytodegredation. There
have been a lot of experiments to identify which plants are potential phytoremediators,
but the science is still young, and the potential for finding more plants with
phytoremediative properties is high.
Phytoremediation is still challenging to employ as an effective remediator because
often the plant will not perform toxin uptake efficiently if its environmental conditions
are not in a specific balance. In many cases the soil needs to have a particular pH, or
specific amount of water to act efficiently in cleansing the soil.101 Because of the
specifications of phytoremediation, it is important to create test sites which can assure
that the chosen plants will be effective in remediating the soil. It is also imperative that
the type of phytoremediation going into effect is understood and maintained according to
the phytoremediation methods specifications. This includes harvesting plants which
have a toxic chemical uptake, adjusting the pH of the soil if needed, and monitoring the
100 Sampling of Plant Species Studied for Phytoremediation._Appendix 6 Puget Sound
101 Timothy Oppelt, Introduction to Phytoremediation, EPA, (February, 2000)

human and animal interaction levels on site if there is a high level of pollution. Because
phytoremediaion is inexpensive to employ in comparison to other toxic remediation
options and because it works on all but the most concentrated pollution areas, it is a very
promising option for widespread toxic clean up particularly in developing countries.
India has started to adopt and propose phytoremediation projects. One example
of a phytostabilization project near the Yamuna River uses local trees to stabilize ash
waste from industrial plants. This prevents the ash from blowing away and decreases the
amount of leaching into the river while also providing timber resources. In another
project, a series of floating soil beds planted with reed grass has drastically reduced the
BOD and other river pollutants in two years. There are also several mining reclamation
and reforestation projects assembled by Benares Hindu University and New Delhi
University. These projects concentrate on iron ore mines that compromise the water
quality for small tribal communities downstream from abandoned mines. Though the
scientific practice of phytoremediation is already integrated in restoration in India, it has
not yet been introduced in the context of community interaction in a park setting where it
could be widely used and understood. 102
Madhoolika Agrawal, Professor Department of Botany Benares Hindu University, interview by author,
written notes, Varanasi, India, March 23, 2008.

Sacred Plants and Phytoremediation
Plants have been important religious cultural icons for Hinduism, Buddhism, and
Islam in India for thousands of years. Plants present the option to connect cultural values
with phytormediation based on several cultural constructs, including traditional stories,
Ayurveda, and the sacred groves. As one of the longest continuously practiced religions,
Hinduism has a strong core belief recorded in ancient texts, made up of the four Vedas
and yoga. The Vedas explain how to stay healthy within different contexts. Ayuveda is
one Veda which is about medicinal health through the use of plants. Unlike in Western
thinking, food and medicine are not seen as separate.103 Among other principals,
Ayurveda discusses the use of food and spices in a dietary context to maintain good
health and to prevent illness.
Another historic tradition of nature worship which is still active in India is the
Sacred Groves. The groves are regionally specific forests that are considered to be the
home of Gods and ancestral spirits.104 These forests are protected from resource
depletion because within the Hindu religious context it is taboo to acquire wood, water,
or animals from the forests.105 They traditionally believed the consequences of acquiring
India Herbs: Ancient Medicine for Modem Times, About Ayuveda, Comparison of Medical Systems
(2008), (Accessed April 15, 2008)
Amberly Polidor, Sacred Land Film Project, (1999-2008)

resources from the sacred groves are death or famine.106 Because these forests have been
treasured and protected, they foster many endangered species, and provide native habitat
for many animals that might not have a habitat otherwise. There is a great importance
placed on plants in current Indian lifestyles steaming from the ancient ideas ingrained in
Indian ideology from the Ayurveda texts. This creates little separation between
spirituality, nourishment, nature, and medicine.
Some of the important plants in Indian culture include the lotus, hibiscus, anise
seed, rice, neem trees, mangos, henna, marigolds, bamboo, castor beans, and
mulberries.107 The majority of the Indian population is familiar with the same cultural
value systems, and symbolic emblems are widely recognized. Though they come from
diverse religious backgrounds most people identify with the same culturally significant
plants. Phytoremediation poses an opportunity for overlap of culturally valued plants
with plants that can clean the environment. Using plants that already have cultural or
financial incentives strengthens their proposed use as a component in improving the
pollution issue. The intrinsic value of the plant is already present, and people associate
healing and prospering with the plant.
The connection between phytoremediation and waste clean up in India is also
synonymous in the theological setting. The relationship between cleansing and renewal
from decay and destruction literally is the scientific process of phytoremediation and the
106 Idem
107 Envis Center on Conservation of Ecological Heritage, Sacred Plants of India, CPR Environmental
Education Center, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, (accessed September 15, 2007)

theological cornerstones of Hindu thought. The phytoremediation process exemplifies
creation as a product of destruction in nature by producing growing plants from waste. In
the Rudra Center texts they state .. .Creation and destruction are like two sides of a coin.
And maintenance is an integral part of the processes of creation and destruction. For
example, morning dies to give birth to noon. Noon dies when night is bom. In this chain
of birth and death the day is maintained.... Shiva is married to the Goddess Uma. Uma
represents frakriti which means perishable matter. Shiva's marriage with Uma signifies
that the power of destruction has no meaning without its association with perishable
matter. Destruction manifests itself only when there is perishable matter.108 This theory
of creation as a possibility resulting from the perishable matter in conjunction with
destruction directly supports the idea of phytoremediation in a landfill site. In a cultural
context, using plants as the supporting medium for the symbiotic process of decay
begetting creation will communicate to the residents the depth of the meaning in the
phytoremediative process.
108 Rudra Center,

Phytoremediation, Open Space, and Landfills
The role of the Landscape Architect in our current global climate is increasingly
demanding. As the earth becomes more populated, open vegetated areas are diminishing,
especially in cities. It is necessary to meet more societal requirements in a single space
with an increased user population. At the same time, with the rise in global temperature,
and depletion of global resources, sustainable practices such as phytoremediation are
essential in contemporary design. Designers should incorporate these sustainable
technologies in a functional way which is publicly appreciated and supports the local
culture. Byxbee Park, Candlestick Point, and Fresh Kills landfill landscapes are effective
re-compositions of wastelands into community amenities, but they do not reflect our
current need to expose the problem of pollution while creating culturally adapted
solutions. The forecast of global resources and human health is compromised due to the
way we are currently polluting the earth. Within these conditions it is the temptation for
many to come up with a globally viable solution that can be implemented quickly.
Solutions like hybrid cars, unilateral water treatment systems, and sustainable building
materials do not recognize different world views and resources. Sustainable practices are
important, yet to be even more effective, they must be tailored to the cultural parameters.

Phytoremediation is a sustainable practice that presents opportunities to re-affirm local,
cultural values such as those grounded in the deep Hindu beliefs of Patna.
Indias Hindu cultural ideas and practices have outlasted domination by several
different empires; it is one of the oldest religions in the world. It should not be
encouraged to adjust to global constructs which do not fit its cultural values. At the same
time, the country faces serious pollution and health problem which many people do not
recognize because they believe the powers of nature do not need human intervention.
Landscape designers are in the position to create the culturally accepted bridge between
cultural ideals and sustainable intentions.
The pollution levels in the river can not be changed with one Phytoremediation
Park, this is why the park has to include educational elements. The attitude is slowly
changing with regards to waste management. By connecting the concept of untreated
waste with its health degrading effects and by presenting healthy alternatives for
residential waste management upstream from the Ganga, there is the potential for a
spreading paradigm shift with regards to waste and its abundant pollution problem. This
has already begun with programs like Clean India. Clean India brings colonies together
to talk about the way they want to deal with their neighborhood trash and encourages the
community to work with them in trash collection and disposal. An informational mural
and model waste management presentation area would help to subsidize the efforts that
trash pick up organizations like Clean India already provide. The remediation efforts of
the park will only be successful if it acts to educate beyond the capabilities of one onsite

phytoremediation project. Educating the public about recycling, electrical power created
by landfill generated methane gas, composting, and phytoremediative plants is the best
tool for creating a more influential experience than casual usage. Beyond user education
the park can be a model for other interactive phytoremediation parks around India in the
future. Because the concept of phytoremediation (plants that can create a healthier
environment) is seamless with traditionally Indian ideas about sacred plants, it could
become a popular prototype for park development from landfills.
The pollution of water resources in India at this time presents a serious threat to
the long term health of its people. Previous efforts to remediate or prevent pollution
sources from infiltrating the water have not been entirely successful because they did not
comply with the cultural parameters. Indias volume of pollution and the resulting health
problems are largely a product of the way people think about waste.109 Though the way
people are treating trash is changing slowly, it could be aided by aligning healthy waste
management with Indian cultural history. As landfill development and recycling make
their way into Indian culture, a new issue occurs using open space for landfill waste
management. With the density of people in growing towns in India, land near the city
center is at a premium. When that available land is used for waste management, it
restricts the number of areas for potential recreation area development. Using
phytoremediation to actively clean waste leachate on site allows for multiple activities to
occur onsite. Developing the working landfills as park spaces and using
109 Arun Kumar, Patna, India, March 16, 2008.

phytoremediation and other sustainable techniques can also capitalize on Indian
philosophy and religious icons through important cultural plants.

Patna India
The site design model will take place in Patna India. Nestled in a southern bend
of the Ganga, Patna is the capital of the state of Bihar. With 1,800,000 people spread
over an area that is 9 km wide and 25 km long, Patna is incredibly dense and rapidly
growing.110 There are several reasons why Patna is the chosen site design location. First,
because Patna has a very flat terrain, it is constantly flooded, and many parts of it are
110 Google Earth. Image of Patna India. Terrametrics (2008) Digital Globe (2008). (accessed March 30,

The space between the river and the city center is so valuable, people build up
their structures and roads on both soils and refuse. The current way to prevent flooding
urban infrastructure lifting structures and roads with whatever material is most
affordable. This inexpensive material is often trash. When waste is constantly immersed
in water, the toxic leachates are prone to draining into the groundwater table, or into the
Fig 4.2 Structures in the marshland are built up on trash and soil to prevent flooding
As the capitol of Bihar, Patna is trying to manage growth. While the current
leadership is making efforts to master plan effectively, residents say that the previous

governing body of Patna was corrupt and allowed poor decisions to be made.111 There is
an increasing presence of wealthy and educated people residing in the area who have the
desire to create better living conditions for people in Patna. Bihar doesnt have very
many attractions. Aside from Bodhgaya, the place where Buddha reached enlightenment,
three hours away from Patna, and Nalanda, one of the oldest universities in the world,
there are very few destination sites. This reduces the tourist economy and attractions for
locals. Also, based on the pollution control board data for India, Patna is proven to be a
considerable source of pollution to the Ganga (reference figures 2.6-2.11). Bihar
University has been targeting a large amount of research on the prospects of
phytoremediation. The park area could act as a research facility for more extensive
research on a large site. The most pressing reason Patna is ideal for this park is the
deficit of open space for recreation considering the density of people in the area. The
majority of open areas are retired landfills, places where homeless live, or temple
grounds. In order to maintain a good standard of health in densely populated conditions,
reserved areas for parks and recreation are going to be essential.
Graduate Botany class, Bihar University, interview by author, written notes, Patna, India, March 16,

Fig 4.3: Map of India where the yellow point marks the location of Patna, India.
MindSites Group, LLC, India GIS data, Data Depot, MindSites Group LLC, 1995-2007

Site Analysis
Fig 4.4: Google Earth aerial image of Patna, India. The landfill design site is marked by
yellow circle113
This site is perfect for a phytoremediation pilot design for several reasons. First,
the site, (the electrical board colony landfill) is a large area of unused open space.
Second, the landfill program that the area is set aside for is in its initial phases, so the
existing trash will not be too complicated to move. Third, the area will serve a large and
diverse population of the surrounding community and beyond. Finally, the site is a great 113
113 Google Earth. Image of Patna India. Terrametrics (2008) Digital Globe (2008). (accessed March 30,

location for a pilot design because it is central in Patna, and will prove as an example for
other landfill areas in the surrounding colonies.
The site is in the center of a colony or neighborhood primarily designated for
families of employees of the electrical board. It is a low area within the community, and
currently acts as a water detention area for the neighborhood, a trash dump site, and a
collection area for cattails to be used as cattle fodder. Patna is very flat with a very high
water table due to its adjacency to the Ganga River. Therefore, any low area has swamp-
like conditions that vary in severity of water load depending on whether it is closer to the
monsoon or dry season. A road has been elevated in the swampy area to allow the trash
collectors to get to the center of the site to dump their collected refuse. The cattails and
grasses are 3 to 8 feet tall and give the feeling of being in the center of a marshland,
though the depth of the open water across the site is near 2 feet. Although the
neighborhoods trash has been dumped in this wetland area for about a year already, there
is no garbage odor at the site. This is likely because people in this community have less
refuse than in countries such as the United States, and because they dont use as many
synthetic, hard to decompose, products or packaging.
Around the edge of the site residential apartment buildings made of pre-cast
concrete 3 to 5 stories tall with occasional simple vegetable plots outside are placed on a
loose community grid. At the south end of the site there is a business complex laid out
on a straighter grid. At the west side of the site there is a school with no apparent outdoor
recreational space. All of the buildings have large balconies where laundry is hung out to

dry. The site is primarily accessed by bicycle cart or walking, though main roads do
intersect it, allowing for the occasional car.
Although the site trash doesnt have a strong odor, it nun-the-less contains
harmful toxic material that contaminates the soils, and travels through landfill leachate to
ground water. The quantity of various toxins in landfills are hard to determine because
they are ever changing due to the different types of waste deposited. On a given day the
pH, dilution, and mixtures of toxic substances can change radically. In order to make an
estimation for the effectiveness of the phytoremediation process on site, a landfill study
was chosen to determine which toxins are in an average landfill and at what volume.
This is important because it gives the park quantitative as well as qualitative results. The
following table takes the amount of toxins found in milligrams per liter of landfill
leachate from a 5 year old landfill and multiplies each toxin figure by the amount of
water that will travel through the trash (area of trash multiplied by the average rainfall, 1
meter). However, because the site is acting as a detention pond as well as a landfill,
additional water will be coming to the site from the entire neighborhood. The additional
water will act to dilute the leachate further, as well as bring in different toxins to the site.
This could potentially affect the final results by making them either more or less effective
depending on how the plant uptakes toxins. The estimated amount of toxins on site is
high, and has the potential to make people exposed to the ground water very sick.

Table 1
Chemical (Sources listed below) mg/1 5 yrs leachate in average landfill Amount in Patna landfill mg/1 per year Health Hazard114 Phytoremediator(s)
Nitrate 0.5 2,238,728.00 Excess nitrate in the environment can lead to overgrowth of algae and other plants. This extended population reduces the amount of oxygen in water systems. All plants use various amounts of nitrogen
Manganese (Mn) 0.06 268,647.36 Adverse neurological effects. com
Zinc (Zn) 0.4 1,790,982 Ailments such as stomach cramps, skin irritations, vomiting, nausea and anemia. sunflower, lotus, corn
Copper (Cu) 0.5 2,238,728 Affects the gastrointestinal tract. lotus
Cadmium (Cd) 0.05 223,873 Affects kidneys and remains in the human body for 10-35 years. lotus, hibiscus, Indian mustard, sunflower
Lead (Pb) 0.5 2,238,728 Lead poisoning affects the nervous and reproductive systems and the kidneys. Lead is especially harmful to the developing brains of fetuses and young children and to pregnant women. Lead interferes with the metabolism of calcium and Vitamin D. High blood lead levels in children can cause consequences which may be irreversible including learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and mental retardation. sunflower, cattail, rose, Indian mustard, lotus, castor beans, corn
PCB 3.1 13,880,113 PCBs can cause brain damage, spinal degeneration, loss of smell, reproductive issues, and several forms of cancer. mulberry, grass mix
PAH 0.0005952 2,665 Some types of PAHs are known to cause anemia and a suppressed immune system with short term exposure and developmental issues, reproductive issues, and cancer with long term exposure. mulberry, ryegrass, paspalum, naupaka, thespesia populnea
Arsenic (As) 0.2 to 250 895491.2 to 1119364000 Effects range from diarrhea to mortality, but usually are evident in birth defects, and skin sores. brake fem
Mercury (Hg) .002 8954.9 In humans, acute oral poisoning results primarily in hemorrhagic gastritis and colitis; the ultimate damage is to the kidney. lupine
Syed R. Qasim and Walter Chiang, Sanitary Landfill Leachate Generation: Control and Treatment (Boca Raton: CLC Press LLC, 1994), 140
Haarstad Ketil and Borch Hakon, Halogenated compounds, PCB and pesticides in landfill leachate, downstream lake sediments and fish. Journal of Environmental Science and Health 43, 2008: 1346-1352.
Marie Ponthieu, and others, eds. Speciation Analysis of Arsenic in Landfill Leachate. France 1 May 2007.
Table 4.1 Site analysis of toxins present originating from landfill leachate
114 World Health Organization Water Sanitation and Health. World Health Organization, 2004. (accessed 4/18/09)

As demonstrated in Table 1, many of the plants that are phytoremediators, uptake
multiple toxins. Table 1 also indicates that some toxins are more deadly than others.
While these are commonly found toxins in a landfill, there is a possibility that as trends
change the chemicals in refuse will change. Mercury, for instance, will likely increase
due to the increasing use of CFL light bulbs, which are high in mercury content. PCBs
and PAH were very common in household appliances, and are slowly being eliminated,
and will hopefully be less present in landfills in the future.

Fig 4.5: Panorama of the site

The Site: Landfill site at the Electrical board colony, Patna, India
Analysis Diagrams: Circulation
115 Google Earth. Image of Patna India. Terrametrics (2008) Digital Globe (2008)

Analysis Diagrams: Open Areas
Open areas
ts unity covered in
thick vegetation
Fig 4.8: Google aerial photograph of the site with an open space analysis overlay (left)
Image of site vegetation (right) photo by Kristy Wasserbach116
Analysis Diagrams: Frequently Flooded Areas
flooded areas
Fig 4.9: Google aerial photograph of the site with an analysis overlay of frequently
flooded areas (left) Image of site flood conditions (right) photo by Kristy Wasserbach lb,d
116 Google Earth. Image of Patna India. Terrametrics (2008) Digital Globe (2008)

Fig 4.10: Google aerial photograph of the site with an open space analysis overlay (left)
Image of site vegetation (right) photo by Kristy Wasserbach1'7
Fig 4.11: Google aerial photograph of the site with an use type analysis overlay (top)
Image of site residential conditions (bottom right) Image of site Business conditions
(bottom center) Image of the school (bottom right) photos by Kristy Wasserbach lbld 117
117 Google Earth. Image of Patna India. Terrametrics (2008) Digital Globe (2008). (accessed March 30,

Taking the site analysis opportunities and constraints into consideration, the park
layout needs a consistent design concept to synchronize the design elements and
incorporate the purpose of the park in the design. The design Concept is percolate.
Perco-late: To drain or seep through a porous material or filter. Percolate is the
process that occurs as water filters through trash and other decaying materials resulting in
toxic leachate, which then percolates into the ground water. Phytoremediation has a
reverse percolation affect that pulls the toxins out of the soil and groundwater. The
design concept is percolate. Not only literally does the design percolate, but the idea of
phytoremediation and the health of natural resources needs to percolate into society and
the surrounding community. The design concept therefore is derived from the idea of
percolating. India does not segregate class and industry, but layers all types of living in
the same location at the same time. This allows the concept of percolating to expand
through all of the culturally associated elements which affect Indian society. Within each
of those iconic cultural elements, there is an associated movement. The idea of using
plants to clean natural resources will have to percolate through these layers of society to
be effective.

Fig 4.12: Design Parti Percolate



On site path Active phytoremediation
Circulation process areas
Fig 4.16: Site Diagrams nts

Methane energy
Community meeting
Pavilion/ picnicking
Water drainage

Phytoremediation Detention area Community
I pods grade change Pavilion
Fig 4.17: Large Design Sections @ 100 = 1
Detention area
grade change
Soil foundation Trash hill

Fig 4.18: Conceptual sections 1 nts
1. from the south end of the field on the phytoremediation pods. 2. Community meeting flood detention area. 3. Cricket fields

Fig 4.19: Conceptual sections 2 nts
4. Phytoremediation treatment train, 5. Educational kiosk


Walking trail
Public restrooms
Fig 4.20: Site elements
Picnic shelter
community meetings