is an open collaboration platform for:









- Citizens


- Designers


- Government agencies









who are dissatisfied with isolated approaches to the interconnected nature of Chennai's flood challenges.


We enable any author to share content, photos, data and maps to create open, flexible reports that other users can build on...


...unlike the PDF files and hardcopy documents going out of date in your office.








Chennai's coastal location helps it grow, trade and succeed. However there are some challenges too....

Chennai is on a natural floodplain

The Kosasthalaiyar, Cooum and Adyar Rivers all flow through the coastal flats of Chennai.

During the monsoon, the rivers can overtop and join each other, creating a complex system of flooding.

The natural flowpaths have been altered

The natural lakes and ponds that hold the floodwaters are now largely filled. Earthworks for railways, highways and property development continue to reduce the capacity of the city's rivers.

The city is covered in concrete

Rain used to fall on the forest and earth. After the soil soaked, runoff would begin to fill the rivers. 

Today rainfall lands on bitumen, concrete and tin roofing. High volumes now flow straight to the rivers. 

Why is the flooding in Chennai an issue?

Homes Inundated

Homes are inundated for days, some for weeks on end. This results in overcrowding, disease and disempowerment.

Impacts on women and children are especially challenging when safe toilet facilities or clean environments to feed and change are not available. 

The poor are heavily impacted

Informal settlements often develop nearby the rivers.

This leads to a situation where the people least able to deal with the flooding are the most vulnerable to it.

People die

At least 470 people were killed by the floods in Tamil Nadu between October and December 2015. 

Production is impacted

Chennai Metropolitan Area has an economy of US$210 billion.

It produces 30% and exports 60% of all India's cars. 

It is the largest electronics exporter in India.

When floods occur, supply chains are disrupted, factories closed and wages and profitability are lost.

Recovery is more expensive than prevention

Rebuilding efforts occur under urgent conditions, when resources and labour are expensive.

Local emergency services require support from the Army. This mobilisation draws resources from across the country.

Investment confidence is lost

The business investment required to build a strong economy can be deterred by the risk of flooding.

Building contingency plan infrastructure is expensive for companies.

Flood insurance can be non-existant or not affordable.

Which actions will make an impact?

We provide a platform to host and share your impactful project. By sharing the data behind your project, in addition to just the conclusions, others can benefit. 

Likewise, we encourage you to use the data on our site to improve your project (of course you are still responsible for ensuring the data is appropriate for your purpose).

Please, join an existing project from the menu above, or contact us if you would like to see your project hosted here. 


We believe independent, collaborative and transparent understanding will save lives and drive successful developments.

Chennai can become resilient, livable and safe as it grows.

To make it happen, we use:

Open Data

Working in the open provides transparency and invites scrutiny. This helps our work become defensible and robust.

Citizen Energy

Local and global citizens are willing and working to create positive change in Chennai. We work to magnify their efforts. 

Government Policy

We work with Government to assess existing policy, and recommend practical changes that will be impactful, relevant and just.

Academic Research

We work with academics from Chennai, across India, and around the world, to bring the latest research to bear on real world challenges.


Output data from one project is input data for the next. Consistent basemaps allow a consistent story to be told accross the city.

Open Analysis

We require analysis here to use open-source tools. This allows anyone with the right skillset to build on it. Where possible we host the tools.

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