The Yamuna River Project


04/25/18 University of Virginia



Iñaki Alday, Architecture -

Pankaj Vir Gupta, Architecture -

Urban Design study of the 58km long Najafgarh Drain and the 7km long Supplementary Drain between Bhalswa landfill and the Yamuna.


Michael Allen, Religious Studies -

Mapping the history of spiritual sites along the Yamuna’s banks in Delhi such as crematoriums, ghats, and pilgrimage sites and documenting local neighborhoods’ relationship to the Yamuna River in Delhi.


John Echeverri-Gent, Politics -

Paromita Sen, Politics -

Prior research identified the overlapping jurisdictions and agendas of Delhi’s formal policy process as it relates to the management and recovery of the Yamuna River including government bureaucracies, major think tanks, activist NGOs and the judicial system. Continuing research will go beneath the “headline organizations” to identify the representation structure of secondary and underprivileged groups and their relationship to revitalizing the Yamuna.


Guoping Huang, Urban and Environmental Planning -

Developing a GIS database of Delhi to serve as a repository for gathered data and accessible tool for YRP researchers. Utilizing GIS to analyze transportation systems, population growth, and green space and using these factors to propose alternative scenarios that improve development practices and spacialize multiple alternative development strategies that can be utilized by researchers, planners, or government officials.


Winston Lung, Engineering -

Conducting water quality modeling in the Najafgarh Drain and the Yamuna River.


Andrew Mondschein, Urban and Environmental Planning -

Eric Field, Architecture and Applied Information Technology -

Developing a survey based digital walkability model for Delhi that analyzes the mobility choices that people choose and the environmental exposures that they encounter over the course of their day. This data will be utilized to influence alternative mobility planning and design options that focus on the experiential quality of daily movement instead of simply point to point connection.


Bala Mulloth, Public Policy -

Researching the impact of social entrepreneurial organizations on the restoration of the Yamuna River, the value they are creating, and the potential impacts of social entrepreneurship on policy decisions.


Shankar Nair, Religious Studies -

Researching the Yamuna River and issues of broader environmental concern in South Asia through a study on the ways that the natural environment is represented and aesthetically deployed in Hindu and Muslim literatures of South Asia.


Matt Reidenbach, Environmental Sciences -

Hana Thurman, Environmental Sciences (Research Assistant) -

Utilizing SRTM DEMs and Land Cover readings to develop a GIS based Hydrological Model that simulates storm water runoff quantity and quality in Delhi by identifying and mapping local subcatchments and determining water flows. The model can be used to simulate single or long-term events and compare designed storm water discharge vs actual discharge.


Spencer Phillips, Natural Resource Economist -

Janie Hammaker, Economics and Politics (Research Assistant) -

Rhaude Dahlinghaus, Global Studies (Research Assistant)

Developing a baseline greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions model of Delhi which will also track and produce metrics for climate change, water and air quality, human health, economic outcomes, etc. This model will be able to simulate future GHG emission changes including scenarios associated with YRP proposals and other policy changes. Future phases will include educational efforts and policy briefings using the model to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration and action around emissions issues.


Mahesh Rao, Environmental Sciences -

Utilizing current and historic LANDSAT satellite imagery to conducting an analysis of land use and cover in Delhi over time that can identify urban fabric, tree cover, and waterbodies among others. Will be taking a research trip to Delhi in order to compare actual built fabric with LANDSAT readings in order to more accurately quantify and qualify land use and cover.


Abeer Saha, History -

Researching narratives around Yamuna’s place in Delhi over the past sixty years; exploring the ways in which the Yamuna is both seen and unseen in the lives of the millions that live by it and writing a research paper on Delhi’s post-colonial environmental history.


Zhilan Song, Landscape Architecture -

Xiang Zhao, Landscape Architecture -

Pursuing analytical research and a strategy proposal for Delhi’s dysfunctional solid waste management system. Interested in finding scenarios to formalize and urbanize the waste management system in Delhi including the reclamation of the old Bhalswa landfill to recover the health of surrounding neighborhoods and developing a replicable case study for the numerous poisonous landfills existing throughout India to support a solid waste management strategy that achieves future zero-waste Indian cities.


Tim Winchester, Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning -

Using GIS analysis and digital mapping to analyze Delhi’s existing green spaces and corridors to propose potential outcomes that result in an urban park system for Delhi integrated with the city’s hydrological systems. The design and planning method will utilize an “alternative futures model” that model uncertainly into the system alongside current development practices, ultimately creating a flexible green space development plan that incorporates changing externalities.


Projects in Exploratory Phase


Liz Rogawski - Public Health

Impact of sewage and pollution in public health.


Peter Debaere - Business Administration

Assessment of water pricing structures.




Dan Ehnbom (Art History)

A study of the rich history of historical art centered on the cultural and religious significance of the Yamuna.


John Echeverri-Gent, Politics


Peter Debaere

All rights reserved by the Yamuna River Project at the University of Virginia, 2017.

One West Range, Hotel A, Room B01. Charlottesville VA, 22904-4282.

P.O. Box 400282

+1 (434) 924-9742