Bombay: Static and Kinetic

Status

Off the Boards
Location 
Mumbai, India
2008

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Bombay—as a city reclaimed from the sea—is built not on land, but on capital. This is visible topologically: Mumbaikars who are rich enough live and work in tall buildings; everyone else is condemned to borrowed ground.

At the same time, inadequate infrastructure in the Island City is driving the trend of decentralization. New growth throughout the metro region is contingent not only on the dispersion of capital, goods and services, but also on increased connectivity—between suburban districts as well as to the core.

Urban planning at present foregrounds real estate and big business interests.The mutually-beneficial cooperation of Government and Business excludes the majority of Mumbai residents. Consequently, any collective opposition takes the (form) language of opposition.

Current efforts to make Mumbai a "world-class" or "global city"—the transplantation of New York City's urban image through the economic structure of Shanghai—fail to critique this project. The Western Capitalist city invariably produces economic segregation; Mumbai, already a site of gross inequality, is a city of hybridized land use.

Mumbai's hybridity is inherently productive for generating INCLUSIVE economic growth at a large scale. Therefore, the urban strategy should maximize the frequency of programmatic adjacencies and combinatory infrastructure: Optimize the interfacial.

Our proposal creates a new information technology district which connects emerging developments and informal enterprise across the region.

A new thickened ground provides an integrated framework to facilitate interaction between informal and formal economies, maximizing resources and efficiency.

Informal economies at the ground level interface more seamlessly with the more formal economies above. The hybrid ground fosters new and stronger connections between both of these vibrant markets.