Urban Coalescence: Employing the BGI model as a contemporary resolve for the socio-ecological concerns


Urban Coalescence: Employing the BGI model as a contemporary resolve for the socio-ecological concerns

Harnessing the unrealized potential of the Industrial Heritage, Mumbai.

Keywords: Climate Change, Blue-Green Infrastructure, Industrial Heritage, Mill Lands.

The thesis identifies a need for a paradigm shift in the approach to solve the rising threats from climate change. Several global cities face issues of Urban flooding, rising temperature, deteriorating quality of life, urban spaces and infrastructure. In response these cities have altered their urban planning and design to incorporate nature-driven solutions as a counter to traditional infrastructure practices by harnessing blue elements (such as seas, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and water utilities) alongside green elements (such as trees, parks, gardens, playgrounds and forests).

The thesis explores opportunities of the Blue Green Infrastructure Model for the city of Mumbai to engage the derelict and underutilized grey infrastructure, that is, the Industrial Heritage. The methodology adopted identifies solutions and strategies at three scales, the Urban, Precinct/Neighborhood and Building/Complex scales and proposes a toolkit for Blue-Green-Grey infrastructure and Heritage. This approach shall aid the response to climate change, promote resilience and safeguard the Industrial heritage that is a key marker of the city’s development.

“A vivid reminder of how today’s world came to be the way it is, when industry employed entire communities and provided the heartbeat for many towns and cities. In this respect these historic industrial landscapes deserve our closest attention.”

 Therefore, the thesis aims to present a contemporary solution for the mill lands, while also utilizing them as infrastructure for the city’s inhabitants. The study attempts to formulate a framework that amalgamates the potential of the derelict and underutilized industrial heritage with the blue green infrastructure model to address the socio- ecological issues of the city of Mumbai.

In conclusion the approaches in conjunction aim to formulate a framework that will aid in strategizing contemporary solutions to contemporary issues and utilize the derelict industrial lands of the scale: due to their scale, availability, potential and heritage value. This shall be achieved through the BGI model which provides solutions that address the social-ecological and economic issues of the city. The model will function at three major levels- city, precinct and plot. The model will not only ensure development but also aim to develop strategies that maintain, enhance and revive the heritage value. The model will propose strategies that utilize the potential of these sites in amalgamation with elements that promotes neighborhood development that benefits the inhabitants and communities and makes them sustainable and promotes their social and economic growth along with accentuating the quality of life.



Sense of Place: Through Entrepreneurial Setups

Mukta Nagare | Urban Design | KRVIA 2022

First published in



Keywords: Public Realm, Vending Setup, Urban Space, Informal Economy, Inclusive Design

Indian cities are known for the liveliness that projects high urban vitality in their traditional way of life. Entrepreneurial setups of varying scales grown organically at every other street, junction, and around prominent structures have been a characteristic of vibrant Indian cities.

Formal & informal vending areas coexist in a synchromesh arrangement (Parmar & Singh, 2017) to form these entrepreneurial setups. They have developed a deep social connection as an integral part of everyday life. However, current development practices in India look at formal vending areas as real estate value boosters, while informal vendors are seen as a nuisance in urban development. Their coexistence and significance beyond physical form are overlooked. While providing everyday services to the lower & middle-class, these accessible enterprising spaces create opportunities for many as a source of livelihood.

They share direct physical boundaries with the public realm. Hence the segregated & polarising urban development approach towards formal & informal vending setups is impacting the urban vitality of the public realm in Indian cities. There is an expected increase in population dependent on informal commercial activities in forthcoming years, considering the pace of urbanization & rising competition over the urban space.

Thus, to tackle a dual purpose of addressing the quality of the public realm and incorporating inclusive entrepreneurial urban areas for future livelihood opportunities, the thesis aims at understanding how formal and informal vending setups create a sense of place in the public realm. The research identifies conditions of enterprising social spaces for urban vitality by studying three cases from Mumbai & its suburban region. In the process, it acknowledges the presence of informality as a necessary fragment of a formally organized public realm.