RIVER IN THE CITY
REVIVING THE URBAN RIVER’S EDGE AND MAKING IT AN URBAN COMMON
Our cities breed and grow from natural ecosystems. The relationship that water bodies and their allied landscapes share with the communities, its ecology has been changing inevitably. Rivers along with other ‘natural ecosystems’ have been commodified and manipulated in the modern-day urban setups for procuring land and the expanding urbanized boundaries. Rivers have always been shared resources that fulfill the needs of the communities. Communities effectively managed and sustained the river resources through centuries, but the changing perception of the urban ecological resources has rendered a landscape and eventually has forced communities to be devoid of having an interaction with nature.
The thesis intends to examine the changing socio-ecological relationships between the land, the river and different communities, across time. The thesis attempts to analyse and tell the story of an urban river through the lens of local and collective histories, ecologies with juxtaposition of the policies and the political imagination of landscapes by the state. The state, the market and the urban communities perceive the urban landscapes in varied ways today. These perceptions are shaped by different socio-economic and political agendas and desires. The methodology examines the chronological evolution of the Dahisar river landscape with the layers of socio-culture significance and its ecology, to build a narrative. The changing associations and values assigned to the river can be laid out to conclude the future imagination of the landscape.
The thesis aims to reshape the perception of urban rivers and evoke considerations of socio-ecological relationships in the designing urban landscapes, and making it an ‘Urban common’ by community stewardship, and through systemic interventions conserving its ecology.
Natural ecosystems, commodified, shared resources, reshaping socio- ecological relationships, urban common.