Shifting trajectories

Construct Urban Strategies to Restructure Mumbai’s Main Centralities and their Functional Relationships to Facilitate the Development of Metropolitan Hinterlands

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The project attempts to develop a strategic proposal through urban framed technique which structurally address the scalar increase of Mumbai megacity and its unequal opportunities. The result is to establish an integration of urban-business environments through Hi-speed infrastructures and therefore, reconfigure development towards hinterlands-region. This thesis is a morphological research into Mumbai’s urban centres focused on the changing roles of the central business districts, their connectivity and the behavior of the city towards its hinterland region, situated in the age of rapid urbanization and metropolitan expansion. Mumbai is the financial capital of India and an alpha city (see figure 3) owing to its increased corporate presence in the global economic networks (Grant and Nijman, 2002). As a ‘Gateway City’ Mumbai is changing at a fairly rapid pace of urban restructuring necessitated by its present day urban structure as a large metropolitan center (Sita, 2008). The population of Mumbai Metropolitan Region is expected to increase from 19.0 million in 2007 to 26.4 million in 2025 (UN Secretariat, 2007). The main background of this graduation project explores the various urban development processes of Mumbai in different-scales of the city, metropolis and region aimed at restructuring the growth of city mainland (see figure 2) towards the hinterland region. It is a specific study on the effects of historical transformations on the city structure from an infrastructural point of view to explore the spatial consequences. The problem deals with the notion of five main centralities in Mumbai, namely Fort-Nariman Point, Bandra-Kurla Complex, Thane, Vashi and Panvel, wherein each is a different reality in itself and the south CBD remains the dominant source of most employment activities. The problem statement is formulated based on the lack of metropolitan integration between the urban centres, which has an enormous impact on the infrastructure of the city, causing overstressed transportation, congestion of the inner city and further lacks new development opportunities for city growth. (described in detail in the next sections). The research objectives and questions are framed based on these challenges which engage Mumbai as an emerging global city positioned in different scales. The space of present Mumbai needs new development strategies and tools, adequately supported by physical infrastructure to reconfigure city growth towards hinterlands and to make the urban centres work together. Therefore, the context of this thesis is twofold; the first researches the role of Mumbai as an emerging global city and the second researches its poly-centric structure. The project focuses on delivering a spatial proposal for a strategic development plan for the twin cities of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai by the addition of a new development axis, and a design test incorporating the idea of different-scales. The axis is a ring which circles the twin cities and integrates the centralities by the addition of a new High-speed public transportation layer to balance urbanization across the peninsula-region.