New Housing Strategy for the Urbanising Villages of Navi Mumbai

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Navi Mumbai is a city designed to diffuse the overpopulation problem of Mumbai. However, there were villages in the area that developed informally alongside the formal city. These villages present several problems such as inadequate housing, identity loss, lack of infrastructure, lack of public space, overcrowding and crammed streets. There are two possible outcomes for these villages, their eradication to make way for the formal city or their existence in limbo as leftover space. The project aims to break through this dichotomy and an urbanisation strategy is developed for the remaining villages in the city that anticipate informal development. The project focuses on Moha Koliwada, a fishing village that is inhabited by members of the Koli people. An urban plan is developed first to provide the community with the necessary infrastructure to urbanise in a healthy manner. Three housing typologies are designed to serve different purposes: to ensure the important access to the sea, to maintain village life and to increase the density of the village. The housing typologies are inspired from Indian modernism and more specifically low rise - high density projects. The aim is to allow these villages to connect with and contribute to the formal planned city while maintaining their distinct village character. The project attempts to show how these villages can provide housing for the urban poor in a better and more humane manner than the mass housing schemes developed by the authorities and more specifically CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation). The mass housing schemes are problematic as we are historically aware in the West, they don’t reach the poorest inhabitants in India and they unfortunately become an aspiration for many residents of informal settlements. Finally, guidelines regarding urban planning, stakeholders and housing typologies are developed for the urbanisation of other villages in Navi Mumbai.