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INTEGRAL APPROACH IN THE REVIVAL OF KOLIWADAS: A MODEL FOR VERSOVA, MUMBAI Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of

Bachelor of Architecture by

Aishwarya Dhananjay Mohgaonkar Exam Roll No. 37 Research Supervisor: Prof. Vilas Ramteke

University of Mumbai Sir JJ College of Architecture 2018

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Certificate This is to certify that this Dissertation entitled (Integral Approach in the Revival of Koliwadas: A model for Versova, Mumbai) is the bonafide work of Aishwarya Dhananjay Mohgaonkar who is a student of the final year of Sir JJ College of Architecture, University of Mumbai and has carried out this work under my guidance and supervision. Research Supervisor

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I hereby declare that this written submission entitled “Integral Approach in the Revival of Koliwadas: A model for Versova, Mumbai” represents my ideas in my own words and has not been taken from the work of others (as from books, articles, essays, dissertations, other media and online); and where others’ ideas or words have been included, I have adequately cited and referenced the original sources. Direct quotations from books, journal articles, internet sources, other texts, or any other source whatsoever are acknowledged and the source cited are identified in the dissertation references. No material other than that cited and listed has been used. I have read and know the meaning of plagiarism* and I understand that plagiarism, collusion, and copying are grave and serious offences in the university and accept the consequences should I engage in plagiarism, collusion or copying. I also declare that I have adhered to all principles of academic honesty and integrity and have not misrepresented or fabricated or falsified any idea/data/fact source in my submission. This work, or any part of it, has not been previously submitted by me or any other person for assessment on this or any other course of study.

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----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------*The following defines plagiarism: “Plagiarism” occurs when a student misrepresents, as his/her own work, the work, written or otherwise, of any other person (including another student) or of any institution. Examples of forms of plagiarism include: • the verbatim (word for word) copying of another’s work without appropriate and correctly presented acknowledgement; • the close paraphrasing of another’s work by simply changing a few words or altering the order of the presentation, without appropriate and correctly presented acknowledgement; • unacknowledged quotation of phrases from another’s work; • the deliberate and detailed presentation of another’s concept as one’s own. • “Another’s work” covers all material, including, for example, written work, diagrams, designs, charts, photographs, musical compositions and pictures, from all sources, including, for example, journals, books, dissertations and essays and online resources.


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The koliwadas of Mumbai have been thriving in the city as a fishing community for 100 years. However, rapid growth of the city around these settlements over time has led to a hasty and inorganic spatial and urban growth of the peripheries, and the inner structure of the koliwadas too. This has blurred the spatial distinction of the koliwadas from the city, rather, ruptured its identity in the urban context. Moreover, rapid urbanisation has led to socio-economic pressures majorly affecting the fishing business. This research is an attempt to study the state of inclusivity of the koliwadas to the city of Mumbai, and further finding strategies to maximise their role in the city’s context. The ambiguity in the recognition of the koliwadas and the loss in its identity despite them being the original settlements of the city, urged me to look into the issue, assess and survey a few selected sites, find common ground to choose a site to focus on, and recognise interventions that could help upgrade them as a community and as an authentic settlement of Mumbai. The aim is to find design solutions for appraisal, and re imagine the infrastructure as new sites for social, spatial, and civic insertion. By recognizing these settlements; not just as places of sub-standard housing, but as valid communities, I think there is a tremendous role that design can play in spatially, and socio-economically integrating them with the rest of the city. The idea is to intervene in parts, with the intention of retaining the existing fabric, so as to upgrade the settlement in a more holistic way. The spatial factors helping with integration and appraisal shall be determined, studied through case studies and researches, and applied to the case chosen for my thesis. The hope is to project an idea that can be believed to have potential, to stir public debate in looking again at the way Koliwadas are seen, and the policies that are affecting them.

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The thought process behind this thesis started in my third year, in the library of Sir JJ College of Architecture, while I was reading the ‘Mumbai Reader’ and its articles. It later gained momentum as I continued to read on about the issues and especially when I came across the term - ‘Urban Acupuncture’ and the case of Medellin, while reading about Jamie Lerner. Firstly, I offer my sincerest gratitude to my research supervisor Prof. Vilas Ramteke who guided me throughout this project and always encouraged me to broaden the aspect of this research. I am especially grateful to Prof. Sushma Joglekar and Ar. Parul Kumtha for their guidance. A profound gratitude to the Kolis, especially Mrs. Rupa Dongrikar, head of the ‘Vesava Koli Jamat’ trust, for being so enthusiastic and determined to answer whatever questions I had to ask. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Ar. Ketaki Tare for sharing her knowledge experience on this subject, and validating the topic for an architectural design dissertation. I am grateful for my juniors Mrudula Yadav, Avanita Sharma, and Juveria Iqbal for their help in my hour of need. To Sai Joshi, for helping me find the correct direction in progressing through the research. And of course, goes without saying – I am forever grateful to my parents and my little brother, for their constant support, guidance and love. Lastly, a big hug to all my friends, and to all those who knowingly, unknowingly, directly and indirectly helped in this thesis project.

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Table of Contents Introduction ....................................................................................................... 4 Identification of issue .......................................................................................................... 5 Need for Research ............................................................................................................... 6 Aim ..................................................................................................................................... 7 Objectives ........................................................................................................................... 8 Scope and Limitations ......................................................................................................... 8

Literature Review ............................................................................................. 9 Empirical data ................................................................................................................... 10 Koliiwadas and Marginalisation ......................................................................................... 10 City Policies ....................................................................................................................... 11 Conceptual ........................................................................................................................ 13 Urban Acupuncture ........................................................................................................... 13 Other Concepts ................................................................................................................. 15 Evolved Projects ................................................................................................................ 17

Background Study ........................................................................................... 19 A brief history.................................................................................................................... 20 Profile of the community ................................................................................................... 21 Problems of the community .............................................................................................. 23 Marginalisation and spatial integration .............................................................................. 25

Research Design

........................................................................................... 28

Outline of Research ........................................................................................................... 29 Research questions ........................................................................................................... 31 Research methodology ...................................................................................................... 32

Research and Inferences ................................................................................. 33 Primary Study .................................................................................................................... 34 Condition assessment ....................................................................................................... 34 Mahim .......................................................................................................................... 35 Versova ......................................................................................................................... 38 Khar............................................................................................................................... 41 2|Page

Secondary Study................................................................................................................ 45 Inspirations: A spotlight on Shenzhen’s Urban Villages .................................................... 45 Social Urbanism ................................................................................................................. 57 Urban Acupuncture ........................................................................................................... 61 Designing a sustainable model for a neighbourhood ........................................................ 66


............................................................................................................... 70

Site Selection..................................................................................................................... 71 Site Analysis and Inferences............................................................................................... 72 Stakeholders ..................................................................................................................... 92 Cognitive mapping ............................................................................................................ 93 Conclusions ....................................................................................................................... 95

Towards design interventions

....................................................................... 97

Elements and the image of koliwadas ................................................................................ 97 Developing a synergy between fishing and tourism ......................................................... 101

Design Intent

......................................................................................... 104

Conceptual framework .................................................................................................... 107 Design program - example ............................................................................................... 110

Bibliography ................................................................................................... 113





Koliwadas and Marginalisation It is eminent that the city of Mumbai is constantly growing with time- infrastructure, population, technology, architecture, etc. A visitor arriving to Mumbai today is bombarded with a schizophrenic image. As fascinating as it is, though, to watch the city grow into a sprawling metropolis, the oldest communities residing by the coast (koliwadas) and the inner city (gaothans) of Mumbai today, see it as trouble. As per existing studies and surveys done, there are 182 urban villages and 32 koliwadas in the city, that have existed for over 100 years. but as the city has expanded, urbanisation pressures have caused most of the koliwadas and other urban villages to get obliterated off from the face of the city. In spite of that, though, a few of them still survive. In some ways, this is a distinctive aspect of Mumbai’s architecture — the ability to allow the tangible past to live in the present, even in the most highly valued land areas. However, in today’s context of development, this dichotomy is struggling to retain itself. This struggle to perpetuate identity for the older communities today and the ambiguity by the jurisdiction in defining them is the issue that I want to deal with this research.

Globalisation has morphed values and relations that subtly propagate the oppression of the marginalised. The fishing community has certainly been at the receiving end of such a growth trajectory. (Sequeira, 2009)

Koliwadas and gaothans in Mumbai are on the road to oblivion, thanks to monolithic Development Control rules and building by-laws. The Dharavi koliwada, for example, predates the settlement by several decades, and yet is undifferentiated

from the larger slum, causing grief to its legal inhabitants and denying them agency over their own futures. (Dalvi, 2016) For this research, the focus is only on the koliwadas of Mumbai as a slowly marginalising community, and what can be done to help regenerate them and its depleting role in the city’s context- in terms of it’s identity as the oldest settlements of the city, it’s socio-economic structure, and more importantly -in terms of architecture and urban design- it’s spatial integration to the city. 5|Page

Due to increasing development pressures, the coastline is under constant threat. Moreover, the community also faces the risk of extinction due to reasons associated with urbanisation such as environmental destruction, loss of public access to common lands and resources, disruption of coastal livelihoods, encroachments, displacement and gentrification. (more of which is discussed later in the paper). All of the above issues come with following consequencesa. A loss in identity as a traditional and authentic community in the city’s context, b. fall in their economy making them less self-sufficient, c. and thus, a major change in their lifestyle. With the growth of Mumbai as a metropolis and the appetency of any such city and its jurisdiction to create a ‘globalised’ image for itself, the development paradigms fail to see the existing fabric of the koliwadas as a scope for a more equitable, and spatially integrated model using architecture and urban design, rather than the obvious proposals of redevelopment.



Saving a legacy: Path to a resilient model Change is inevitable. The city is going to continue to evolve and grow around the koliwadas. However, they need not become victims of the same, at the cost of their originality and identity in the city. By identifying these settlements as valid communities, I believe there is scope for a more equitable, and spatially integrated model using architecture and urban design, rather than having them being left at the mercy of redevelopment proposals, or at the risk of being wiped out as a tangible identity. And that, is the need of the hour. The whole intention of this thesis is to help devise a plan that not only strengthens their economy but also finds a tangible solution to retain their identity as a community. The image and recognition of the koliwadas in the context of the city of Mumbai needs to change from mere informal settlements or slums. Today’s developers and policies that are looking to disrupt or plain ignore the settlements only to achieve an image of a globalised and modern Mumbai can be changed to create a new image that recognises these settlements for the original fabric that they are, their fishing business that has prolonged for centuries, and their socio-economic integrity. 6|Page

The need is to devise different ways in developing a skyline for the city, while retaining the older communities. The need, is to help throw a new light on the re-integrating and revitalising of the koliwadas. Here, it’s role in relation to the overall city should be judged and it should be enhanced with appropriate vision for any intervention. The need is, to look for alternatives. The 3 major perspectives taken into account for the research are, the socio-economic condition, state of spatial integration, and the identity of the community in the context of the city and the fabric.



In the light of the issues discussed in the previous segment, the crux of this thesis is to assess the state of the koliwadas today as an authentic community, and study strategies to re-enforce them as a community, integrate them to the city, thus making for an equitable model in the urban context. The aim through the research, is to formulate design strategies that will help make a new image and thus create a defining identity for the koliwadas of Mumbai, reinforce their socio-economic infrastructure, and spatially integrate them to the city.



To study the problems faced by the koliwadas of Mumbai in detail.

To select 2-3 sites and study a them in their physical condition.

• •

To identify a site that offers a rich opportunity for tactical interventions that enhance existing patterns of use. To identify the characteristics of the chosen koliwada and scope for value addition

To identify and study concepts in strategy making in order to deal with the issue.

To identify issues that lead to spatial exclusion and narrowing down the required architectural interventions in the chosen site to the city’s context.




The scope of this research could span onto all the different kinds of urban villages of Mumbai under threat today- this research is limited only to the Koliwadas of Mumbai. Further, being an architecture dissertation, this research will limit itself to the socio-economic factors, spatial integrity, and identity of communities in the urban fabric. It will deal with how architecture can play a role in spatially playing a role of a catalyst in the appraisal of the chosen Koliwada. It will not dwell too much into the social and cultural aspects of the koliwadas, and will purely stick to the urban, spatial, and physical characteristics to bring about change in context of the city of Mumbai. Lastly, among all the koliwadas of Mumbai, the chosen one for intervention – as clearly mentioned in the title of the topic - is limited to Versova Koliwada only.



2. RELATED LITERATURE REVIEW In trying to understand the topic further - in terms of issues faced by the koliwadas, and existing strategies and theories to help draw conclusions for an architectural intervention, information was initially gathered from secondary sources in the form of books, journals, articles and websites to understand everything that was needed. The study can be classified into two sections: Empirical and Conceptual. Under empirical data, everything that ought to be known about the known facts and figures based on done researches and articles has been inferred. Under the conceptual data, strategies carried forward or researched on in existing papers are studied.



2.1.1. KOLIWADAS AND MARGINALISATION The Kolis Of Bombay: The Original Residents Of The City : Article written by Aritra Chakrabarty The author introduced the Kolis and their settlements in Mumbai that have thrived in the hidden quarters of the city, as the ‘koliwadas’, which essentially means “a home that opens to the sea”, And also the oldest community of Mumbai. The transition in existence was discussed. Following that, it was described how they started to get side-lined as a community ever since the British patronage began. She claimed this as inevitable- that, as and how more modern structures and the city took shape, the ‘men of the sea’ were relegated to nooks, ultimately being pushed away and getting settled by the edges of the city. The notable yearly koli festival was introduced and described about in this article. The entire community celebrates this day as the onset of a new harvesting season, much like the farmers – generally during the months of June to August. This paper intends to highlight the past, present, and future challenges that the Koli community faces at the thresholds of development and globalisation. To conclude, she says that although the very aboriginals of the Mumbai city are visible in the everyday life of the city, they are slowly being transitioned to social extinction. This is due to the erosion of the two strong bonding for any community – the land and the profession. 10 | P a g e

Saving a legacy: Gaothans and Koliwadas : an article published by Ranjita Ganesan The articles writes that, the authorities are on about categorising the original settlements of gaothans and koliwadas as slums, and are keen to develop them into commercial complexes. However, the residents are unwilling to cede their rights. It is written that Pradip Tapke, a fisherman and lifelong resident of the Versova koliwada claims that the business has gone down, and the number of boats being able to go into the sea to come back with a good amount of fish- halved.


Mumbai’s vanishing coasts: an article Authored by: Hemantkumar A Chouhan and Sarmistha Pattnaik The coastal regions of India are becoming increasingly vulnerable to climate changes, developmental activities and urbanisation. Sustaining the livelihoods of fishing communities and preserving the health of coastal ecosystem and biodiversity are important challenges that India faces. (Hemantkumar A Chouhan, 2016) This article talks about the Impact of dilution of CRZ on coastal areas and the results on the state of the fisherfolk in today’s day. The idea behind the CRZ notification was to bring in a balance between the diverse needs of infrastructure development, preservation of the ecosystem and livelihood security of the fishing communities. The enforcement agencies, according to the article, have been extremely apathetic in implementing CRZ norms, which is reflected in the non-availability of CRZ maps of the required scale and in deliberately ignoring issues of public participation and local contexts. The article cites fishing villages across the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) as examples to prove the same. Apparently, the state and municipal agencies, have allowed several violations to happen and have failed to protect the livelihoods of the fisherfolk, Which has resulted in the encroachment of land and its scarcity, pushing the indigenous Koli fisherfolk in Mumbai out of fishing activities. Further, A number of public sector industries and their negative effects have been described as the reasons for polluting the coast, affecting fishing and spaces used to occupy to sell fishes. Urbanisation has led to the rapid destruction of mangroves and coastal ecosystems, fishing activities, and occupation. The article ends by saying that the CRZ-related agencies need to link with decentralised urban local bodies to oversee the ongoing coastal activities and to coordinate with these agencies in ensuring environmental protection. This will go a long way in stopping further deterioration of 11 | P a g e

Mumbai’s sensitive coastal ecological system and further marginalisation of the fishing communities. •

In focus Mumbai: In koliwada’s oldest dwellings, Kolis struggle for livelihood, political representation - Written by Arita Sarkar This article talks about similar issues that have been discussed in the previous segments- in terms of drop in quality and quantity of catch, and the loss in identity. It consists of interviews taken by the author, of the native Kolis. It was inferred from these interviews, that there are concerns that have aroused between in kolis - around the Shivaji Memorial and the 300 acres of coast-side land to be reclaimed for a garden at Cuffe Parade. Some of them feel that the coastal road planners can adopt an inclusive approach and give the fishermen an alternative source of income and allow them to take the tourists into the sea on fishing trips or even boat rides which will be a good experience to get to know the fishing community as well as give us a livelihood,” he says. It can be confirmed and inferred from above, that the locals are open to other modes of income via tourism, considering that the decline in the fishing industry and hence, identity as a fishing community is inevitable. The above data collected as a part of literature review, just proves the state that the Koliwadas are in, in terms of identity and their socio-economic stability. The fact that the jurisdiction is being ignorant in marking their settlements in a map, or providing them with basic information about the CRZ regulations, show how much importance they have as a community. Its safe to say that at this rate, the memory and identity of the fisherfolk as an authentic and indigenous may fade away soon.

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Strategies Studied On Ways To Regenerate Urban Villages In order to achieve an idea to how the situation of koliwadas can be appraised by design interventions, existing case studies and tactics were studied to arrive at a legitimate conclusion. Case-1: Spatial Integration of informal settlements in the urban fabric (Case of Erbil city, Iraq) (by Kayfi Mawlan, Norazmwati Binti Md Sani, Kausar Hj Ali, Abdul Ghapar Otman) This paper aims to determine spatial factors affecting the integration of informal settlements and in the light of these factors, identifying specialty of Erbil city`s informal areas in terms of integration with the surrounding planned urban fabric. (Kayfi Mawlan, 2002) The study found when applying design on Badawa (an inner-city informal settlement in Erbil) city, that the most important factors are edge oriented commercial land use on Peshawa Qazi Ring –road and bordering vacant lands between resident’s houses and main streets surround the settlement. The study concluded that the location, size, and street network of informal settlements are determinant to the spatial factors affecting the integration of these settlements with the surrounding. In order to even select a site, there should be a set of determining spatial factors, which directly affect the integration process. For Erbil city, they were as follows: 1. It is the largest informal settlement in size 2. Surrounded in all sides with well-planned neighbourhoods. 3. Lack of public facilities. 4. Existence of semi-regular and traditional patterns of public spaces.

2.2.1. URBAN ACUPUNCTURE AS A STRATEGY Case-2: Urban Acupuncture as a strategy for Sao Paulo (by Leonoardo Shieh) This work is the study of one city, São Paulo, and one idea, how small and precise architectural interventions can be catalytic to major urban transformations. In an attempt to re-attract activity to the historical core, this thesis suggests the insertion of twelve urban projects, small and therefore suitable to the operations of a weak public sector. Designed according to a set

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of developed criteria, the expectation is that the new urban projects would stimulate the overall rehabilitation of downtown São Paulo. (Shieh, 2001) This work has been able to transmit two important sets of messagesThe first one is that waiting for a complex urban problem to be tackled by ONE large and miraculous solution does not make sense. That day is far from falling into the government’s lap. (Shieh, 2001) For Sao Paulo, a much more rational solution was to insert small and pragmatic urban projects, which can produce disproportionally large benefits when done in a certain way. (Shieh, 2001). Isolated architectural interventions – when placed in a series being perceived as a singular system – can produce a positive sense of urban legibility in a way. Urban acupuncture (pdf) : Rick Hoogduyn, Thesis, May 2014 “The idea is to focus on certain pressure points to create ripple effects that upgrade the community as a whole” – Jamie Lerner Taking the concept of urban acupuncture forward, This research paper talks about Incremental, small-scale improvements that go a long way towards developing a sense of community identity and belonging, with reference to the case of Medellin. Even within the dense and complex environments of informal settlements, there are ample opportunities and residual spaces that can be transformed through simple but good design. (Hoogdyun, 2014) The case of Medellin: This project talks about strategies that aim to minimize displacement while improving conditions in the area by focusing on the essentials: infrastructure, public services, and spaces. As a result, the most innovative efforts to address informal settlements are demonstrated by cities in Latin America. There is a rise of spectacular museums in marginalized neighbourhoods, cable-car and escalator systems in remote settlements, and library parks and vertical gymnasiums in depressed settlements. Thus, by forming a network of catalytic interventions and innovative infrastructural additions, the projects approach towards the design of public institutions and a design of infrastructure that integrates services with public spaces. The research points out 8 principles as shown in the flgure below

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Creating places Sennsitive point


Urban acupuncture Holistic approach

Quick act



2.2.2. OTHER CONCEPTS COLLECTIVE MEMORY Thesis done by By Prubuddha Mukhopadhyay (Reflections 2017 (KRVIA) “Cities, or better say their characteristics, are the results of overlaying events which have affected them in past, resulted their current state and prepare them to ace the future.” This master’s thesis talks about an active attempt to investigate the marginalised, or “the other” and the essence of community. With the fast erosion of the sense of the koli-community, it is necessary to identify and create certain identities of the original inhabitants of the city, and design memory-scapes to help retain these identities. This would include collecting and investigating fragmented, contested, spaces on the site and strategic integration of intangible heritage with architecture, thus creating a story and identity for the city w.r.t the community. In the thesis, a memory walk is developed, exposing the history of specific sites, rendering visible the specific memories and acknowledging the importance of the sites in the time period they existed. A narrative is constructed, travelling through space and rebuilding memories.

Civic Architecture And The Importance Of Public Space To Integrate The City research done by Andrew Miles and Jill Ebrey This research talks about the role of public spaces and memory to play on the way a city is perceived. Public domain is said to be a very exclusive commodity. Placemaking and public spaces instigate people to collectively re-imagine and re-invent the very core of their identity. “The campo in Siena, Italy is often touted as the ideal public square: it has an iconic tower monument that announces itself above the rest of the urban fabric and a well-tuned edge 15 | P a g e

defined by humanely-scaled buildings with inviting pedestrian alleys between them. The slight slope in the pavement invites both tired travelers and lunching locals to recline in the warm afternoon sun. And its physical dimensions allow an average human to discern the identity of another human from nearly any point within it.” Architecture and Legitimacy: Strategies for the development of urban informal settlements (by Rachel D. Pressik) This thesis is making the case for the city and the equitable inclusion of all it’s people. Preserving their self made structures and urban neighbourhoods ensures they can sustain their own neighbourhood, by maintaining their attachments to existing networks for support. By drawing more people to these settlements, it increases it’s potential to be productive, vibrant, and enables everyone to have access to a variety of networks. This will in turn create unique environments formed from the needs of the people who use these urban spaces. In the end, the city will continue to be both informal and formal, and these elements can co-exist. Eventually, informal activities will be formalised, and the “informal” housing in settlements will develop to be a contiguous part of the city. These methods are meant to be a guideline that can be adapted to any type of project. (Pressik) To conclude, maintaining the built fabric of the settlement, while providing the means to continue to develop, along the same path that they have already created for themselves, will ensure their dignity. (Pressik) The fabric of the city : by Binti Singh; an excerpt from Domus,India (Timescapes) “An idea of place; not only as a geographical territory, but as a part of people’s social lives, their identity, memory, and a sense of belonging and pride, each contributing to place making in specific ways.” The article takes an example of Lucknow, as one of India’s second tier cities subjected to dilution of culture resulting in a loss in place- in today’s aspirations to become global cities through borrowed images from bigger cities in an attempt to replicate them or through direct imagery supplied from the internet. This puts them in situations that are not here, nor there; and neither are they here. With the pressures on first tier cities, second tier cities are facing consequences as well marked with visible spatial changes – upmarket residential complexes,

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golf courses, commercial complexes, etc., all at the cost of a loss in the memory of the tangible and intangible aspects of culture, tradition, language, etc. This research attempts to drive our thoughts for second tier cities in a different direction- for example in the case of lucknow, help resuurect the idea of place and place-making. According to the author, current urban policies fail to address the crutial connections between place, economy, and culture. The book ends with recommendations like encouraging creative industries, integrating local communities and mapping their enterprises, promoting inclusive tourism, focusing on integrated conservation, etc. These are crucial areas of intervention that could go long ways to determine future pathways for such cases. This text deemed very important in helping with a go ahead in this research, as a scope for revitalizing communities/cities that are losing their meaning in today’s day, and ways of looking at designing and dealing with the retention of such identities amidst the constant globalization patterns. Urbanistic Networking of Slums: A Holistic regeneration, research done by K. Sree Kumar (Interfacing with the Informal: Emerging South Asian Urban design Practices and Paradigms) This research, too, talks about the “borrowed images” or visions for the cities today that are ignoring the marginalized/informal settlements or cities in today’s day. It talks about including slums into the fabric, in a way that eradicates the clear dichotomy that the cities have. Actions to deal with slums as “knee jerk responses” are discussed, more on a crisis management basis, rather than through an organized strategy. This would include - Employment and income generating programmes, starting with improving infrastructure only where required, and the most distinctive feature being: an approach that did not view the slums in isolation, but in relation to the entire city. The idea involved identifying commonalities between slums and the city, that can integrate them. “We are left with urban systems separated from personal experience, with structures without actors, with cities without citizens, and citizens, without cities.” Lastly, notable ‘triggers’ or strategies discussed were: structuring a commercial circuit to ensure maximum participation, enhanced pedestrian linkages, morphological restructuring of public spaces to consolidate spaces for local level production.

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A] Urban strategies to regenerate Indian public spaces: A case of the pols of Ahmedabad This project explores potential methodologies for urban interventions in historic city centers. The traditional fabric of those areas is currently facing the effects of external forces resulting from rapid development and intense socio-economic pressure. In contrast to renewal programs that ignore existing architectural and cultural heritage, this project proposes a number of innovative strategies for regenerating the traditional public space. Such as a catalogue of urban tools that both solves the lack of infrastructure (water, drainage, etc) and preserves the

Figure 2, Source:












The “pols� of Ahmedabad are regarded by historians, architects and urban designers as one of the finest surviving examples of urbanism and domestic architecture in Indian tradition. The itemized analysis of the tissue reveals the need for small-scale interventions to regenerate existing spaces. Five test cases are identified as representative sites for implanting a network of interconnected devices that positively transform and reorganize those scenarios. These artifacts are conceived to harness local resources, materials and technologies, with a high commitment to social and environmental sustainability Rather than determine a single solution, this project aims to create a flexible and adaptive system conceived for managing a variety of urban contexts with similar degrees of complexity, 18 | P a g e

in constant development with shifting paradigms. The proposal calls for an integral approach in the revitalization of traditional urban areas. This intervention in the city core is thoroughly focused on: natural, social and cultural resources; sustainable local technologies; and both individual and collective values. The final purpose of this research is to empower and increase the capacity of a society to develop the required skills to build its own future. This thesis deemed important for the progression of research and the study of site-specific, strategies used as alternatives to making a good public place.

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The Sion kolis are a fishing community, originally found along the Northern Konkan coast from Vasai, near Mumbai, to the Ratnagiri district of Maharasthra. (Verma, 2011) Generations of these Kolis have been in the fishing occupation as their sole profession for survival. The places where the koli communities reside are called Koliwadas. As shown in the picture below, Mumbai was initially an archipelago of 7 islands – namely Kolaba, Old Women’s Island, Bombay, Mazegaon, Sion, Worli, and Mahim – all of which ultimately came together as one city due to constant reclamation. The beginning of the development of the modern city itself slowly marginalised these people of the sea. In fact, the Backbay reclamation of the 60's would have further marginalised them had they not approached the courts to stay the reclamation. (Verma, 2011) In spite of being settled in and around a bustling city like Mumbai, which prides in calling itself the first metropolitan city of India, the Koli community has still retained the core of their traditional culture. They still distinguish themselves from the rest of the population in their customs and habits, and their social and religious life. This is largely due to their collective

Figure 3, source:

dependency on their only profession of fishing. (Verma, 2011) This is a perfect example of a community’s lifestyle revolving purely around their occupation, and their daily activities. (fishing, in this case.) Today, the kolis occupy huge areas of land in the city of Mumbai – areas like Khar Danda, Worli, Mahim, Versova, Gorai Creek and Manori creek, etc., have small and big Koliwadas inhabited by Kolis - most of which is in the prime property market because of their close proximity to the coast or beaches, where the prices of property mushroom due to tourism boom and the hotel industry demands. (Hegde, 2015) Thus, the coastline of Mumbai today is under threat from rapid and drastic transformation due to increasing development pressures. Over the years, traditional coastal settlements in the city which depend on coastal ecosystems for their

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livelihoods have become marginalized and neglected neighbourhoods. (Hegde, 2015) As the city is growing, koliwadas are being excluded from the city. Further, there is an ambiguity in the government policies (E.g.: the DP) in defining them as a valid community They have been in many cases proposed to be displaced or razed down- despite the hustling culture that still survives amidst the thriving, globalising city. The background study begins with the study of the profile of the koliwadas, the socio-economic challenges, and the effects of globalisation and urbanisation on them. It is followed by the study and documentation of 3 chosen koliwadas, namely; Mahim koliwada, Versova koliwada, and Khar Danda koliwada. The sites are observed so as to choose an appropriate site and then draw conclusions on the interventions most appropriate for the revitalisation of the same.



In Maharashtra, Kolis are mainly found in coastal regions. About 38.4% of the fish production (1,59,560 tones) in the Maharashtra state is from Mumbai for the year 2009-10. (Chakrabarty, 2013) Mumbai has a fisherfolk population of 50,075 (0.33 per cent of Mumbai’s population), according to the Marine Fisheries Census 2005 conducted by the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI). The community today retains it’s fast depleting identity on the basis of the everyday activities that revolve around the fishing business - including catching fish from the sea, cleaning and sorting it, in some cases drying it, and then selling it to the customers. The fishing practices haven’t changed much for the Kolis, apart from the change in fish catching methods - the new technology making catching fish easier. (Verma, 2011) The fishing is a hereditary source of income for the Koliwadas. The forefathers of the community survived in the city of Mumbai

Figure 4, source:

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working in the same business. (Verma, 2011) The tradition was carry forwarded by the youth in the community and till date, there are Kolis who are involved in the business.


Conditions have changed and the fishing business has become more challenging than the previous years. (Verma, 2011) The fast-growing city of Mumbai has affected the Kolis and their fishing business with heavy competition and infrastructural development. (Verma, 2011)

Figure 5

Before, the Kolis had no option but to help their parents in the family business. Due to lack of proper education the community was completely depended upon the fishing activity. (Verma, 2011) But in past decades the community has seen the changes in various aspects which have also affected the Koli people and the fishing practices. The Koli youth is now trying to get more educated and look for different options other than fishing. This has happened due to the challenges and lack of profitability of the fishing business. Those who are still in the business and engaged in fishing and fishing related activities don’t appreciate the business much in terms of source of livelihood so there is a feeling about doing something else other than fishing. (Verma, 2011) The problem with this is, that with the slow waring off of the traditional livelihood practises, the identity that the Koliwadas have for themselves today might disappear completely. The

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whole intention of this thesis is to help devise a plan that not only strengthens their economy but also finds a tangible solution to retain their identity as a community.



Previously, Kolis were the only people fishing into the sea but due to migration of people from various states to Mumbai, the demand for the fish has changed. (Hegde, 2015) Due to the high demand of the fish there are many corporate fishers and people of other community who have also started doing fishing. Fishing, which was source of livelihood for the Kolis has now become a business with uncertainties. (Verma, 2011) Kolis find it very difficult to compete with huge machines and boats with their traditional fishing equipment. These factors have contributed to increasing economic challenges for the Kolis. The growth of the city has also bought some positive changes to the socio- economic conditions for Kolis: The improved transport system, infrastructure, increase in population with more middle income group have improved conditions for fishing business to some extent. In spite of all these changes the critical situation the community is facing with respect of their fishing business, overall income source and living conditions are affecting the existence of the community. The kolis today are helplessly surrendering their traditional practise of fishing due to the influx of migrants. (Jha, n.d.) The community is experiencing problems which making many to look for a different source of income for their families. The major issues due to urbanisation can be classified as under: Redevelopment paradigms: Urban koliwadas have been under a sustained threat of redevelopment and renewal, as they are located in one of the most desired parts of the city – its coast. (Chakrabarty, 2013) These forms of development are threatening to eradicate these villages. Gentrification for the middle and elite class in the city is causing social exclusion of these settlements. (Chakrabarty, 2013) Gentrification usually involves the creation of urban functions that serve the needs and tastes of the middle and upper classes, and result in a gradual economic and social exclusion of the urban poor from these areas. There have been efforts recently to create promenades and gardens near fishing villages, sometimes even on lands that are used as commons by the fishing community with the pretext of “beautification” or the creation of “public spaces.” 24 | P a g e

Enclosure / privatization of common lands and resources: Lands for fish drying, for docking boats, maintenance areas, fishing infrastructure, community spaces, and so on are shared and controlled by the community as a whole and forms the core of the economic and cultural practices of the fisher-folk. Enclosure or privatization of the commons is perhaps the gravest threat to their existence as fishing villages. (Diya Kohli, 2018) Destruction of coastal ecology and depletion of resources: There have been numerous efforts to dilute legislations – such as the CRZ – that protect the coastal ecology and traditional livelihoods, in the interests of developers and builders. (Diya Kohli, 2018) Successive reclamations have cut off some koliwadas from the coast or the creek which function as their natural resource base, and have resulted in a decimation of livelihoods based in and around fishing. (Diya Kohli, 2018) Large infrastructure projects: Infrastructure projects such as the proposed Coastal Road and the Water Transport Project proposed will have serious impacts on the livelihoods and settlements of the coastal communities. (Sequeira, 2009) The coastal road is to be built partly on reclaimed land and partly on stilts along the coastline, and it will almost certainly sever, or irreversibly disrupt the organic ties of the villages from the coast, and decimate fishing activity. The societal framework of these communities tries to restrain changes in the beginning but is forced to give in to the intruding changes brought about by urbanisation. (Jha) Wrong ELU mapping of Koliwadas in Mumbai’s Draft Development Plan of 2012: The recently released ELU maps by the MCGM have invited thousands of responses and complaints from individuals and groups including the fishing community. There are innumerable errors in these maps that concern the fisher-folk and if these are not rectified, these erroneous maps will become the basis for future planning of urban fishing villages, with grave consequences for the community. (Sequeira, 2009) For example•

the ELU does not map the formal and informal markets where the Koli women play an active role. (Diya Kohli, 2018)

Further, In many cases, land areas being used by the fish-workers for livelihood related activities such as fish drying, boat parking, sheds for maintenance, etc. are not mapped in the ELU.

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Erroneous identification and classification of urban fishing villages. (Chakrabarty, 2013) There are more than thirty coastal urban fishing villages or Koliwadas in Mumbai. The ELU maps fail, in many cases to indicate entire urban fishing villages and in some cases, erroneously indicate them as Residential (R) areas. In some instances, these have been indicated as Informal Settlements (SC). (Diya Kohli, 2018)

In many cases, Existing land use map has areas required for everyday ancillary activities indicated as “primary activity”. But in other cases, these areas have either not been shown or have been incorrectly included in other categories such as vacant lands, open spaces, mangroves etc. (Diya Kohli, 2018)

The above series of problems simply proves the ignorance that the jurisdiction and the city have for the older, authentic fishing communities and their protection in the context of the city of Mumbai.



(Studying the cases of previous models of using spatial factors in integration) It is studied and inferred from the previous topics that the external pressures resulting from rapid development are leading the state of inclusivity of the koliwadas (in terms of their profession and identity) fast down a slippery slope to marginalisation. several aspects like the decline in their fishing business, the government redevelopment paradigms, CRZ regulations, and the fact that many of the koliwadas are not marked as urban villages in the DP, show signs of the community being belittled, and not given enough importance in the context of the city of Mumbai. This study will discuss the spatial factors that could play a role in marginalisation. According to the research done by Syracuse University, marginalisation can be termed as pushing a particular settlement, group or groups of people to the edge of society by not allowing them an active identity, or place in it. In this context, the fall in the socio-economic conditions of the community, that basically define the koliwadas, is slowly wearing off their identity as a traditional fishing community, in the midst of rapid urbanisation. However, while the socio-economic change play a valid role, another aspect or cause to marginalisation that needs to be explored is the spatial organisation of the koliwadas in the urban context. 26 | P a g e

Most of the studies about improvement of marginalised settlements have been oriented to the revealing of social and economic factors that could affect settlements improvement process, without considering spatial and location factors which have gained little attention in the literature (Greene, 2003, Sobreira, 2003 and Karimi et al., 2007). In terms of physical identity; from above, koliwadas are easy to spot by their jumble of small-plot buildings. But from a main street, they are virtually invisible. There is a lack in aesthetic and functional identity and spatial coherence with the city. Having said that, we need to be more conscious of this tendency and create new design solutions by rethinking spatial barriers and creating more accessible spaces in planning. Architecture can be used to be both critical and commercial, and more urban in the process. According to a research done by Universiti Sains Malaysia in Pulau Pinang, the spatial and locational factors, including the layout of the settlement and its relation to the urban context play a major role in the overall consolidation of the settlement within itself and the city, alike. One of the vital spatial factors mentioned in the research done is edge oriented commercial activity through its outward facing boundaries, and this facilitates to contribute in wider local economy. The streets, too, are considered as key determinant of this activity; which decide to what extent the settlement is strategically integrated within the surrounding area and therefore carry important levels of vehicular movement. (Hillier et al., 2000). At a macro level, integration of a settlement to the surrounding areas, (whether accessible to outsiders or not) which related mainly with the use of the land and the nature of the interfacing activities, was also primarily dealt with how the network of paths could be formalized by creating main movement corridors as a network. In this way spatial relationships come to be seen as an important tool in the preservation of these resources. (Abbott, 2002). The study addressed the spatial integration of marginalised settlements in the fabric of the city with taking into consideration the location of the settlement and the bordering vacant land, which might work well as a place of shared attraction for the different neighbouring areas and passer byes too. (Haferburg, 2015) The physical/spatial integration into the surrounding areas, movement and access, are key areas that have to be addressed for achieving a sustainable model – based approach to informal settlement upgrading. The study also mentioned that the spatial discontinuity or underusage of space between the settlement and the surrounding area is a major character of marginalised settlements and it is often solved by upgrading interventions, where the focus is turned inwards (Abbott). Large 27 | P a g e

settlements seem to maximize their economical benefit not only through shops on their outward edges but also accommodating internal markets which links its local economy to the wider urban context. The study focused on the commercial land use in large informal settlement as an additional main factor of spatial integration with the surrounding and the urban fabric of the city as a whole. (Kayfi Mawlan, 2002). .

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Framework of research

This section of the book discussed the way-forward or approach taken into research into finding design strategies. Followed by a graphical representation of the process in doing the research, in a sequential format. Them a set of questions that arise with this topic are laid forward, which is then followed by the methodologies of carrying out all the mentioned research techniques. 4.1.1. Data Collection First, relevant literature, publication and studies were reviewed from existing researches and theses in order to get in-depth information about koliwadas and the issues they face. This was important for the research on the concept of marginalisation, to understand their socio-economic condition in the city today and the pressures they are facing in terms of identity and inclusivity to the city. Strategies implemented in terms of interventions that deemed essential for this thesis were studied too. 4.1.2. Assessment Survey and Photo Documentation Direct observation on the chosen sites are photographed and studied; with respect to the spatial factors in the koliwadas and the surrounding areas. The data includes interviews with the people and co-operative societies alike. Site selection for design is majorly based on the above assessment. On studying each selected site, comparisons and identification of similar site related problems and observations as potential for interventions were noted.

4.1.3. Case studies Various areas of cases regarding interventions and strategies to solve marginalisation of settlements from around the world were studied. The case studies are based on inclusion of settlements/informal settlements to the formal city, creating an identity without the disruption of the existing urban fabric. Further, cases based on the conservation of heritage settlements residing within the urban fabric were analysed, and more importantly, strategies to help retain their identities in the city were studied.

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Understanding existing literature on the topic.

Understanding the background prevelant problems that the Kolis and their community face.

Understanding spatial factors and marginalisation

Primary data collection: Condition Assessment of 3 selected sites

Understanding the physical and spatial conditions of the sites, further coming down to choosing one site for intervention

Secondary data collection: Understanding methodologies and strategies as examples for design interventions (case studies)

Understanding sustainable design for neighbourhoods

Figure 6, Research flow chart

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Before dwelling into the topic further, the broad domains of study and issues are pondered upon and framed into a set of questions, hoping to be answered by the end of the research paper. 1. With the constant need for a ‘global image’ for the city, is it possible to retain the identity of the older fishing communities in a tangible way, contradicting the paradigms of full redevelopment? 2. Can architecture help integrate neighbourhoods into the urban fabric, to create a more equitable, and inclusive model? 3. Could suitable design interventions help appraise the community in terms of their socioeconomic structure? 4. Could design interventions help make the Koliwada self sufficient? 5. Mumbai has always been known for its speciality in being dichotomic in nature. Most parts of the city even today, exist in duality- with the oldest of settlements surviving within the emerging tall structures of elite Mumbai. The question is, are we growing as a city to prolong this dichotomy in the future? Will the city continue to acknowledge these authentic settlements of Mumbai, or will it give in to the common paradigm of razing down the old to match up with the universal image of being a global city, like it is slowly doing with the koliwadas?



1. Literature reviews: -

Conference by Z Axis on ‘Designing Equitable Cities’ conducted in Goa




Articles, existing research papers and theses

2. Condition Assessment -

Physically visited the site and surveyed the conditions


Photo documentation


Physical mapping


Talks with locals

3. Secondary research and case studies -

Predominantly the internet, magazines, and books 32 | P a g e

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5.1.1. Condition Assessment The next essential part of this research after the collection of relevant data on the sites and community, was to physically survey and analyse the existing conditions in the koliwadas of Mumbai. For this purpose, sites were chosen and photo documented in order to analyse the physical site conditions and help establish a common ground, within which specific interests could be placed. The process to selecting a site would be followed by the study of 3 selected koliwadas of Mumbai. Other than the socio-economic conditions, the study would be carried forward by assessing the koliwadas of Mumbai under the following areas – 1. Mapping of urban scraps •

Unplanned infrastructure

Physically decaying edges/transitions

Socially, economically, and physically obsolete areas

1. Documenting potential public spaces 2. Identification of multi-use destinations- places of high footfall for the regeneration of economy. Site selection is majorly based on the above assessment. On studying each selected site, comparisons and identification of similar site related problems and observations as potential for interventions will be noted. The three selected site for the study are- Mahim Koliwada, Versova Koliwada, and Khar Danda Koliwada.

Boat mending/painting

Irregular parking

Garbage dumping

Publicly urinating/excreting

Net weaving/basket weaving

Children’s play area

Selling/buying fish 34 | P a g e

MAHIM KOLIWADA Mahim koliwada is located off Mahim bay, by the Swami Vivekanand Rd. This koliwada, just like the others, has been residing at this location before the amalgamation of the seven islands into the city as it is today. A major change in the fishing pattern and business of the people at Mahim was after the construction of the Bandra- Worli sea link.

Figure 7, source: google maps


Figure 8, source: google earth



Figure 9-15 (clockwise) •


EDGE 2 and

dilapidated structures found on the sea-edge of the koliwada, making it less attractive as a

Figure 13

place to visit. These

Figure 12

small structures house 2-3 outlets of a small scale



carpentry. •

View from the edge of

Figure 11

the koliwada towards the sea. •

Use of front edge space to mend, paint, store, and dump boats and other fishing material. Figure 10

Figure 9

Figure 12-14 (in order) •

The front edge of the koliwada towards the main road used as illegal parking, and encroachment of beggars.

The front edge of the koliwada is used to park boats, and to dry clothes. This does not seem appealing to the public that stops at the bus stop every day. It makes a bad urban space.

The 30m wide buffer, exploited land acts as a barrier between the main road and the koliwada. This space is misused for informal activities like boat painting/mending, basket weaving, net weaving, parking, and dumping garbage.

Figure 14

Figure 15

Figure 16

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No formal public spaces, so ladies use the outside of their houses with a

Figure 17




gossip and cool down. •

Cooking spaces outside any




shared, especially during Figure 18

Figure 20

festivals, for large scaled meals. •

The men use random spaces on the lanes for sorting, straightening and

Figure 21

weaving the nets. •




common outside most of the houses. •

The edge towards the sea is misused.

Figure 22

Figure 19


Unavailability of infrastructure for fishing brings out a need for proper facilities and space to carry out their regular activities

A lack in full potential use of the vacant land towards the sea makes it unattractive and seem like a unhygienic, slum area.

Underutilisation of the land towards the main road makes it less attractive and identifiable. 37 | P a g e

VERSOVA KOLIWADA Versova Village is situated along a creek. It is located at the coast of Versova, or Andheri West. It has a properly functioning co-operative society and a charitable trust that controls the structure of the settlement and it’s interests, as much as it can. Figure 23, source: google maps



B. EDGE 1 Figure 24, source: google earth

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EDGE 1 Edge conditions towards the main road access from the city are underdeveloped and unhygienic. The koli ladies have set up temporary make-shift stalls selling fish, because they get most profit

Figure 34

Figure 31

from towards the main road. •

This edge is informally used majorly for parking, drying fish, and selling the same.

There is a fisheries institute and an

Figure 33

ice storage/factory on the front edge of the market is in a dilapidated



infrastructure. Children from the village and the city come here to study and practise the fishing techniques. •

Figure 32

Figure 30

Figure 29

Figure 28

The ice factory located right next to it functions for all days of the year, 24 hours a day.


• Edge 2 as shown in the map, has a boat/jetty service to Madh Island, that functions most hours of the day. However, it is very chaotic with a mix of pedestrian, autorickshaws, and other vehicular traffic without any drop off/pick up points. • Moreover, the stretch has many temporary unkempt structures for drying, sorting of fishes and other businesses.

Figure 27

Figure 26

Figure 25

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The spaces within the fabric thrives with social and community activities. There are spaces used for gathering and meeting at many corners, and mostly outside important religious structures.

Figure 41

Figure 40

The internal market is in a shabby condition. It has no permanent structures yet is formally marked in Google maps, as their main market space.

Figure 39

There are old traditional wells located at every ‘galli’. Most of them are functioning, while some of them are run down. These wells are now

Figure 37


Figure 38


washing clothes


utensils. During the older times, they were used for drinking purposed by every catchment. •

Smaller lanes

led to small open

spaces where boys and girls of the

Figure 36

neighbourhood would play or meet and chat in the evening. During holidays,




throughout the day. Figure 35

Children were also found playing at negative areas of the village.


With the existing jetty/boat service at the edge towards the sea, there is a constant inflow and outflow of pedestrians through the village, making it a public realm in itself. A lack in the proper planning of this site could be ideal for the interventions thought for the koliwadas.

Moreover, the dilapidated conditions of jetty service, fisheries institute, and the ice factory gives more incentive for rejuvenating the site. 40 | P a g e

KHAR DANDA KOLIWADA This fishing village located on the western side of Bandra & Khar Road . The original inhabitants of Mumbai are living here from centuries. The Western freeway and the coastal road projects of Mumbai have also proposed to have bridges and passes through this village. This village is divided into many small padas, and each of these Figure 43, source: google maps

padas have each one specific gods and goddess for example Harbamauli,Ram mandir,etc. The village includes two fisherman jetty.



Figure 42, source: google earth


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EDGE 1 •

As observed in the pictures, the front edge (edge 1) has community spaces especially during festivals, market spaces, and many

Figure 49

political hoardings hung to the front. •

During the day, there is often vehicular and pedestrian congestion at this edge. It creates a rather unpleasant, confusing scene.

The market at the same edge is hardly

Figure 48

recognisable from the outside. •

However, from the inside it is observed to have housed a full fledged market and a line of shops as well.

It is observed to have multiple animals and

Figure 47

birds to eat the selling fish. Some say this may be an identity to the koliwada markets, some may feel it to be an unpleasant sight.

Intermediate spaces/ spaces between buildings

Figure 44

Figure 46

Figure 45

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As seen in the pictures, the edge conditions towards the sea are similar to those observed in Mahim and Versova Koliwada. They are predominantly used for parking vehicles/boats/ships, and for kids to play. It remains vacant and underutilised majority of the times.

Figure 55


Negative activities like smoking and drinking were observed at this edge. Fishermen were found to urinate in the sea.


Nodes and break out spaces are plenty in the khar danda koliwada. The main nodes were found to be the

Figure 54

market space, and the space outside of Ram Mandir. Most religious nodes (especially Ram Mandir) has an open space in front of the structure that holds major community activities, games, poojas, and other rituals. It is one of the major nodes in the koliwada. Figure 53


Figure 52

Figure 51

Figure 50


It can be inferred that the market conditions at the edge and on the inside in Khar Danda are unkempt and make it look un-attractive. Moreover, there is constant traffic congestion, making it unidentifiable as a Koliwada.


Khar Danda Koliwada is more commercialised and is like any other low-rise neighbourhood of Mumbai


. Local women complain about the safety at the sea-edge because of drunk men wandering around, 43 | P a g e even during the day.

5.1.2. CONCLUSION Through the analysis of the current situation in the chosen koliwadas, the problems in terms of physical conditions, daily activities and cultural happenings of the three koliwadas are assessed. After an intensive comparative analysis carried forward between the chosen koliwadas, noting the similarities and thus finding a common ground to focus on in terms of design interventions, Versova Koliwada is used as a case to illustrate the issues with the koliwadas, for this thesis. This selection was done on the basis of the following points: -

It has a constant inflow and outflow of public


It has existing ancillary infrastructure that is run down;


Its physical condition is observed to be most shaky amongst the three studied sites

Based on the above findings, a recommended conceptual framework is formulated for the chosen site. The common observation/inference that is achieved, is that all the koliwadas have their edges (towards the city and the sea) under-used or exploited. Moreover, there is no clear indication for the entrance to the settlement. There is a sort of physical and visual barrier formed in the eyes of an observer when he/she walks by these settlements. Further scope for intervention will be studied and decided based on the site-specific analysis. Before that, a set of cases are studied for inspirations in terms of revitalising existing, run-down urban neighbourhoods.

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5.2.1. A spotlight on Shenzhen’s Urban Villages (Case of the historic town of Nantou) Just like the koliwadas of Mumbai, the urban villages of Shenzhen follow a similar history. Situated on the Pearl River Delta, the area has long supported agriculture and fishing, and settlements accumulated over centuries. Over the years, the rapid influx of migrants led to haphazard growth. Shenzhen’s newly urbanised villages soon became synonymous with poverty, overcrowding, unhygienic conditions, prostitution and crime. (2017 UABB Cities, Grow in Difference comes to an end, 2018) One of the urban villages in focus here is Nantou. Founded as a city over 1,700 years back, Nantou is an ancient town which gradually caved into the growth in economy and population, demolition of the ancient buildings and fortress walls, eventually fading from memory. The exacerbation of urbanization has resulted in an intertwined layering of the historical town embedded within the urban village, which is transformed into today’s high-dense urban fabric different from the rest of the city. (Yan, 2018)

Figure 57, source:

Figure 56, source:

What changed the town’s fabric for good was the announcement of the main venue of 2017 Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB), which was jointly decided on taking place in the old town of Nantou. The UABB was organically woven into the regeneration of Nantou Old Town with the aim of producing a highly coherent, tailored and seamless scheme. (Yan, 2018) The utilization of various types of space, including factory buildings, streets, plazas, shops, apartments and historical architecture of the urban village, diversified the exhibition format. (Yan, 2018) This decision was an opportunity to experiment on the holistic renovation of Nantou Old Town via the intervention of a series of exhibition spaces, art works and events, presenting a strategy of urban regeneration.

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Nantou: Old Town Preservation or Urban Village Regeneration? Although the old town has changed dramatically, there are many traces of the historical town that still remain intact, or otherwise. The southern gate and eastern gate still exist, and several ancestral halls, temples, old houses, a church and other historical building remain as well. Sites of archaeological significance have also been preserved underground. Today, Nantou Village represents a synergy of an old town of nearly two thousand year's history and also, a modern urbanized village. It exists in between a city and a village, and yet it is neither a city nor a village when history intertwines with reality. (Yan, 2018) Underneath the current hustle and bustle of urban reality, hidden clues of spatial and historical memory can still be found.

Figure 59,

Figure 58, source:

For an intervention strategy, It was concluded that only by respecting the authenticity of the history and cherishing the cultural layers and historical traces of each period of time can we shape a timelessly dynamic urban community rooted in local history and culture. (Yan, 2018) Nantou today is not as an old historic town in the traditional sense, but as a historical heritage town, which carries on the history and culture of nearly two thousand years, and also, which preserves the spatial, social and cultural heritage of Shenzhen across every historical period, including the current. It is the only precious sample of Shenzhen’s urban culture that displays both historical relics alongside a full record of China’s rapid urbanization over the last three decades. (2017 UABB Cities, Grow in Difference comes to an end, 2018)

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City as Exhibition Venue and Exhibition as Practice Initially, the intention was to regenerate the village for the sheer sake of appraisal. Urbanus had proposed a development model of introducing cultural events, preservation, intervention and regeneration. (2017 UABB Cities, Grow in Difference comes to an end, 2018) Six regeneration or ‘stitches’ were planned within the fabric, the main focus being renovation of key public spaces and the introduction of public activities as part of the process of activating and promoting the regeneration of the Old Town. Later on, the idea to propose Nantou as the main venue of 2017 UABB was initiated in the biennale venue selection process. The works were implanted (with minimum interference with the daily life of local residents, during implementation) into the everyday life, and scattered throughout the lanes and alleys, parks and squares, residents and plants, envisioning a global and future-oriented example of coexistence. The exhibition was implemented concurrently with the old town regeneration plan, to make direct improvement to the public space quality of Nantou Old Town. It was also the beginning of a long-term strategy for the incremental improvement of urban spaces and the quality of urban life. (Yan, 2018) After




procedure, a ‘narrative line’ was decided, renovation

on and


which the could

spatial exhibition highly

coincide. A series of renovations along with this narrative line would have minimum interference with the daily life of local residents, also improving the public space quality of the Old Town to a maximum effect, while leaving enough room for future development.

Figure 60, source:

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“Only when urban regeneration is seen as an effort to tackle complex urban problems can we find a balance between history and reality, and between spatial heritage and humanistic lifestyle.� (Yan, 2018) Serving as an exhibition route, the system decided consisted of both architectural spaces and outdoor venues. The exhibition venues were in five zones from north to south and extending out toward east and west: A. Factory Zone, B. Cross Road Zone, C. Southern Gate Zone, D.Historic Buildings Zone, and Chunjing Street Zone. The whole exhibition spatial narrative is formed with the following seven interlocking themes, like the structure of Chinese literature or drama. (Yan, 2018)

Figure 61, source:

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As mentioned earlier, the exhibition was represented as a storyline, manifested in a route starting from the southern gate, to the Baode public square. Therefore, the intervention was carried out in 4 major phases, namely; Introduction, Elucidation, Transition, and Conclusion. Introduction: Southern GatePark

Figure 62, source:

Figure 63, source:

Figure 64, source:

By the articulation of the southern gate park, it was hoped to establish a connection between the existing cultural sites outside of the Southern Gate and to introduce a new interactive experience in the Park, recreating the spatial ‘prelude’ before entering the Old Town: walking through the archway of Nantou Old Town. (Yan, 2018) The idea and importance of designing the spatial characteristics of the edge of a site to the city, to make it look and feel more accessible and approachable was realised by this example. The creation of a contemporary walkway, yet preserving the old relics of a gate to the old town was an eye-catching intervention as a strategy to attract tourists, and locals alike. Having a dominant visual character for an entrance has learnt to be a good example for the same.

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Elucidation: Ancient Academy Square The site is currently surrounded by densely packed village towers behind the eastern and northern walls. In the process of renovation, the original atmosphere of existing trees and open space was preserved as much as possible, and only one hedgerow is removed from the south of the square to add steps and ramps in order to make the square more open facing towards the city gate. A screen wall of grey bricks separates the terrace from the street below. A small open space is created in the middle of the square and a small stage is added along the northern wall to accommodate small-grouped performances and community activities. This small quiet courtyard with the shade of trees is a nice pocket garden to enjoy the city view, especially from a small porch pavilion in the southeast corner. (Yan, 2018)

Figure 65, source:

Transition: Cross Road Square A small vacant open space was chosen, enclosed by traditional buildings and other residential buildings, as the junction node connecting the main exhibition venue and the main street to the west of the exhibition route. Gradual spatial transition was arranged here to separate external street space from semi-public space in the internal area. Concrete parapet walls are used as the boundary for areas of different elevations, the practice of mixed masonry with grey and red brick in traditional Lingnan (southern Chinese) architecture is adopted in outdoor paving. (Yan, 2018)

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Local fruit trees, typical in the Lingnan region, are used as the major tree species in landscaping in order to carry on the practical and innovative feature of traditional Lingnan culture.

Figure 66, source:

Conclusion: Baode Square The final site is surrounded by dense residential buildings built in different periods, with a basketball court of terrazzo floor that was built in the 1990s. The square is usually empty and unwelcoming in the daytime because of the hot weather, and becomes vibrant after dark when children are chasing each other and adults are sitting around barbecuing and drinking beer. It is a stage for daily life, shifting between noisy and silent, chaotic yet dynamic. (Yan, 2018) Located on both sides of the square were two metal sheds. Erected on the site of buildings demolished several years earlier, they had served as temporary markets to sell clothing, fruits, and other groceries. (Yan, 2018) The two sheds had been removed and two new temporary structures are built on the site after coordination with local residents. In addition to compensating the same floor area for the village, the new structures were made to have roofs with slanting steps toward the square, forming a continuous interface which allows people to walk all the way from the square onto the roof. (Yan, 51 | P a g e

2018) The roof now serves as audience seating for basketball games or performances in the square. The form of these buildings responds to the small scale and rich roof profile of the adjacent historic buildings too.

Figure 68, source:

Figure 70, source:

Figure 67, source:

Figure 69, source:

The two new buildings define the boundary of the square. These efforts help enlarge and extend three-dimensionally the originally limited public space into a hub for gatherings and sharing. The two buildings house an information centre and bookstore, as well as exhibition and event venues for the biennale.

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Agglomeration: Creative Lab and Market Square With urbanisation, the existing factories of industries in the town started shutting down, and were left unused for years together. The idea for the biennale as to

Figure 71,

Figure 72, source:

Figure 73, source:

The exterior walls of the factory and dormitories were essentially maintained in their original appearance. The existing horizontal stripe windows, tinted glass, granitic plaster, mixed pebbles, vertical white tiles, and color mosaics of geometric patterns are preserved as much as 53 | P a g e

possible. A temporary metal shed on the factory square was dismantled, and a light canopy of stretching fabric was built along the east wall to accommodate an open-air cafĂŠ. This is an example of an installation used to accommodate a usable space. The enclosing wall on one side of the factory was demolished to allow the factory area to merge into the surrounding neighbourhoods. The exterior wall of the ground floor of the main plant is removed, and a north-south inner street connecting the other two buildings was created. (Yan, 2018) After opening up the first floor of the main building, a series of enclosed spaces with different sizes and colors are scattered around. These were used as venues for various themed exhibitions.

Openness: From Public Stage to Open Theatre

Figure 74, source:

The public stage appeared in the late 1980s and witnessed the early migrant worker culture of Shenzhen. With the rapid industrialization of the city and the thriving of village and township enterprises, public stages were built throughout the city. They met the leisure and recreational demands of a large population of young migrant workers and mass performances of various 54 | P a g e

types used to be seen all over the city. (Yan, 2018) With further growth of the city and the relocation of factories to the outskirts, however, public stages were dismantled. In Nantou village, it was discovered that there was a remaining public stage. The south edge of the stage was close to the crowded urban village while the north edge is open to the green space of the park. It was already being used as a semi open-air theater for ordinary people to host amateur performances and local community activities, with a covered seating area for up to 500 spectators. In the summer, old men and women would sit in the shade to play chess, to read or to watch kids playing.

Figure 75,

Figure 76, source:

It was decided to use this public stage as the multi-function hall during the biennale to host lectures, seminars, stage performances, films and other activities, while also preserving its role as an informal performance venue as much as possible, so that it can still host the daily activities of local residents when it is available.

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Conclusion As the main exhibition venue for the biennale, Nantou Old Town is a heterogeneous symbiosis of a historic town and a contemporary urban village. The urban intervention of this UABB is highly consistent with the old town regeneration plan, making a smooth transition from one to the other. During the renovation of the main venue, the design team selected a great variety of spaces within the urban village, including factory buildings, streets, squares, residential buildings, historical buildings, and parks. (Yan, 2018) The concept was to carry out “Urban curation,” in contrast to the current urban renewal process, as a long-term strategy for the incremental improvement of urban spaces and the quality of urban life.


The idea behind regeneration of the village in the form of a story-line, or ‘collective memory’ for the biennale helps evoke interest and attracts tourists.


Creating public and accessible spaces within the fabric by utilising negative, underused spaces or voids not only renovates the village in an incremental manner but also helps generate another path of economy for the village and it’s people, and by default builds an identity for the village within the city and it’s people.


On the path for finding solutions to regenerating the koliwadas of Mumbai, this case study helps give a vision and domain for dealing with historic urban villages undergoing constant change and loss in identity in today’s age.

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5.2.2. SOCIAL URBANISM Lessons from Latin America “Public architecture is symbolic of how society views itself. That’s how people want to view themselves – in beauty and dignity. It’s something that empowers them.” - Architects of Barrio Public Space

The concept ‘social urbanism’ pushed this study further towards understanding ways to making a city more consolidated and dealing with exploited spaces to be more accessible in nature. Formulated by the architect Alejandro Echeverri, it deals with alleviating social marginality and exclusion by introducing more public, civic spaces. He has talked about ideas of making the city of Medellin more transparent, recovering public spaces and integrating neighbourhoods that had been excluded due to various issues in the past. The strategy of Social Urbanism that was implemented dealt with urban and social issues, with projects that took place in marginalised neighbourhoods, with the objective of making

Figure 77,

viable a more sustainable model of performance from a social and physical- environmental perspective. (Biswas) Medellín, for example, constructed avant-garde public buildings in areas that were the most run-down, provided house paint to citizens living in poor districts, and cleaned up and improved the streets. By

Figure 78,

definition, social urbanism revolves around the idea of creating an experience of belonging in the urban context, and dealing with social segregation, economy and land ownership. (Biswas) Social urbanism prioritized historically neglected neighbourhoods on the urban agenda. The new strategy reclaimed shared public spaces and connected the isolated comunas to each other and to the rest of the city. (Biswas) Social urbanism explicitly prioritizes equity in its approach. This strategy uses specific projects to inject investment into targeted areas in a way 57 | P a g e

that cultivates civic pride, participation, and greater social impact. They become catalysts for surrounding public space and infrastructure interventions to poverty and violence, and are viewed holistically as part of a comprehensive plan for targeted neighbourhoods. (Biswas) CASE 1: Medellin Medellin have taken a pragmatic approach towards the presence of informal neighbourhoods or ‘favelas’ - an approach that brings services to the favelas instead of demolishing them. The pragmatism of this approach lies in the fact that infrastructural upgradation costs considerably less than the total demolition of existing settlements and the subsequent delivery of social housing. (Biswas)

Figure 79, source:

Figure 80, source:

By dedicating itself solely to the delivery of services and infrastructures, the result was the most iconic library within one of the poorest favelas. By channelling resources towards a network of catalytic interventions and innovative infrastructural additions, the projects reveal a sophisticated approach towards the design of public institutions and a multi-sectoral attitude towards the design of infrastructure that integrates the delivery of essential services with the 58 | P a g e

expansion of public spaces. (Biswas) Giancarlo Mazzanti, who designed the library, calls it a “symbol that produces dignity.� Once considered one of the most violent parts of the city, Medellin is now both a tourist destination and local gathering place. The library park and the many other public places constructed through social urbanism now provide spaces for social engagement and cohesion between all classes and communities.

Figure 81, source:

o The whole idea behind these strategies was to regenerate communal and civic potential public spaces not only within the community, but to be shared with the whole city, thus arousing public involvement as well as contribution. o This by default makes it a better, safer, and a more inclusive city to live in. o Moreover, having tourist attractions and provisions, infrastructure and other facilities that require service and staff, creates job opportunities within the city, making more people financially stable. By sharing the whole city, MedellĂ­n suggests a universal model for future Sharing Cities. 59 | P a g e

CASE 2: Caracas In the case of Caracas, the lack in open recreational space for the children to play was considered as an important social drawback that could be solved by architectural intervention. Taking this into consideration, a prefabricated construction system that transformed a rundown soccer field into the four story vertical gymnasium was introduced. The new prototype incorporated the use of recyclable materials, wind towers, solar panels, and rain water collection. (Biswas) The vertical structure of the gym provides a recreational and cultural events facility without




properties. It accommodates numerous sport activities in the same space in order to meet the necessities of both serious athletes and the general public. The design features facilities





volleyball, martial arts, track and field, weight lifting, and basketball.

(Biswas) Having a

prototype design for an existing social issue is important and more efficient, so that it can be used at multiple locations in any given fabric that faces the same issue. The vertical gymnasium as a solution to breathing and playing spaces for children devoid of proper play areas becomes a very innovative and important strategy to make the lives of children in informal settlements all over the Figure 82, source:

world better and healthier.

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5.2.3. URBAN ACUPUNCTURE By Jamie Lerner Urban Acupuncture is a concept formulated by architect Jamie Lerner, which was found to be informative and relevant for finding strategies to regenerate the koliwadas. It talks about the application of small-scale urban/architectural interventions as a strategy for a holistic development, hereby reacting against large scale revitalisation programs. Such a strategy aims to minimize displacement while improving conditions in the area by focusing on important issues only. He writes: “I have always nurtured the dream and hope that with the prick of a needle, diseases may be cured. The notion of restoring the vital signs of an ailing spot with a simple healing touch has everything to do with revitalizing not only that specific place but also the entire area that surrounds it.” Urban acupuncture performs small-scale interventions at strategic chosen locations to create a maximization of the effects, much like a catalyst. It could be described as a method of intervening into a fabric to create a sort of ‘ripple effect’; the continuing and spreading results to the rest of the fabric.

Figure 83, source:

According to Sola-Morales, the first step in the application of urban acupuncture is to decide the location of a sensitive point. He also mentions that scale is relative with its respective proportions of the transformations that are being proposed. The impact that the intervention makes is of more importance. Urban acupuncture is about reassess places. (Hoogdyun, 2014) Projects involving urban acupuncture create meaningful places, places that before were none. Jamie Lerner says, “good acupuncture is about drawing people out to the streets and creating meeting places. Mainly, it is about helping the city become a catalyst of interactions between 61 | P a g e

people.” And so, “the more cities are understood to be the integration of functions — bringing together rich and poor, the elderly and the young — the more meeting places they will create and the livelier they will become.” ❖ The concept of urban acupuncture shifts from the permanency of planning, which was why it was found relevant in this thesis, as the main intention, as mentioned before, in regenerating the koliwadas, is in fact, to reintegrate them to the city without having to disrupt the existing urban and social fabric, or displacing them, thus creating a strong identity and spatial recognition.

Precedents of the concept As already mentioned in the introduction of this book, the research is based on the simple idea of how multiple, targeted interventions in a given fabric can act as catalysts to attaining appraisal, while integrating it to the rest of the city, without having to raze down the existing structure. Further digging into the research led to the theory of Jamie Lerner and his belief that brownfield development is as crucial important to a more equal and urban city as is greenfield development. After learning that urban changes don´t need to be large-scale and cities don´t necessarily need expensive budgets to be transformed, and after the study of Curitiba, which was transformed into a global model of sustainability and liveability through its initiatives in integrated public transit, public parks and the restructure of land use, turning the city into an urban model not only for Latin America, but around the world, the concept was taken forward to further brainstorming for a design strategy that would suit the context of koliwadas. Each city needs to find their own potential to operate in different urban scales: from a specific location, to a neighbourhood or an urban infrastructure. The cases from Latin America helped reinforce this concept on the path to manifestation into a design solution.

Overarching concept for the koliwada as inferred In order to restore urbanity and attract the city to the koliwada, in addition to being selfsufficient and sustainable, the new interventions have to follow the following characteristics; they have to be catalytic and integrated to the renovation of the surroundings, relatively small in program, and therefore economically viable, contain good public spaces, and lastly but most importantly- precise in location and design.

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CASE: Arena do Morro / Herzog & de Meuron The urban study identified the missing and underdeveloped urban activities in the neighbourhood for Mãe Luiza, traces available space within the densely built fabric, and distributed new activities within the areas potentially available for development. (Arena do Morro / Herzog & de Meuron, 2014) The proposal includes a spine (passarela) of new buildings and interventions that will form a sequence of public activities perpendicular to the main street of Mãe Luiza and extending all the way to the ocean. The pioneering architectural project within this proposal is the

Figure 84, source:

gymnasium, containing a sports field with tiered seating for 420 people, multipurpose rooms for dance and education, a terrace with ocean views, as well as changing rooms and public restrooms. (Arena do Morro / Herzog & de Meuron, 2014) Its geometry is extruded over the entire building area, creating a single large roof whose shape is limited and defined by the site boundaries. The roof introduces a new scale in Mãe Luiza and at the same time establishes a relationship to the widespread traditional approach of using a generous roof to create large public spaces in the North East of Brazil. (Arena do Morro / Herzog 63 | P a g e

& de Meuron, 2014) It becomes a symbol of the community. Under the roof, the ground forms a landscape made of local terrazzo that follows the existing topography. The seating tiers trace the contour lines of the open field, and the multipurpose room, the dance studios, and support spaces are nestled in between. An undulating independent wall defines the interior perimeter, following the outline of the seating steps around the sports field and the circular shape of the freestanding and more private rooms. The circular volumes underline the communal character of these spaces and the activities within. (Arena do Morro / Herzog & de Meuron, 2014) The sheer dimension and the uniform white colour of the roof anchor the building in the otherwise coarse and colourful urban fabric of MĂŁe Luiza. Like the missing piece of a puzzle, it occupies a large vacant lot at the edge of the quarter, completes it, and defines a new and generous civic place visible from afar. The two ends of the elongated pitched roof open up towards the neighbourhood and invite people in.

Figure 86, source:

Figure 85, source:

Figure 88, source:

Figure 87, source:

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Conclusion The above study on various strategies and theories have helped the research progress towards understanding the impact that a decentralised yet holistic intervention system in an existing fabric has on a community, it’s economy, safety, image, inclusion, opportunities, and overall development. To summarise the strategies studied from around the world, it has been gathered that manifesting memory into design, improvising the existing physical condition of the fabric or simple improvising socio-economic infrastructure by design to create more urban, public places in the city, all implemented in a fragmented yet holistic and catalytic manner, can bring about a great change in the character of a neighbourhood. Following factors play a major role in helping integrate an intervention, spatially in the context: -



Identity with respect to the context: be it in size, shape, material, or the memory/activity it caters to




Choosing the correct locations for intervention


Choosing the right activities to cater to, so it does not disrupt the existing routine in any way.

All in all, intervening into an existing fabric has to be done in a very integrating manner, so the proposed structure falls in place with the fabric like a missing puzzle piece. The study has proved to be informative because it is now clear as to how the process of design intervention should be carried forward and what issues to be aimed for. Moreover, for the condition assessment of the present scenario of the koliwadas in Mumbai, it is clearer as to what aspects to look at during the study of each site; doing a comparative analysis, finding a common ground, while at the same time, thinking about the design interventions that would suit best for the existing issues.

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5.2.4. Designing a sustainable model for a neighbourhood Neighbourhood vs community The neighbourhood, in terms of its streets, houses, facilities, greenspaces, etc may be consciously planned. However, communities cannot be planned, but occur through people’s choices and actions. Most communities are based around a shared interest or identity, rather than closeness. There is rarely one best answer for sustainability. This chapter represents the aspects and factors for a sustainable neighbourhood, and the direction of change that is desirable for the koliwadas chosen. This study helped move forward to analysing and assessing the current scenario of the koliwadas and mapping the conditions. The study has summarised important points vital for finding strategies for the revitalisation of koliwadas. For an inclusive and sustainable model of a neighbourhood, the following aspects are to be considered •

Aesthetic identity that is rooted in the collective identity of the region, reflecting characteristics that are valued by the local community

Providing opportunity for gradual renewal and adaptation to new needs.

A pedestrian dominated public realm

Diversity of use

Ecologically responsive

Networks linking within and to the rest of the city

To be more crisp, sustainable development is about maintaining and enhancing the quality of human life- socially, economically, and environmentally. To promote healthy communities, it’s a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being that is to be achieved. The wider determinants of a healthy lifestyle can be based on the spatial environment like social and economic factors (employment, social capital, social inclusion), access to services, urban form, physical activity, leisure facilities, etc. A key principle of a sustainable neighbourhood planning is to open up choice, and encompass not only the needs of residents but of providers, visitors, or just those passing through. Re inventing the social, economical and environmental enhancement of the human quality of life.

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One of the important aspects to be taken into consideration for developing and assessing a neighbourhood for its sustainability is analysing the needs of an activity. Local activity helps define the nature of a is instructive to take an activity defined as a problem, (Hugh Barton) A sustainable neighbourhood revolves around the people, lifestyle, community, economy, facilities, built environment, natural environment, and global ecology. The model of the settlement as a habitat can help establish common ground, a context within which specific interests can be placed. In this study, the focus is meant to be on three issues for the koliwada (found legitimate from the background study), namely; economy, built environment, and the activities. Further details on the aspects to be taken into consideration for analysing the state of the koliwada is based on these three areas as described below ECONOMY

Promote employment

o Ensure




opportunities o Enhance further education and training facilities Promote enterprise

o Diversify local entrepreneurial opportunities o Recycle financial resources locally o Promote urban regeneration and renewal

BUILT ENVIRONMENT Enhance environmental quality

o Create an attractive public realm o Promote local distinctiveness and value logic heritage

ACTIVITIES Increasing equity

o Enhance moving options o Accessible local facilities

Table 1 During the planning process, It is important to analyse the needs of an activity, and assess what kind of places can be made for the local activities that help define the nature of the environment.(activity defined as a problem) Planning sustainable neighbourhoods means 67 | P a g e

reworking the development conventions of the recent past, and adapting to the changing conditions/decay. In terms of planning and design, this would mean: •

Adaptable building forms

Extendable buildings, adaptable streets

Encouraging gradual renewal

Evolving heritage, not mothballing it

Avoiding fixed edges and barriers

The aspiration for every neighbourhood is that it should evolve steadily and naturally, at an unforced rate, providing a healthy, convivial environment for residents and users at all stages. (Hugh Barton) For a sustainable neighbourhood, the scope of the appraisal should be broad. Each part or aspect of the locality is likely to be affected by change, so an integrated understanding is vital. Way forward Good analysis of the site and it’s context is necessary if the principles of sustainable development are to be converted into practise in the development scheme. In terms of the planning process for a baseline appraisal, the way-forward is two-fold: •

Understanding the character of the area

Identifying the issues

While analysing the site, the focus shall be on the following: -


Lifestyle •

Levels of physical activity/recreation

Behavioural information

Community • Open spaces, public transport •


Common groups, activities, participation, community engagement.

Economy •

Local entrepreneurial activities, work opportunities, training

Land use and movement

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Pattern and condition of land use and buildings •

Street pattern, movement and accessibility

Local distinctive architecture or townscape reflecting traditional materials and culture

• -

Scale and character of surrounding development

Aesthetics and ‘meetingness’

Appraisal should give a rounded view of the dynamics of a settlement so that individual sites are seen in context. Design appraisal is not all about what the people want, but ensuring that the fundamental social and environmental goals are achieved.

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6. SITE 6.1.


On studying the physical aspects and conditions of the 3 chosen sites, for this research, it was decided to choose Versova Koliwada as a model for further analysis and an attempt to develop a holistic spatial framework for the re-integration/re-strengthening of the same. This paper attempts to develop a microlevel critical understanding of the threatened livelihood of fishermen community in Versova. The reasons for selecting Versova as a potential site for this thesis are essentially: -

Better accessibility


Regular and large influx and outflux of public


Existing infrastructural facilities on site that need strengthening

The selection criteria for areas of intervention within the fabric would depend on the activity analysis around the site. Moreover, other aspects like the perception that the locals and regular public have of the place, the density analysis, location of the strengths and weaknesses of the site, etc. also play a vital role. Social capital can be termed as the measure of the residents’ sense of community. The settlement, in spite of a diverse caste system, has thrived with the help of various existing activity centres and ancillary industries. (Jai Bhadgaonkar, 2016) The open-air gathering spaces that cater to vibrant cultural festivities has also helped this bonding to sustain. The Versova CoOperative Society is the primary reason why this settlement thrives in comparison to the 27 other villages.

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Figure 89, source: google maps

The total area of the koliwada is around 20 hectares. Versova koliwada is located by the Malad creek. It is situated about 1.5 kms from the Versova metro station, and is located along Jai Prakash road (JP road). Majority of the city locals that want to travel to Madh Island/Borivali/Kandivali, etc. use the jetty/boat service from the koliwada, regulated by the Kolis themselves, as a shortcut.The details of the site with respect to nodes and landmarks, green/open spaces, social infrastructure, and fishing activities and their timings are mentioned in the mapping analysis demonstrated in the next few segments.

Figure 90, source:

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Figure 92, source: google maps

Figure 91, source:

Population: -

There are 5000 inhabitants living in Versova Koliwada today. Moreover, around 1000-1400 people travel everyday from a 4AM to 1AM – in an out of the Koliwada.

Climatology: -

Versova Koliwada has a tropical climate. During most months of the year, there is significant rainfall in Versova Koliwada. The average annual temperature is 26.8 °C in Versova Koliwada. About 2535 mm of precipitation falls annually.

Figure 94, source: /

Figure 93, source:

The driest month is January, with 0 mm of rainfall. Most precipitation falls in July, with an average of 886 mm. The warmest month of the year is May, with an average temperature of 29.8 °C. In January, the average temperature is 23.4 °C. It is the lowest average temperature of the whole year.

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From the DCR of 2034, the following points were noted in relevance to construction in koliwadas: FSI for reconstruction/redevelopment of any property in gaothan/koliwada/adiwasipada i.e. on land with tenure ‘A’ shall be as follows: a) For plots fronting on roads below 9 m width, permissible FSI will be 1.5 b) for plot fronting on road width of 9 m and




Figure 95, source:

proposed),additional 0.5 FSI shall be allowed for commercial use subject to condition that margin and parking space as required under these Regulations are provided.


Versova Koliwada lies under CRZ II


According to the amended rules, CRZ-II shall constitute the developed land areas up to or close to the shoreline, within the existing municipal limits or in other existing legally designated urban areas, which are substantially built-up with a ratio of built

Figure 96, source:

up plots to that of total plots being more than 50% and have been provided with drainage and approach roads and other infrastructural facilities, such as water supply and sewerage mains etc.

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Figure 97

• • •

The arrows marked in yellow indicated the movement in and out of the koliwada. The paths marked in grey, are ‘pakka’ roads. Area of the koliwada is about 18 hectares.

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Vehicular and pedestrian traffic

Figure 98

INFERENCES The busiest and most dense road in the koliwada at most times of the day in terms of influx and outflux of vehicles and pedestrians alike, is the central one which leads to the path to the jetty. (as shown in the above map) Most of the inner lanes/alleys through the fabric are pedestrian in nature, making it an ideal, and sustainable pedestrian friendly neighbourhood. 76 | P a g e

Nodes and Landmarks



Figure 99

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Observations and Inferences

It was found that there are remains of the older wells that have existed over 100 years. Two of them function, while the other two don’t. Water from these wells are not used for drinking purposes anymore, but are used for washing, cleaning utensils/clothes. The nodes that are made with these wells become important and a daily gathering and notable

Figure 100

informal meeting places for the locals. It is said that there was a well at each galli (alley before), but only 4 remain in total today. The function as a meeting place still holds even today. The fisheries institute and ice factory act as notable landmarks for the neighbourhood of koliwada. It prides itself in being the only koliwada to be self sufficient with the two ancillary centres

Figure 103

Figure 101

Figure 102

Figure 104

A major junction in the koliwada is the one at the meeting point of the path to the jetty and the central spine that connects to the main road. (NODE 2) There is also a constant movement of vehicles/autorickshaws/motorcycles towards the jetty. Since this node caters to an influx and outflux of large number of people on a regular basis, it is notable as a space for gathering, commercial activities, or as an important break point for the travellers. 78 | P a g e

Another major node is right at the entrance of the settlement. (NODE 1) There has been an attempt in trying to give an identity to the koliwadas by erecting an art sculpture at the junction of the main road. Being the junction of two main roads connecting the rest of the city, NODE 1

Figure 105

becomes and important starting point as a journey through the central spine. Moreover the statue also becomes a mark as a landmark for navigation. Figure 107

Figure 106

At the edge of the koliwada towards the main road, there are two existing, dilapidated yet fully functioning structures- The fisheries institute and the ice factory. (as shown in the map) In spite of the physical condition, they do serve as landmarks for the kolis. However they are not clearly visible as landmarks from the street, for someone who may visit

Figure 110

the place for the first time. They kind of get camouflaged because of the huge buffer space from the street, the informal haphazard

Figure 109

Figure 108

parking, and the informal market put up by the koli women, thus becoming a visual and physical barrier between the street and the koliwada; which completely negates the purpose of being a landmark.

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The fisheries institute and the ice factory

The fisheries institute of Versova is looked over by the Central Institute of Fisheries Education. Each batch allows about 25-30 students.The course is a 6 month long one. It is operational throughout the year; Jan-June and July-December. Interested students from all over the city visit to study here, including the students from the koliwada. The timings are from 10 AM to 2PM, and then 3PM to 5PM.The pictures below show the outside and insides of the institute today. Problems: lack of light and ventilation, dilapidated condition of the structure, dingy smell and low maintenance.

Figure 112

Figure 111

Figure 113

The ice factory on the other hand, functions 24 hours in the day. There is no day off for the kolis that work here. Versova koliwada prides itself to be the only one with an ice factory of its own.

Figure 116

Figure 115

Figure 114

Problems: lack in proper infrastructure. No designated loading/unloading area for ice to be transferred (which is a continuous process). The building is dingy and dilapidated. The area around both the structures is disorganised.

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EXISTING OPEN SPACES Studying the open spaces on site

Figure 117

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Exploitation of the edges The major point to have come to notice in terms of land use pattern is that of the edges of the settlements. Majority of the land on the edges- towards the main road and at the sea edge is vacant but is being misused for parking, garbage dumping (see image) , hawking, or simply under-usage of the potential that it may have.

Figure 118

Edges of an interface between two areas have a lot to do with the spatial or visual integrity. If developed well, they could serve as a transitional element in the urban context. If otherwise, they become physical and visual barriers thus becoming less urban and accessible on a large scale. Figure 119

Open spaces There are 2 large open grounds (as shown in the map) used for community/social activities like marriage ceremonies, functions, festivals, etc. for the kolis only. They are also used for everyday activities like for children to play football, cricket, and other sports in these grounds. The two grounds are at a distance of 700m from each other. Figure 121

Figure 122

Figure 120

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Ratio between built and green spaces

green areas

open grounds

built areas

Figure 123

As per the above pie chart, majority of the space is occupied is built. There are little green areas within the koliwada. Therefore, there becomes a large difference in the ratio of the built environment to the softscape/green/open spaces.In terms of environmental sustainability, this is a negative point as more concretisation heats up the neighbourhood a lot more. The constant migration, expansion in population, and urbanisation is leading to this situation. There is a lack in intermediate open plazas/ landscaped spaces in the koliwada to help cool it down.

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Figure 124

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INFERENCES From the above map, it is inferred that Versova koliwada today is dominated by Koli hindus and their temples, yet the area is turning into a diverse fabric with migration. The community is strong and relatively self-sufficient in terms of social infrastructure. With the Versova Trust running successfully today, everything is organised and falls to place in terms of the social needs of the community. There are 4 important Temples in the settlement that the Kolis worship to: -

Ram Mandir


Hingla Devi Mandir


Vetal Mandir


Shri Sinya Mahadev Mandir

The Koli Festival is a major celebration for the Kolis. In fact, they celebrate at a large scale so that their identity as a valid ethnic, and oldest community of Mumbai still remains in the memory of people. This is an important point to be considered. The koli festival could be incorporated in the design intervention and a formal space could be given for them to celebrate it.

Figure 126, source:

Figure 125, source:








Morning- afternoon

Figure 127

Evening-night 86 | P a g e

INFERENCES Activity analysis: studying the patterns of activity

As clearly shown in the map, most of the activities relating to fishing happen throughout the day. The men go into the waters at night, and come back in the morning or after a few days, depending on the size of the boat and

Figure 129

how far he plans to go into the sea to catch fish. The women look over the jetty in the morning to collect the fish, and take it to the local market, or markets outside (Crawford, khar danda, Borivali,etc) depending on the profits, or, makes her deal with the men from export business companies who stand there waiting by the jetty

Figure 128

for their everyday bulk of fishes.

Number of hours (on season)

Figure 130


Jetty/boat service




Figure 131

It can be inferred that most of the daily routine even today, depend on the fishing industry. Moreover, the edges- for selling, drying, sorting, fishing, cleaning,

Figure 132

weaving, etc.- are important areas for these activities to be carried out, as there is a lack of space for the same in the inner parts of the koliwada.

Figure 133

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Figure 134

Morning- afternoon Evening-night

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INFERENCES Activity analysis: studying the patterns of activity

A sperate map has been made for the activities taking place in the koliwada throughout the day during the off season (June-August) because there is a change in the cycle during this time from the routine during the on season. As shown in the map, most of the activities that happen throughout the day involve repairing of the boats (painting, mending, fixing, polishing, etc), weaving of nets, weaving of baskets. Many of the kolis also look for odd jobs outside for

Figure 136

some extra money during this season. The export businesses that set up their sheds with storage for collecting fishes during the on season also dismantle their warehouses and take a break for the 2/3 months in the off season. Figure 135

Number of hours (off season)


Jetty/boat service


Selling Figure 140

Figure 137

Figure 139

Figure 138

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Figure 141

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INFERENCES Versova is a highly dense neighbourhood, with a gross population of 5000 inhabbitants. With the constant influx of migrants and expansion of population, kolis are only expanding their houses to 2-3 storey structures. The growth is inevitable. There are small spill out spaces between clusters of buildings that people come out to for meeting, gossiping, or just spending some time out in the fresh air. Overall, the ratio between the built and the unbuilt is represented in the figure ground map and the pie chart below. Pros: Since the settlement is so densely packed, the roads and alleys are predominantly in the shadows. This is a positive aspect, considering the heat generated due to concretisation, and the climatic conditions of Mumbai. The scorching heat is not felt in the roads and alleys.

built and unbuilt



Figure 142

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The crowd that are to be considered while intervening in the Versova Koliwada are: 1. Public that travels by the jetty -

About an average of 1400 people travel to and from Madh island everyday.

2. The locals (residing in the koliwada) There is a total of 50000 inhabitants residing in the koliwada today. these include people working in different areas: a. Fishing industry (fishing, selling, weaving, mending, sorting) b. Ice factory c. Jetty service d. Administration 3. Tourists and common city dwellers If the koliwada is to be accessible, identifiable and attractive in the macro context, tourists will have to be considered as one of the stakeholders amongst people experiencing the place. A cognitive mapping analysis was done by asking 3-4 people from amongst the locals and the regular public that travels through the koliwada towards the jetty, to draw a memory map of the koliwada that they perceive based on their everyday experiences. Lynch's checklists of elements are helpful here for stimulating the analysis ➢ Paths: Recording routes that adjoin or cross their area ➢ Edges : Recording any strong linear barriers and any distinct limits to areas with different patterns of use or visual character. ➢ Landmarks: Recording any distinct elements wither in shape, meaning or location. ➢ Nodes: Recording focal points like squares, intersections, and plazas; recording buildings that attract people and create movement like cinemas and shopping malls. ➢ Districts: Recording areas that differ from each other in character and use specifying factors that outline these differences like material and form.

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6.3.1. COGNITIVE MAPPING Cognitive/memory map as perceived by the locals staying there





6 3


Edges [1,2,3] : 1- Identified as a place where women sold their fishes daily 2- Identified as a place adjacent to the upper middle classes with gated communities. Some women and men set up make-shift stalls to sell their vegetables and fish here as well. 3- Identified as an edge towards the mangroves, preferably used for dumping garbage or parking boats. No one visits these areas. Notable areas/regions [4,5,6] 4- Identified as a Muslim dominated area. 5- Identified as an internal market area. 6- Identified as a barren/un used land chaotic with cars and garbage dumping. 93 | P a g e

Cognitive/memory map as perceived by everyday travellers to the jetty

4 .

5 . 3 .

5 .

1 .

2 . Figure 144

INFERENCES Edges [1,5] 1- For the daily travellers towards the jetty, this edge is considered unattractive as it has a stench of sea food, is dirty (especially during the monsoon) and has a lot of birds flying around to catch the fish. 5- The edge along the MAJOR PATH onto the jetty does not seem appealing to the public. They consider it as a path not to be crossed over. Nodes/break points [2,3,4] 2- Identified as the first and foremost node where autorickshaws are found, and is used as a pick up/drop off node 3- Identified as the break point where they take a turn towards the jetty. Sometimes, autos are made to stop here. 4- Jetty point, where they sit on to the boats/jetty towards Madh Island. 94 | P a g e

6.3.2. CONCLUSIONS Versova koliwada is densely populated, culturally diverse, yet still quite in it’s fishing business. It is constantly thriving with a varied density of the local public walking through the main spine, especially towards the jetty area. However, in terms of defining itself as a koliwada and creating an identity with respect to the city, it falls back. It is safe to say that apart from pollution, migration, and other problems due to urbanisation, one of the major reasons for this fall back is the spatial condition of the settlements and also, the route that is open to the common public. The rest of the fabric is well sustained within itself, and it is impractical to raze down everything to redevelop it into a new society. Plus, the government has given the rights to each owner to destruct and rebuild their respective houses on their own will. From the analysis of site and a cognitive mapping process carried out with the daily users of the site, it can be confirmed that two major edges to be taken into consideration to help make the village more spatially gelled with the urban context, First and the most important one being the one towards the main road. This is important because, in order to help create an identity for a any urban area, it has to have an image formed for itself. It has to be more visually and functionally appealing. In fact, anywhere in India- the unfinished edge- poor crafting of the edge to the main road, lack of definition- has become an identity of old settlements. (Melhotra) Therefore, re-designing the ‘unfinished edge’ is hoped to bring about a change in the image of the Koliwada. Similarly, the second edge towards the sea that is being under utilised and exploited too. If this is used for better, more economically sustainable (as described later) purposes, it could become a better public, and more urban (hence inclusive) realm. The major path identified by all the users is the central spine. Voluntarily, that becomes another aspect to consider while making the neighbourhood Taking the above discussed points and the issues relating to the site to the forefront, a design concept is formulated and the potential catchment area(s) will be decided. The following factors are kept in mind while choosing a site: 1.

Intervening contextual to the area


Socio-economic fabric


Footfall density 95 | P a g e


Working out the projection; w.r.t. – Population/density, or area


Quantification data


Availability of supporting infrastructure


Social spaces in and around

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Elements and the image of koliwadas: Spatial cognition and form

Before arriving at a design intervention solution, an analysis on the principles of built environment and the effect it has on the public space was done. Each of these leanings are described and inferred with respect to the site chosen too. Principles of the pioneers Kevin Lynch, Jane Jacobs, and Jan Gehl were studied, and a conceptual spatial framework was formulated based on the inferences. The initial questions that were catered to are, A. what are the criteria of good design form in this context? B. What is the relationship between observer and environment? C. How can the visual quality of a site can contribute to the urban legibility? The above questions are important to understand to lead us to the design strategy best suitable for Versova koliwada. These were based on the study of Kevin Lynch’s two notable books: Good City Form, and Image of the City.

Figure 145, source: Good City Form (Kevin Lynch)

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The task of this segment is to list the important elements to be considered for the design of the architectural intervention in the context of Versova Koliwada. These would answer the above questions. This is an important exercise to come to a conclusion to the conceptual framework of the design programme of the architectural intervention. A ‘good form’ can be decided based on the following factors: 1. FIT: it talks about how well the spatial and temporal pattern of a settlement matches the customary behaviour of its inhabitants (Lynch, 1981) When there is congruence between form and patterns of behaviours, people feel comfortable; conversely, absence or lack of fit could make it uncomfortable and difficult to behave through an area. Inference: The chosen sites for intervention followed by the design programme and form needs to fit well with the movement, regular activities, and everyday activities of the koliwada.

2. SENSE is the degree of fit between the physical city (form) and the way people recognize and organize it in their minds. Sense depends upon spatial structure, quality, the culture and the current purpose of the observer (Lynch, 1981). It talks about the relationship between the observer and the environment in which he is in, and can be classified as under 5 important components (relevant for this thesis) that together help create a sense in the observer, as described below:






Figure 146


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It is crucial to touch the above 5 elements while designing a spatial structure, to be able to bring in a sense of place in the observer. Each element is explained in the following segment, taking the case of Versova Koliwada into consideration: -

IDENTITY talks about the character and spatial attributes of an object or a place that enhance the ability of recognizing and identifying an environment, those attributes of the object make it distinct, ultimately unique and easily separable, then it stands for individuality or oneness. (Lynch, 1981) o Element can be singled out if it is unique in shape, colour, proportion, surface and in contrast with its surroundings, then it is recognizable. Uniqueness is very important factor in producing high degree of imageability o dominance of an object over others through its size, height and other physical characteristics improves image quality


STRUCTURE is how the object is placed in the space considering its relation to the observer and to other objects, as the object is not seen isolated from surroundings but as a part of all environmental components. It should be realised that the form of the building

Figure 147

in the macro context, responds to its environmental components. For example, in the current scenario, the fisheries institute and the ice factory are unidentifiable in the macro context because it is almost camouflaged and does not stand out in the site.


MEANING indicates the deeper sense that an object may have to its surroundings. It may be practical or emotional. The meaning may be already existing in an intangible form, that we as architects could transform into a tangible one. Lynch says that the physical character should take into considerationthe other aspects of the environment, to give it a deeper meaning. A city or an environment as a whole becomes more meaningful when there is a relation of the physical form with the activities that take place. (Lynch, 1981) 99 | P a g e


TRANSPERANCY stands for the degree of visibility of process occurring in the place to users. In other words, it is the degree to which one can actually see what's going on. There are many events occur in the city such as selling, buying and movement, how many of them we can see actually. Definitely, we see less of what actually happening. This aspect is important for the koliwadas because most of the reason why they are not known to the city today is because the activities that revolve around their fishing business (in spite of playing a major role in the functioning of the community) are unknown to the city.


LEGIBILITY - Lynch considers Legibility as a physical and spatial characteristic of the environment, so visual sensations of color, motion, smell, touch and sound‌etc. are all cues of orientation that reinforce legibility. A good example of the importance of legibility is that the city may has strong identity and character but still confusing and unclear because of confusion of its path system. (Lynch, 1981) Confusion and legibility do not go together. The observer should be able to find his way through the environment. (Lynch, 1981) defines legibility as the degree of facility with which finding one's way is possible in a given built environment.

3. ACCESSIBILITY: Access to all things such as services, information. Access offers the degree of choice and diversity presented to us. (Lynch, 1981) A place should provide people with information about physical ways of reaching it.

4. CONTROL It the degree to which the environment is under the control of the people who actually use it or reside in it. Control gives people feelings of power and stability. People feel in control when there is enough social and physical space to do as they need.

The above points hold importance in the deciding factor as to how the programme will be planned, the form of the structure in relation to the surroundings, the activities it will house, the area of intervention.

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According to Lynch, there are 5 physical elements around us that help evoke a strong image and memory. These elements are just a part of the larger image or memory that is created in everyone. We do not realise it, but these are the major cues that help us identify and make an environment legible.

Lynchian Elements Path





Figure 148, self understood and made.

On the basis of the cognitive mapping done by the everyday travellers and locals residing in Versova Koliwada as depicted in the previous segment, 3 elements from the site were shortlisted as the major physical entities that were commonly identified and/or used by all, i.e.the •

Path: central spine running across the Koliwada


Edges: front edge and the edge towards the sea


and Node.: break point before turning towards the jety

The location of the selected elements will be indicated in the map of Versova Koliwada in few chapters. Before that, a strategy with respect to the benefits of incorporating fishing activities as a tourism attraction will be discussed in the next segment.


Developing a synergy between fishing and tourism

While re-vitalising the spatial structure of Versova Koliwada and trying to strengthen the local economy for a more sustainable model, another scope for economic strengthening was taken into consideration, and that is of tourism. This was thought of, considering that maybe, 10 years down the line, the traditional fishing industry of the koliwadas may collapse.

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Create bridges between fishing and tourism: the example of Haliotika In recent years, a new economy has been growing; it is the “economy of experience”. Today, the fastest growing consumption sector is that of the economy in connection with experiences (Interactions between fishing and tourism, 2013) These make use of the five senses and can have different functions. These experiences can be educational and provide knowledge (tour of a company), entertaining (tour of a farm), aesthetic (discovery of a landscape) or even be an opportunity for a getaway (a night in an unusual location). They often combine several of these functions. They give the opportunity to customers to spend a moment that modifies their daily lives and enriches their memories. These experiences address a need for authenticity that is increasingly present in the population. This new sensitivity can for example be satisfied by industrial tourism that makes it possible to discover industries that are often overlooked. The prospect of economic experiences suggests the development of experiences supplied by a local economy. (Interactions between fishing and tourism, 2013) Case study as studied from- (Interactions between fishing and tourism, 2013) Some local projects can be real bridges between the two sectors. The example of Haliotika (city of fisheries, in a small city of France) as a structure that has been able to link fishing and tourism. This structure created in 2000 in Guilvinec, at the initiative of the town council, has an intermediary role and creates structured interactions between the fisheries and tourism sectors. This centre was born from a desire to present a little-known activity to the general public. (Interactions between fishing and tourism, 2013) This centre allows visitors to discover the fishing world in an educational manner over 800 m². The discovery centre offers a playful communication around fishing that targets the general public, especially young people, to make them want to work as fishermen (Strauss, 2013). In 2012, 47 000 visitors came to see the fishing centre. Today Haliotika is an undisputed player of cultural tourism in Finistère. The exhibits are informative and highly educational. Multiple activities are used to connect the fishing world to tourism: tours of the harbour and behind the scenes of the fish auction, cooking workshops, seafood tasting, boarding a trawler. Today, they still participate in the life of the discovery centre through activities such as the boarding of passengers. 102 | P a g e

This structure is would be very popular with the general public and stakeholders in a region. It can offer educational elements on the fishing sector, and thus opens this industry to the general public. Haliotika is a good example for a strategy for a rejuvenation strategy for the koliwadas.

Figure 149, source:

Such a strategy can bring benefits to both sectors•

For tourism, this is an essential structure locally.


For fishing, the benefits are twofold, they are financial for activities in which the fishermen are involved and they are related to the communication and to the improvement of the image of the sector.

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8. DESIGN INTENT After studying all the architectural and urban design factors that play a crucial role in intervening in a site, the sites for interventions are chosen and a conceptual spatial framework is formulated. As a student of architecture, for this undergraduate project, It is intended to create catalytic design solutions that may help appraise/ upgrade the urban fabric of the koliwada in terms of its economy, identity to the city, equity, and to spatially integrate the fabric within itself, and, the fringe to the rest of the city. The idea is to create a network of interventions in the village to make it more holistically selfsustainable.

Site bound goals•

To anchor Introducing civic and public programs that serve as gathering and public ‘places’

To fill Filling urban voids/negative spaces in the fabric through new programs and strategies

To reach Extending networks or programs into new areas

Creating a mix To create places foe interaction, insert programs that connect and collect different users and create shared spaces

The design solution will attempts to build a methodology, developing a lens to look at the skeletal permanence of the various urban areas in the koliwada, in an effort to build a component of public realm to it, integrating it into the urban socio-spatial fabric in lieu with the dynamics of the city and hence, opening them up to a broad spectrum of opportunities and possibilities. It promotes the revitalisation of urban areas through a focus on mixed-use development, pedestrian accessibility, nodal development and identification of strong activity areas.

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Insert: • tourism • Recreational • commercial


c. • •

Plaza Management of vehicles



Insert: • imageability • physical • social • commercial

106 | P a g e Figure 150


CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK : table explaining design intent and ideas





SITE (a.)

The city




Movement Functionality Multi functionality Good use to current pattern of use Parking management



Underuse and abuse of land Informal sitting and selling area Unhygienic Contested spaces


Visual and physical connection PHYSICAL - Connectivity for better cohesion SOCIAL - Use of social activities COMMERCIAL -

SITE (b.)

The sea


Functionality Infrastructure Recreation




Path formalisation

Dilapidated structures to support activities Exploitation of a sea Contested space

Micro economies Training


Interactive open spaces



Movement Vehicular/pedestrian management -

Unorganised BREAK spatial/urban POINT/PLAZA structure Traffic

Path (as marked in the map)


Movement vista

Space crunch Informal path Traffic conjestion


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SITE (a.) ‘a line of transition’ After the study as discussed in the previous chapter ‘towards design interventions’, all the factors are taken into consideration for the design programme at this site. The intention of intervening at site (a.) is to activate the chosen edge in terms of infrastructure, activity, space, appearance, and to have a control over the movement of everyday observers- to have their attention, and hence regenerate the site – without disrupting the existing pattern of use – blending the programme into the fabric.

[from the Lynchian cognitive mapping technique]

Land under abuse

Figure 151


‘a line of transition’

Creating a multi-use business/market incubator •

The aim is to increase the intensity and diversity of human interactions in the neighbourhood via this transition

These activities would be concentrated along a street of high footfall (that is, the central spine) which will connect to a larger urban network (the Koliwada)

The design would be meant to attract locals, and tourists alike.

The incubator is intended to be ‘multi use’ to incorporate the existing fisheries institute, ice factory (including loading and unloading bays), a multi-use space for idol selling and other cultural activities, a plaza, a parking space, and most importantly, a market space. There could be an 108 | P a g e information/interpretation centre as well.

SITE (b.) The intention of intervention in this site is to re-activate the sea-front as a recreational, and commercial promenade/public realm. This means, the restricted movement that the general public/outsiders currently have, is hoped to open up and made more urban. The hope is to involve the kolis in the recreational and commercial activities in the form of tourism, and help create scope for local economy (inclusive tourism), considering a gradual fall in the fishing industry in the near future, and the current scenario of the community.

[from the Lynchian cognitive mapping technique]

Land under abuse

Figure 152


Re-designing the jetty space and the sea front edge (edge development)

Spaces for: •

Infrastructure/storage for ancillary activities (weaving, sorting, mending/painting)


Loading/unloading/sorting of fishes

Restaurants/shops/space for koli festivals and other days too – Recreational cum commercial

Promenade development as a public realm

Live museum/ designing the transparency in the fishing activities. 109 | P a g e

An example for a fisherman’s wharf: PIER 39, San Francisco

PIER 39 is a 45-acre waterfront complex that is a gathering place for millions of San Francisco locals and visitors. In addition to its 13 full-service restaurants, 90+ shops and popular attractions, PIER 39 is home to a 5-acre waterfront park and a 300-berth marina.

It is known for its spectacular views of San Francisco Bay including the Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge and Alcatraz, as well as the world famous California sea lions hauled out on K-Dock. This example of a fisherman’s wharf plays a vital role in the book to paint an image for the vision that is trying to be communicated, for site (b.). The idea is to make it a recreational, more urban and attractive place – with shops, restaurants celebrating the rich culture with home-cooked food thriving in one consolidated structure (as shown as an example – in the map)

Figure 153

Figure 155

Figure 156,

Figure 154

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SITE (c.) A node is a ‘strategic’ focus points, as described by Kevin Lynch, in his book ‘Image of the City’. The intention for choosing this node as a part of the network for revitalisation is because it is a notable junction/break point for the daily commute for the locals and visitors alike. Break-points that are well planned and well thought of, remove any kind of dis-oriental thoughts from the mind of a commuter. If increased in size and paved well, it could become a good landmark





gathering space or relaxing space.

Figure 157

Moreover, if the existing point is increased in size, the vista towards the sea would become more prominent, making it more attractive. The problem with the current situation, is that there is a chaotic situation with a clash in vehicular and pedestrian movement. Moreover, the area seems to be a little cramped up. If this node is made to become a drop off and pick up point, with certain restrictions and segregations in the movement of 2 wheelers, 4 wheelers, and pedestrians, with more area as scope for change in direction, speculation in decision making, it can look and feel more better and liberating. Opening up a junction always makes for better public places, giving a feeling of control to the traveller. It gives time- to make a decision or turn back. Further, with the current scenario of congestion of vehicles and pedestrians, opening up and managing the circulation and pickup/drop off at this point would make it a better space in general.

Path formalisation As studied in the previous chapters and examples, opening up and formalising major spines/paths helps make a district/neighbourhood more welcoming, inclusive, attractive. The path highlighted is chosen based on the inferences of density mapping, cognitive mapping, and accessibility mapping. Formalising a path creates a better and a more inclusive link to form a holistic network in a macro level, in the urban context.

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CONCLUSIONS With the problems discussed in the previous segments, the idea for this thesis was to grab the opportunity -based on all the strategies studied as case studies – to utilise architecture and urban design to create a new kind of skyline and strategy for the city – one that retains the older communities, instead of looking to dismantle them to achieve the borrowed vision of a global city that the contemporary world is so obsessed with. A need for an alternative to the mundane redevelopment policies, thus depleting importance of Koliwadas in the context of Mumbai was seen as a scope to explore in terms of architecture and urban design. To conclude, it is safe to say that multiple, strategized, properly targeted, site-specific interventions in the form of design can help in the appraisal of a community in a broader aspect – integrate it to the larger context as a more inclusive and self-sustaining model.

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Bibliography References 2017 UABB Cities, Grow in Difference comes to an end. (2018, March 23). Arena do Morro / Herzog & de Meuron. (2014, May 22). Retrieved from Archdaily: Biswas, S. K. (n.d.). Tactics & strategies for public spaces in Mumbai's informal city. Chakrabarty, A. (2013, October 13). The Kolis Of Bombay: The Original Residents Of The City. Retrieved from Culture Trip: Dalvi, M. (2016, September 22). Development shouldn’t dwarf urban villages. Diya Kohli, A. R. (2018, June 23). Mumbai is killing the fishing villages that made it Mumbai. Retrieved from liveMINT: Genesan, R. (2015, April). Saving a Legacy: Gaothans and Koliwadas. Retrieved from Culture tIp: Haferburg. (2015, January 25). A socio-spatial methodology for evaluating urban land governance: the case of informal settlements. Hegde, S. (2015). Son Kolis - The Aboriginals of Bobay (Now Mumbai) in transition. Hemantkumar A Chouhan, S. P. (2016, 11 21). Mumbai’s vanishing coasts. Retrieved from India water portal: Hoogdyun, R. (2014). Urban Acupuncture. Hugh Barton, M. G. (n.d.). Shaping Neighbourhoods. Routledge. Humara Shaher Mumbai Abhiyan. (n.d.). Retrieved from Interactions between fishing and tourism. (2013). 4-8,22. Jai Bhadgaonkar, K. T. (2016). DENCITY: versova koliwada. Shelter. Jha, M. (n.d.). Urban villages: A constant struggle to retain identity. Retrieved from Johari, A. (2015, November 19). Why residents of a Mumbai village want development, but not slum rehabilitation. Retrieved from Kayfi Mawlan, N. B. (2002). Spatial Integration of Informal Settlements in the Urban Fabric . 113 | P a g e

Lynch, K. (1981). Image of the City, Good City Form. Melhotra, R. (n.d.). Making Indian cities. Miguel, S. (n.d.). Jaime Lerner on Common Sense Tools to Make Cities Sustainable. Sequeira, V. (2009). Globalisation and the Marginalised: The Mumbai Koli story. Shieh, L. (2001). Urban Acupuncture as a strategy for Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo. The catch regarding Mumbai's fishing villages. (2018, July 31). Retrieved from India Together: Verma, V. ( 2011). Koli- The native fisher folk of mumbai. Kolis. Yan, M. (2018, Feb 26). Exhibition Venue Design Concept | Curating in Nantou: A Case of Village/City Coexistence and Regeneration.

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Profile for Aishwarya Mohgaonkar

Research on the Integral Approach in the Revival of Koliwadas - A Model for Versova, Mumbai  

Semester 9 research work on the final year dissertation.

Research on the Integral Approach in the Revival of Koliwadas - A Model for Versova, Mumbai  

Semester 9 research work on the final year dissertation.