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URBAN INCARNATIONS Revitalization of Derelict Mill Lands in Central Mumbai, India

URBAN INCARNATIONS Revitalization of Derelict Mill Lands in Central Mumbai, India A non-thesis proposal by Rucha Mandlik

Major Advisor: Todd Gabbard Committee Members Jason Brody Michael McGlynn

Spring 2011 College of Architecture, Planning & Design Kansas State University


Initiated in the early 19th century, the cotton textile industry in Mumbai played a significant role in the city’s economic progress, urban development & social structuring. Today, the central district (the mill precinct) of Mumbai, where the mills once flourished stands defunct & it is the hot-spot of Mumbai’s real estate market. Some of the recent redevelopments of these mill lands are merely commercial & political exploitations. These developments do not consider the century long history of cotton textile industry & its contribution to the city, mill district’s social requirements and Mumbai’s environmental health. Mumbai is currently facing serious problems related to population increase, urbanization, rapid land use change & excessive land reclamation. The land is scarce is this city with a very high population density. Hence 600 acres of mill land in the heart of the city is a crucial factor in Mumbai’s urban restructuring. Perhaps, it is one of the few viable opportunities that can direct Mumbai towards an environmentally and socially sustainable urban development. In addition, once the economic backbone of the city – ‘the mill precinct’ deserves a due recognition & identity in the ‘image’ of the city of Mumbai. This research is an attempt to explore options for redevelopment of historic mill precinct in Central Mumbai. The aim is to formulate revitalization strategies for a specific region within the precinct. The design component of this project looks at one of the mill lands in the study area, and develops a master plan for the same. Heritage value of mill buildings & sites, ecological and social sustainability of Mumbai and urban revival are some of the primary drivers of this project. The first part of this book introduces the fundamental factors of Mumbai that are related to the research project while the second part investigates the history and socioeconomic upheavals of the community in the mill precinct. Analysis & revitalization strategies for selected study area & redesign solutions for one of the mill lands are discussed in parts three & four respectively.




Introduction ........................................................................................................


Colonial Mumbai ...................................................................................................


Timeline of Mumbai................................................................................................


Urban Life ...........................................................................................................


Urban Environmental Issue ...................................................................................... 12

PART TWO I GIRANGAON: THE MILL PRECINCT ......................................... 15 Location, Origin, Development ................................................................................ 16 Character ........................................................................................................... 17 Social Structure.................................................................................................... 18 Mills in Girangaon ................................................................................................. 20 Decline of Mills .................................................................................................... 21 Decline of Girangaon ............................................................................................. 22 Redevelopment of Mill Lands .................................................................................. 23 Stakeholders ....................................................................................................... 25 Holistic Approach ................................................................................................. 29

PART THREE I DESIGN PROJECT: INTRODUCTION & URBAN DESIGN ............ 33 Study region ...................................................................................................... 34 Urban Analysis .................................................................................................... 38 Need for Revival .................................................................................................. 39 Strategies for Revitalization ................................................................................... 43 Project Scope .................................................................................................... 45 Overall Strategies for Revival ................................................................................. 52

PART FOUR I DESIGN PROJECT: REDESIGN OF IUML 2&3 .......................... 57 Introduction: India United Mill (IUML) No. 2&3 ........................................................... 58 Why IUML 2&3 ? .................................................................................................. 60 Site Analysis ....................................................................................................... 61 Walkthrough ........................................................................................................ 63 Design Concept .................................................................................................. 66 Master Plan ........................................................................................................ 68 Design Development ............................................................................................ 69 REFERENCES ...................................................................................................... 82 PHOTO CREDITS ................................................................................................. 85



the metropolis A city full of paradoxes, Mumbai, is a microcosm of India in many ways.1 Mumbai’s pulsating spirit and its never-say-die attitude have led to many dynamic changes over the last several decades. The current transformation of this mega-city epitomizes the worst and the best of urbanization & human existence.2

Introduction India’s first and world’s sixth biggest metropolitan area, capital of Maharashtra state, commercial, financial & entertainment capital of the country, home to over 21 million people, density of 25000 people per square kilometers8, Mumbai is the most populous city in India & second most populous city in the world.3 Located on the western coast of Maharashtra, Mumbai spans a total area of 603 sq. km (233 sq. mi) with a total coastal length of 180 km. (112 mi)4 Mumbai is bounded by Arabian sea to the west. All parts of the city are efficiently connected by Mumbai’s mass transit system consisting of trains and buses. Sanjay Gandhi National Park forms the northen border of the city. The park extends over 40 square miles, making it 1/6th the size of the city5. Mumbai’s three major lakes (Tulsi, Vihar & Powai) are located within this forested area. The coastline of the city is indented with numerous creeks and bays. The eastern waterfront is covered with large mangrove swamps whereas the west coast is sandy and rocky. The city lies in the tropical climate zone resulting in harsh monsoons & hot summers. With an average annual temperature of about 80o F, Mumbai receives rainfall equalling to an average of 96 inches per year.6 The downtown area is located to the south & it is popularly known as South Mumbai or the Island City. Because of its tapering peninsular form, urbanization of the city continued towards the north. This region today is considered as Suburban Mumbai. Where as towns that include Thane, New Mumbai & Panvel are Mumbai’s satellite towns. Both the districts (south & suburban) are administered by city’s municipal council known as BMC - Brinhanmumbai Municipal Corporation. Mumbai is divided into 17 wards for the purpose of civic administration.


S. Gandhi National Park

Suburban Mumbai Tulsi Lake


India Vihar Lake

Powai Lake


New Mumbai

Suburban Mumbai Arabian Sea

Thane Creek


Mumbai City


Colonial Mumbai

Mahim Worli

Sion Parel Mazgaon Malabar hill Colaba





Early map of Mumbai showing seven separate islands.

Land reclamation & urban development of the city over the years. All maps © Kelly Shannon.

Mumbai, initially known as ‘Bombay’ was originally an archipelago of seven islands – Colaba, Malabar Hill, Worli, Mazgaon, Parel, Mahim & Sion. These islands were inhabited by farmers and fisherman and the land was extensively covered with forests.

The southern tip of the island city was fortified to create an isolated territory for the English rulers. The northern part within the fortification included the elite Indians, Parsis, Bohras and Hindu industrials or traders. Small native traders, white-collar workers and the working class lived outside the Fort walls in largely congested areas further segregated by class and regional identities.10

In the late15th century, after quite a few invasions and rulers, the Portuguese took over the islands and ruled without opposition for over a century. In 1661, the islands were handed over to England as part of a dowry arrangement.9 In 1838, under the British rule, Bombay’s islands were incorporated into a single district. Since then the city has been constantly transformed by land reclamation projects. The city is built on a foundation of continuously altered and reclaimed natural and urban landscapes.9

At first the urbanization of the island only occurred within the Fort area until a massive fire in 1803 provided an impetus for urban improvements and land dispersal that led to expansion of the fortified town.


By 1850 Bombay had become the major colonial mercantile and industrial city and cotton textile mills were foundation of its economy. It was called the Manchester of the East.9 Subsequently many of the great monuments and public buildings in the island city were built with the wealth generated by the textile industry.10 The process of landfill continued in the 20th century. With new developments in place and increased employment opportunities, Bombay attracted millions of migrants around the state and country. Soon Mumbai became the fastest growing metropolis. A trading town in its past, Mumbai, today is an aspiring global city where space is a rare commodity created & recreated by land reclamation & rehabilitation.10


Map of colonial island city of Bombay (1909): The red highlights in the map represent the urbanized area which was predominantly towards the south tip of the island. Bombay’s importance as a major trading town led to a well constructed dock land development on the eastern coastline of the city whereas northern Bombay was still forested and under developed.


Timeline of Mumbai From Bombay to Mumbai

Opening of Suez Canal made Bombay the closet port to Europe & this accelerated city’s development.


Islands were given to England as part of a dowry arrangement.

First large-scale Civil engineering & Reclamation works were initiated by William Hornby (British Governor of Bombay 1771-1784)



Bombay’s First Cotton Textile Mill was Established by Cowasji Jehangir (Then a leading businessman of the city)

1856 7 islands of Bombay were amalgamated into one mass.






Portuguese ruled Bombay islands

Bombay became the new headquarter of the British East India Company

The Great fire of Bombay triggered development projects on the island.

Land mass of the island underwent radical physical & geological transformation.

1853 First railway line was constructed connecting Mumbai and Thane (now a satellite town of the city)


Establishment of Bombay Port Trust. (BPT) Mill workers’ strike & An eventual decline of Mills in Bombay.



Construction of Vihar & Powai Lake

Plague Epidemic

Plans for New Mumbai were proposed by Architect Charles Correa and a new satellite town for the island city came into existence.




1872 City’s Municipal Corporation was founded.


1892 Construction of Tansa lake.


Major land reclamation at eastern port sides.




Reclamation of Back Bay, now known as marine Drive was finished.

The name ‘Bombay’ was officially changed to ‘Mumbai’

Mill land redevelopment Reclamation of salt pan lands & Mangrove forests.

1898 City Improvement Trust was found in response to the recent epidemic. The trust further carried out reclamation of low lying areas within the city.


Mumbai: Urban Life When it comes to urban development, Mumbai is considered as an organic city that was built, transformed and developed by a number of landfill projects and temporary urban policies. The city is entirely a mixed use settlement where place of residence, place of work, public places, transportation, retail shops, industries, commercial, educational districts etc. exist together. This is perhaps the most important quality to its vibrant character. Initiated in 1853, Mumbai’s local train system currently consists of three transit lines running southnorth and effectively connecting almost all the corners of the city. Mumbai has the highest proportion of public transportation users of any city in India.11 The tropical climate of this region allows the use of outdoor public spaces throughput the year. Corner side plazas, public places and beaches are always occupied by citizens of all kinds all year around. Hawkers, vendors, street side food stalls and most importantly, people are never rare in this city. It works well and inspires its citizens to work productively because of the way it is built.11

Mumbai’s built environment shows a varied characteristic. From the southern tip of the city to its Northen border, it encompasses array of spaces, buildings and destinations representing its growth from colonial era to present day metropolis. Most of the monumental buildings in the city were built during the British regime. These structures still serve as important public, infrastructure and administrative buildings of the city. The built environment throughout Mumbai is composed of various architectural styles – from Indo-Saracenic to Hindu, from Greek revival to modern. The urban characteristic of Mumbai could be studied by looking at the different spatial elements that are woven into its urban fabric. Locations ranging from important public places to historic districts or a lively street to a popular market place, fuel the city for its everyday hustle-bustle and its very existence. Following pages describe some of the places that define this city.

All Photos © Pinakin Sukhtankar


1. Parks & Open Spaces In spite of its dense urban fabric, Mumbai does contain open spaces in the form of parks, playgrounds, gardens & recreational spaces. Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Borivli - a suburban district of Mumbai to the north - is the largest open green space in Mumbai. The park is surrounded on three sides by suburban Mumbai. It is also the largest park in the world located within city limits.12 Other open grounds around the city vary in sizes and shapes. Most of the grounds are used for both active & passive forms of recreation. In addition, these spaces are popular venues for social & political gatherings, making them a culturally significant component of the context of Mumbai.

Sanjay Gandhi National Park

Tulsi Lake Shivaji Park

Oval Maidan

National Park


Open spaces, public playgrounds & parks in Mumbai play an important role in its ecological & social sustainability. Sanjay Gandhi National Park consits rich flora & fauna. It acts as buffer & infuses nature into the dense, crowded and over polluted city that surrounds it on three sides.

Vihar Lake

2. Waterfronts Mangroves

Similar to open spaces, are Mumbai’s waterfronts. The entire west coastline of the city is developed as a series of promenades. Starting with Marine Drive to the south till Bandra bandstand to the north, the city offers a variety of waterfronts with different physical make ups, cityscapes & activities. Eastern waterfront is predominantly reserved as dock land and is not entirely accessible to public. Yet a few remaining locations on the waterfront have rich mangrove forests that could be potentially developed as parks & public spaces.

Powai Lake

Maharashtra nature park Shivaji Park Mangroves Worli Sea Front

Worli Seaface

Chawpay beach

Marine Drive

Mumbai’s western waterfront stretching from south to the north. Series of promenades, beaches, public plazas & gardens are developed along its length.

Chawpaty beach Oval maidan

Map of Mumbai indicating Waterfront attractions, Parks & Open Spaces

Marine Drive

Waterfronts Parks & Playgrounds 9

Azad Maidan Fort Elphinstone College

Churchgate Station

Fort district in Mumbai epitomizes the British Colonial Architecture of 17 & 18 century ‘Bombay’ th


3. Historic District Oval Maidan Kala Ghoda

Fort district in downtown Mumbai is considered to be city’s oldest district. It is characterized by architecture of the colonial empire. The entire district has unique street furniture & signage system that helps to establish its significant place in the city. Most of the buildings in Fort are of Public & Administrative nature. They include Libraries, Museums, Churches & Academic buildings. Many of the other colonial buildings today are headquarters of national & international banks, financial companies, commercial & retail offices. The Indo-Saracenic style later dominated the architecture of this region. Examples of this style are: The Gateway of India (1924) & The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel (1903) Fort is also known as Mumbai’s premiere art district. To physically upgrade the ‘Kala Ghoda’ precinct of Fort & to promote the Culture & Arts, an annual arts festival is held every February. The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival includes many sub-festivals that feature visual arts, dance, music, theatre, cinema, literature, lectures, seminars and workshops, heritage walks, special events for children, and a vibrant street festival.

Ovval al Mai aida dann da Above: Map of Island city showing the colonial part of the city. The area previously fortified, is known as Fort. The district of Fort consists a number of buildings belonging to 18th century. The highlighted circle in the map marks the area where “Kala Ghoda Arts Festival” is held every year. Below: Image showing the Oval Maidan or the Oval ground in Fort.


Temple Patio

Temples lining the ancient tank

Gloria Church

Street Side Shrine

Haji Ali Mosque

Large temples in Mumbai always have a patio or sometimes a large plaza in front of them. People in the city visit these places on a regular basis hence they are always active and surrounded by street side stalls selling flowers & garlands. Banganga precinct has a historic water body that is surrounded by a number of ancient temples. Considering its importance, an annual music festival is held in the temple complex. Churches & mosques too, are found at frequently within the city. Haji Ali mosque is one of the most recognizable landmarks of the city. It is built on an islet located 500 meters from Mumbai’s west coast.

4. Places of Worship

5. Streets & Markets

Religious buildings are one of the most important landmarks in the city. In Mumbai, religious buildings are some of the most visited sites. Surrounding these are playgrounds & public plazas. Many temple complexes consist community halls & schools as well. In addition to these landmarks, almost every street has a roadside shrine that is maintained voluntarily by the residents of the neighborhood. During religious festivals & ceremonies, some of the larger temple complexes in Mumbai become the most significant places that sometimes tend to affect the vehicular & pedestrain traffic, street networks & public transportation systems on a large scale.

Streets in Mumbai are shared simultaneously by vehicles, pedestrians, street shops, hawkers & vendors. With mixed use spaces along their lengths, Mumbai streets are active at all times. Some of the streets are exclusively dedicated to street food. Street side markets in the city serve as important landmarks and tourist destinations. Shops and street-side stalls along a single street offer a variety of items & services ranging from vegetables to clothing & beauty saloons to shoe repair. Streets in Mumbai also receive seasonal markets & fairs. During festivals, streets lined with stalls for food, flowers, vegetable, clothes, decorations dominate the pedestrian & vehicular traffic.

Mumbai’s cosmopolitan nature has sustained all the religions present in India and as a result, the city has a rich & varied mixture of Temples, Churches, Mosques & Fire Temples. Some of the sites are situated on waterfronts while some are adjacent to streets. Built at various periods in history, these landmarks represent an eclectic style of architecture & urban design.

Street Food

Flower & Garlands shop

At several places in the city, markets for vegetables, flowers & fruit have organically developed outside major train stations & public buildings. Streets along these locatios too, have turned into significant identities of the city. As a result, the idea of shopping along various streets & in open air markets always precedes the concept of ‘shopping under one roof.’


Street side market

Street side market

Different faces of Mumbai Streets & Markets.


Mumbai : Urban Environmental Issues Mumbai is at a crossroad, deciding which direction to take. One minor part of her is decisively pulling her towards the path marked ‘Destruction through development’ while a major part of her wants to take the path of ‘Sustainable Development’ but cannot do so since it is chained to bureaucracy and politics. - Owi Kale


Some of the major environmental problems of Mumbai could be identified as follows Issue


Mangrove Destruction

Mangroves are an integral part of the landscape of Mumbai. The city was originally surrounded by 5000 acres of mangrove swamps. Of these, the city has lost almost 40% to reclamation of land for construction and development projects.1 As a result Mumbai became more vulnerable to natural disasters.

Land Use Changes: Salt Pan Lands

Similar to its mangrove cover, the city has a chunk of land dedicated to salt production. However, the lack of land for residential accommodation has pushed the developers to convert the salt pan lands into residential and commercial zones. Salt pan lands are an important barrier between land & sea. And with their land use change, the danger of flooding has increased.

Land Use Changes: Mill Lands

Central district of Mumbai consists of 600 acres of defunct mill lands that represent the textile era of the city. These mill lands are a boon for Mumbai if developed in the right way. However city developers are using these lands for residential and commercial unsustainable constructions. This is further adding to the already inflated problems of the city.

Forest Depletion

Urban development didn’t spare Mumbai’s only breathing lung^ too. Illegal construction continues to develop on National Park periphery. Consequently this rich and unique forest which acts as an essential green cover and carbon sink is shrinking day by day.

Rapid land reclamation

Mumbai once had numerous creeks flowing into the island. But as urbanization of the city continued, these water bodies got filled up. Such excessive coastal land reclamation is unhealthy for an island city like Mumbai.

^ Breathing Lung: Forested area within a city that is helpful in controlling the air pollution.

Park’s shrinking boundaries S. Gandhi National Park


Salt pan lands Magroves

Mill Lands Magroves


Mumbai : Urban Environmental Issues Pollution, population and lack of space are traditionally described as the ultimate problems of Mumbai.1 These issues consequently lead to environmental degradation of this global city. Leopard attacks in a bustling city, landslides, abnormally high temperatures in summers, erratic rainfall have long since warned the city of the impending doom.1 It is believed that the environmental problems of Mumbai have emerged due to the creation of the city itself. Mumbai has always experienced scarcity of land. Hence land reclamation continued until numerous creeks, bays & rivers that once flowed into the city were filled up. In addition, as the urbanization proceeded, green forests vanished and soon natural environments were lost within Mumbai’s dense concrete jungle. This led to an increased tendency to natural disasters. With change in climate and global temperature rise, Mumbai now receives extravagant monsoon showers making city’s drainage system inadequate. On 26th November 2005, Mumbai was lashed with 39 inches of rainfall within 24 hours. This day was an eye opener when the city came to a standstill. Disasters like 26/7 not only cause a distress among the citizens but they also drain the city economically. Mumbai’s urban environmental issues might not have a water tight solution at the moment. But its important that they are studied, analyzed & addressed in the best possible way.

Over the last few years Mumbai has witnessed several signs of ‘sanity’ in terms of environmental protection. Some of the leading organizations in the city along with active environmentalists are presistanly fighting for city’s sustainability. Their efforts are essential & could turn out to be one of the most crucial steps towards Mumbai’s environmentally healthy future. The single largest mangrove belt near Thane (Suburban Mumbai) has been maintained by the ‘Godrej’ foundation since 1985. This swathe of mangroves stretches across 1750 acres and is home to several species of birds, fish and even corals in some places. The marine life at this part of the coastline has been regenerated thanks to the Godrej Mangrove Park.1 Following their footsteps, Bombay Port Trust (BPT) established another 15 acres of Mangrove park along the eastern coast of Mumbai. Mumbai is still in the need of similar efforts. Illegal construction in Sanjay Gandhi national park continues till date. Central Mumbai’s mill lands too, are tangled in the politics of land. Considerable damage has already been done to the 600 acres of land belonging to the textile era of the city. Yet there exists a small ray of hope for Mumbai since some of the major chunks of derelict mills indicate a strong potential for a sustainable development.




the mill precinct The central region of Mumbai is largely occupied by a number of textile mill lands. The word “Girangaon” in Marathi – the local language of Mumbai, literally means the ‘village of mills’

Location Girangaon or the mill precinct is characterized by industrial architecture of more than 50 mills. Over 600 acres of land in this region was dedicated to the textile industry in early19th century. Girangaon was home to thousands of mill workers and their families. The unique housing settlements by workers, their social networks and communities dominated Mumbai’s mill precinct for decades.


Diagram to the left highlights Girangaon on the map of Mumbai. The precinct covers the stretches from Lalbaug to Parel and Worli to Sewri and spreads over an area of 25 All of the mill precinct is efficiently integrated into Mumbai’s mass transit system and well connected to major streets in the city.

 Worli 


Origin The origin of textile industry in Mumbai goes back to late 19th century when the first mill was established by Cowasji Davar in the year of 1856 with the help of 50 leading businessmen in the city. By 1862, four mills were added and this number grew to 21 by 1885.21

Girangaon Lalbaug

By early 20th century there were more than 50 textile mills in Mumbai which transformed it from a trading town to a manufacturing center. Increased employment opportunities in mills drew thousands of migrants from towns and villages all over the state. By 1931 half of the city’s population was economically dependent on textile industry.23

Development  VT 

Residential, institutional and infrastructure development had already commenced in the south region of the city and development plans were now being modified and extended towards the north. To encourage the development of textile industry and promote industrial production, acres of lands in Central Mumbai were given to mill owners at concessional rates by the colonial Bombay Government. Mumbai’s development as an economic hub was greatly enhanced by these very mills.22 Areas where mills were located grew to become the heart of the city. Eventually central Mumbai witnessed a distinctive skyline of tall chimneys and gigantic mill structures.

Girangaon Location Map


Characteristics Over 50 mills in less than a 3 mile radius converted this portion of the city into an incredibly crowded, lively and dynamic hub. Almost all of the workers employed by mills lived in close proximity of their place of work. Such an aggregation of workers within a smaller region of the city increased the social and cultural involvement of the workers in the community. This led to stronger community ties and a rich network of physical and social infrastructure.16 The map to the right shows the locations of 52 mills in Girangaon that establish a unique urban fabric of this region. Mills, workers’ housing, recreational grounds (for worker colonies), places of worship and entertainment are some of the dominant elements in the urban characteristics of Girangaon.

Š N. Adarkar & M. Menon23 Location map of mills in Girangaon

Urban density in central Mumbai

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52

Khatav mill Mafatlal mill Bradbury mill Hindustan mill Modern mill Simplex mill New India United mill #5 New Hind Textile mill New City of Bombay mill India United mill #2&3 India United Mill #4 Western India mill Digvijay Textile mill Apolo Textile mill Sitaram mill Podar mill Mafatlal mill Jam mill Finley mill Swan mill Standard mill M.G. mill India United mill #1 Raghuvanshi mill Phoenix mill Piramal mill Bharat Textile mill Shree Ram mill M.G. mill #2 Don mill Matulya mill Empire Dyeing mill Prakash Cotton mill Shree Nivas Cotton mill Kamla Mill Bombay Textile mill Madhusudan mill Victoria mill Bombay Dyeing mill Century mill Crwon mill Standard mill Crwon Precess mill Jupiter mill Elphinstone mill Tata mill Gold Mohar mill Spring mill Kohinoor mill India United mill #6 Kohinoor mill #3 Ruby mill


Social Structure In the period of 1891 to 1921 the population of Parel & Byculla doubled where as the population of Worli & Sewri increased by five times.23 Mumbai now received migrants from not just East and coastal Maharashta, but it was also populated by crowds from Uttar Pradesh and Gujrat (some of the other states of India) all employed in textile industry. Mill workers included people from all castes and religions. Soon they established their distinctive places of worship such as temples and mosques and started side businesses in meat and vegetable markets. Initially in the migrant population, the men arrived alone in order to find employment. Later as they settled they brought their families along. In 1875 when the textile industry was at its peak the housewives of workers too, started working in the mills for additional income. However the male population among the workers community always dominated the female population. Most of the single men lived in groups. As a result a number of housewives started buffet services and canteens for lunch and dinner. In 1970’s, the mill precinct had over 500 canteens predominantly serviced by the female group.23 Along with these, most of the residential buildings incorporated side businesses of workers such as retail, grocery, newspaper, flower, sweets shops, snack centers, ice-cream parlors, pharmacy, service shops like laundry shop, domestic flour mills etc. on street level.

Š Author Street vegetable market & domestic snack shops by women of Girangaon.

Various chawls & street sides shops are the basic components of Girangaon’s social urban fabric.




Due to housing demands from the mill workers, the Bombay Development District (BDD) and Bombay Improvement Trust (BIT) built rows of low cost houses in Girangaon. These 1-2 stories high, single to double room tenements with a common narrow corridor, and a block of shared toilets situated at the end of the corridor came to be known as ‘Chawls’

Many of the social groups in a single Chawl shared a common hometown. Sometimes they belonged to the same extended family, had common interests and cultural outlooks. Girangaon was dense, poor & illiterate.23 Yet it was filled with talent in theatre, music and arts. The mill precinct gave many talented and versatile artists to Mumbai. People here enthusiastically celebrated different Indian festivals throughout the year. During the festive season the streets and Chawls of Girangaon looked no less majestic than a wealthy south Mumbai neighborhood. In fact the hard work, simplicity, honesty and benevolence of people added to the attractiveness of this precinct. Even today, the festivals are enjoyed with same exuberance and honor; however the workers’ society is poorer, hurt and unhappy.

Typical floor plan of a Chawl

common area - social activity space




patio private spaces

shop front

The mill workers also staged brilliant theater and sustained folk arts like Lawani, Tamasha, Bhajan, Namaan, and Shahiri Powadas. All these art forms narrated the stories of their life style, their social and political upheavals, the freedom struggle of the country.


Chawl - section

A group of 3 to 4 Chawls were built around a central courtyard that became the venue for family celebrations, weddings, sports, festivals, community fairs and meetings. This congested tenement living created the ‘Chawl Culture’ based upon a unique, shared lifestyle and collective identity. Since the dwelling units in Chawls were very small in area, (hardly 200 sf) most of the residents spent their days in the common corridors and staircases. Small grounds, sidewalks, spaces between the two Chawls, benches under trees, boundary edges, shop fronts and street corners also known as “Chowk” or “Naka” became the social gathering spaces. Mill lands were designed in such a way that they will have sufficient amount of open space around them, so that the nuisance to surrounding community is limited.24 Hence these lands efficiently merged into the surroundings as well as remained exclusive. In addition to ‘workplace’, mills became a second home/town for mill workers. Mill lands included a place of worship, family clinics and canteens.

Glimpses of Chawls in Mumbai


© Author The very existence of Girangaon as a district is a result of the development of Mumbai’s textile industry. It once employed nearly 300,000 people in the city. Today these mill strucutres and land stand still in the hope of a sensible revival strategy. © Author

Mills in Girangaon Girangaon or the mill precinct of Mumbai, has experienced a great amount of upheaval over the past two decades. Textile industry in Girangaon - the backbone of city’s economy gradually set out to disintegrate under pressures from various other sectors. Hence the decline of Mumbai mill lands is rooted in several economic, social and political issues.16 Even after their decline in Mumbai, the textile industry remains India’s second largest employer after agriculture. It accounts for a fifth of industrial production and employs 18 million directly. If one adds all those engaged in related industries, like textile machinery, dyes and chemicals, marketing, transport - not counting the millions of farmers growing cotton - the number dependents on it goes up substantially. Moreover, it contributes over 30 per cent of all export earnings. Export of Indian textiles comprise of 2.4% of the world trade.24 Mumbai Mills contributed significantly towards the creation of country’s finest cloth. After led by the textile mills, several other large and medium scale industries were established in the post-independence era and the development plans made provisions for the same through earmarking industrial zones for manufacturing, trade and logistics operations. Mumbai has shown how to build the enormous potential in industrial production and almost became one of the country’s backbones of industries and economy.22



% of workers in major activity groups 1980


Variation in absolute number of workers






Agriculture & Allied






Mining & Quarrying







36.73 28.47 17.73

Manufacturing Construction Trade, Restaurants & Hotels








24.51 29.07 28.03






Transport & Communication






Finance, Insurance, Real Estate & Business services

6.24 10.25 13.69




Community, Social & Personal services Other All major activities


13.64 23.87 28.52 7.10












2226011 2425881 2642577



Decline of Mills Areas Number of Workers 1980




16456 28114

6925 18933

4968 12800 13134

Mazgaon Byculla



























Tables indicating the decline of manufacturing industry and status of manufacturing workers in major mills in Girangaon. Table © Swapna Banarjee - Guha

In mid-ninteteenth century, textile industry experienced several technological changes all over the world. The conventional handloom technology faced a severe competition from the advanced powerloom techniques. The mill owners did not update the machinery in the Mumbai Mills to keep up with the changing trends and the low-skilled workers were also comfortable with this policy.16 During the same period the fuel prices and costs of raw material increased. Reservation policies and adverse taxation discouraged the mill owners from investing more in the industry. By 1980’s it became uneconomical to maintain large scale industrial units within the city limits on account of high power and Octri^costs.22 Also, the economic and technological change struck major mill towns like Manchester in UK and Lowell in Boston and eventually there was an overall slump in the world textile market. Consequently by1990’s the employment rates of service industries increased by large numbers. Another reason for the ultimate shut down of mills is the 18 month long strike by mill workers’ union in 1982. Nearly 250,000 workers & more than 50 textile mills went on strike. Rashtriya Mill Majdor Sangh (RMMS) the largest workers’ union in the city led by Congress (political party) fought the government and mill owners for their rights. The Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946 (BIR Act) sought to establish a single union, the Congress-led RMMS as the only approved union. This move was taken primarily to renounce the option of strikes and focus on other means of resolution.21 The strike of 1982 was called to knock down the BIR Act along with increase in wages. The strike did no good for the workers. Instead it opened a new strategy for mill owners. During the strike, mill owners outsourced the work to workers in Bhiwandi, a distant suburb who were paid almost 50 percent of the wages in spite of longer working hours and no legal compensation.24

^ Octri: Local tax collected on various articles brought into a district for consumption.


Decline of Girangaon All this led to huge losses and the running of the Cotton Textile Mills became unviable. Several mills were declared sick and a few even shut down their operations. Only a few managed to survive. There were 58 cotton textile mills in Mumbai. Of these, 26 were deemed ‘sick’ and therefore, taken over by the Government of India. The remaining 32 mills continued in the private sector. The strike of 1982 had already crippled the industry causing a drastic drop in profits. The mill owners thus wanted to maximize on rising land prices by selling off their mills and investing in other profitable ventures.24 Further, with the opening of the economy in 1991, the mills were subjected to international competition and the trade restrictions imposed by the developed countries fell leading to resource allocation toward profit-making ventures instead of continuing to revive the textile mills. Since the mill owners preferred to invest in other industries, no significant upgrades were carried out for equipment and they even resorted to strong-arm tactics of refusing to pay the workers or forcing them to accept a voluntary retirement scheme.24 As a result, the largest mills in Girangaon were shut down and more than 200,000 workers were laid off. This not only crippled the population of Girangaon economically but it also affected the mental and social heath of the community. Depression and financial crunch forced the youngsters in the community to opt crime as a way of earning. During this period a number of workers got involved with Mumbai’s underworld responsible for murders and smuggling.23 All this disturbed the positive atmosphere of Girangaon; that was once a town burgeoning with happiness, prosperity and a promising future.

Still from a bollywood movie called ‘City of Gold.’ This movie looks at the life of Mumbai’s mill workers in the 80s. It is a rendition of the plight of mill workers & their subsequent generations. The story touches on the topics that are been buried deep beneath the present day multiplexes, business centres and residential towers in Girangaon, where the mills once stood.


Redevelopment of Mill Lands

DCR 58 and its Consequences

When textile mills were fully operational, they were excluded from reservations for public amenities. According to an ex-government planner, ‘there was no reason to believe they would shut down’ and hence these lands were regarded as industrial zones alone.25 But a few years later, with technological changes and economic restrictions many of the mills were declared ‘sick’ and it was hard for mill owners to pay thousands of workers unless they were allowed to sell their assets. As a result, DCR 58 (Development Control Regulation) came into existence.25 If all the owners could have accepted this ruling earnestly, Mumbai could have got more open spaces to spare and the question of utilizing these lands could have been answered long time ago.

Following the shutdown of some of the sick mills in the city, mill owners were allowed to sell off part or whole of their lands in order to encourage redevelopment. In 1991 the Development Control Regulations (DCR’s) of the city passed a rule that tried to state the future of these unused lands. DCR 58 promoted redesigning of mill lands in a way that will be beneficial to the city, profitable to owners and will assist public housing. This rule permitted the sale of a portion of the mill land in order to channel funds into the revival of the mills.13 These funds were to be used for clearing off financial liabilities of mill owners like workers wages, VRS (Voluntary Retirement Service), retiring loans etc.

However when we talk about an area that is more than 25 sq km in size and located in the heart of the city like Mumbai, where real estate values are astronomical, mill owners cannot be blamed for their avariciousness. Hence the issue of redeveloping mill lands in Girangaon has been contested for a number of years by many parties involved.

According to the DCR 58, in the case of redevelopment, entire mill land (either open or after demolition of existing structures) has to be distributed as follows: 1. One third to the BMC (Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation) for open spaces. 2. One third to the MHADA (Maharashtra State Area & Development Corporation) for public housing. 3. The rest to be used by the owner/developer for commercial development.

Confirming this rule, only two mills – Matulya & Modern shared some land with the city.25 Most of the private mills found the regulations of the DCR 58 (1991) onerous and refused to go that way.22 Consequently DCR 58 was modified in 2001 and as per the amendments only the ‘open land’ on which there was no construction was to be distributed in the manner laid down in the original DCR 58 (1991). With this change of policy, a number of defunct private mill owners worked their way through the civic authorities to have their plans for redevelopment passed. BMC officially approved the redevelopment plans of more than 15 private mills. This move resulted in lopsided and piecemeal development of valuable lands in Girangaon. For instance, owners of Phoenix mills exploited the legal loophole by refurbishing the existing mill structures in order to reduce the area of ‘open space’ which they would have required to share with the city.25 As reported by Rajshri Mehta & Chitrangada Choudhury, ‘Phoenix did not give an inch of nearly 2,700 sq meter reserved for a public school and playground.’ Currently, with mills exempt from considering the built-up areas in handing over land to the city, no more than 43,908 sq meters will be shared for open spaces and housing. That’s an area merely 3% of the total mill area in Girangaon. Thus the real estate value of 600 acres of land in the heart of the city was realized by mill owners and it was reason enough to exploit the DCR rule for increased commercial profit.

Current development at various mill sites in Girangaon. Above pictureshows the construction work of ‘Ashok’ residential towers in place of Morarji mill land.

Phoenix mill compound.


STAKEHOLDERS' contribution

Mill owners, workers & the city are the primary stakeholders in this issue. Satisfying all of the above stakeholders is a challenging task for any government authority. The best policy would be to safeguard the interests of all. However, who is given a priority over others is obviously a political decision.24

Mill Workers DCR 58 (1991& 2001) does not consider employment opportunities for ex-workers. It assumes that every worker will be given a lump sum amount in the VRS^ scheme which should be enough for them to sustain for the rest of their lives. In reality hundreds of workers have not received their payments and those who have, find it difficult to cope with the ever rising expenses in Mumbai. Recorded by Darryl D’Monte, the VRS sum amounting to around Rs 1.7 lakh ($4000) will hardly yield the workers an amount of Rs. 25,500 ($566) a year (with 15% interest rate) or around Rs. 2,000 ($45) a month, which is around their basic ex-salary at the mill without overtime and other benefits. The DC rules neglects the fact that the opportunity to work is central to a person’s sense of ability. The job in a textile mill was hereditary which gave entire generations an association with a particular mill.24 The new development should therefore seek to create employment opportunities for workers. Present redevelopment of mill sites is changing the social fabric of Girangaon which is upsetting its occupants. High rise residential complexes and high-end commercial destinations are practically only for the white collar society that has an income range that’s 100 times more compared to the average income of any resident of Girangaon. Although some of the workers find low-skilled jobs in building security, cleaning and household services, they are accepting the jobs as a necessity as opposed to preference. The wages too, in such employment are almost equal to their ex-salaries in mills or sometimes less and the jobs more strenuous. Textile mill structures could be recycled and replaced by blue-collar, labor intensive and environmentally friendly industries in order to support the huge number of lay off workers.13

© Author Premises of India United Mill # 5 This mill was recently modernized and currently working with a workforce of 400.

© Author Still from a Bollywood movie called ‘City of Gold.’

^ VRS: Voluntary Retirement Service

Inside India United MIll # 5


Mill Owners Many people believe that land belonging to mill owners is their private property and they should have the complete authority for the sale or development of their respective possessions.24 However one cannot ignore the massive amount of public money that has been invested into running these enterprises, thousands of mill workers who dedicated their lives and successive generations to working in mills and the city that is in a dire shortage of open space and public housing. Attempts to modernize certain departments have been carried out by a few owners. United Mill #5 was rehabilitated and modernized in early 2000’s. Originally a composite mill (spinning & weaving) it now handles only spinning. The mill produces cotton, polyester and polycot blend yarns. These yarns are sold to weaving factories on the outskirts and in open market. The number of workers that were taken back by the owner is roughly 1/4th the number of original workforce; however it does help 400 & odd workers that would have been left unemployed otherwise. Some of the smaller mills could be recycled this way even today. However with today’s technological changes and increased prices owners find it difficult to support these initiatives. In addition, owners are facing infrastructural challenges like maintaining the required conditions (humidity, temperature etc.) inside the structures, rehabilitating structural damages, and keeping up a healthy atmosphere inside the 75 years old mill structures.

© Author Overlooking India United Mill # 2&3 towards the city’s East.

Modern machinery inside India United Mill # 5. This mill now only runs the weaving department with improved technology and high quality machines imported from Germany. The mill produces 7,000 Km of yarn daily. All Photos © Author


The City Mumbai and its need for open spaces is perhaps the most delicate and crucial subject at this point in time where there exists a substantial environmental threat not just to the city but to the entire world. As mentioned earlier in this book, Mumbai faces a number of urban issues that are affecting its natural environment. Increased pollution and population density further exacerbate this effect. Remaining mill sites in Girangaon are possibly the last chance for city’s sustainable restoration. If majority of vacant mill lands are restored to be natural habitats, Mumbai will receive a number of pockets of urban greens (forests) that could act as carbon sinks and natural retreat places that could support and enhance local ecology and biodiversity. Pairing these recreation spaces with public uses will contribute towards creating urban public plazas. Such public open spaces of different kinds can support variety of open air activities. Mumbai has a rich social fabric. Girangaon too has an affluent community life. However the areas around defunct zones of mill sites are less active and need revival. Developing mill sites will not only give them a new use but it will also enhance the surrounding urban framework.

‘Priyadarshani Park’ in south Mumbai. This sea-side park serves a variety of public uses. It has a sports complex & gymnasium. Part of the park is reserved for passive recreation. Surrounded by residential zones, Priyadarshani Park is a popular destination for outing amongst the citizens.

Glimpses of vegetation and natural habitat inside the walls of India United Mills # 2&3. Spread across 16 acres, this site has an added potential of being developed as a green urban park. Similar surroundings can be found at some of the other mill sites as well. All Photos © Author


HOLISTIC approach

Girangaon needs a comprehensive urban renewal plan that will take care of mill sites as well as the surrounding communities. Since these lands are in close vicinity to each other, each could be developed differently in accordance with its location, size & neighboring uses and yet be a part of an integrated master plan for the entire mill district.

Holistic approach The current piecemeal and individual development of mill lands is one of the major problems when it comes to retaining the character of Girangaon. This approach necessitated by the intransigence of the private mills denies to Parel the integrated development it needs.13 It also points out the lack of any overall planning and development strategy seeking to create coherent urban form and address other issues like housing for low income groups, civic amenities and new employment opportunities for ex-mill workers. Girangaon needs a comprehensive urban renewal plan that will take care of mill sites as well as the surrounding communities. Since these lands are in close vicinity to each other, each could be developed differently in accordance with its location, size and neighboring uses and yet be a part of an integrated master plan for the entire mill district. A complete system of urban network could be established by introducing new destinations for entertainment, public, retail & commercial activities, transit and recreational purposes. In 1996 Government of Maharashtra set up a study group to prepare an integrated development plan for textile mills in Girangaon. The study group chaired by architect & urban planner Mr. Charles Correa created a design solution for a comprehensive redevelopment of textile mills in Girangaon. It appointed teams of architects, engineers & conservationists to visit the 58 mills and appraise & document the various structures and other prominent features in each of them. However the group was denied access to 32 mills in private sector. 3 of those mills were already keen to sell some of their land right away. Hence the report deals with remaining 25 mills that are with NTC (National Textile Corporation) and were accessible.

Report of the Charles Cor factors for re TRANSPORT Establish important connector roads. Widen capacity of the existing road and rail network. Improved pedestrian movement. Exclusive roads for buses to support heavy traffic of passengers travelling between buses and trains.

URABN FORM Indentify heritage structures on mill sites. Preserve and recycle them as studios for artists, workplaces for fashion designers, computer software engineers etc. Creation of a new center in the heart of the city, with its own distinctive character, vitality and ambience. Establish key design guidelines regarding the urban Form. Development of larger footprints for economical & energy-efficient construction. Use of building facades to help define streetscapes. OPEN SPACES

Open spaces of different sizes to allow variety of uses. Principal roads widened and lined with trees to create leafy boulevards. Pedestrian plazas in front of railway stations. Covered shopping arcades alongside major roads. Land for public open spaces could be used for other social facilities like schools, clinics or community centers depending upon the needs of the neighborhood.


rrea study group (1996) 13 edevelopment EMPLOYMENT GENERATION Generation of semi-skilled employment similar to that provided by existing mills. Development of new high-tech, non-polluting industries like computers and garment industry. Large number of household jobs would be created with the development of high-end residential zones in place of former mills in private sector.

HOUSING Land taken over by MHADA could be used to develop low income housing, reconstruction of dilapidated buildings or redevelopment of slums. MHADA could hand over some of the construction to other contractors.


The report identifies a triangular area between Matulya, Paragon and Mumbai mills and develops an integrated master plan for the same. The strategy for land-use division adopted by the study group supports the DC rule of 1992. It recommends that the division between the City, MHADA and the owner should be fixed at one third each, regardless of the size of the site. The report proposes one third (7 mill sites) for public housing to be developed by MHADA, one third (4 mill sites & portions of other 4 sites) for open spaces and public amenities and the last third (3 mill sties & portions of other 3 sites) for development by NTC. Study group believes that with this methodology, instead of a meaningless hodge-podge of development, large and viable parcels of land can be made available for each of the 3 land uses specified, in a pattern which makes overall urban sense for the city.22 In conclusion, the study group recommends further research and analysis of the existing conditions in Girangaon. This report is limited just to the mill plots themselves, yet some attention has been paid to the surrounding areas. The report also mentions that “to bring about more comprehensive & decisive urban renewal, detailed planning would have to be undertaken to address many problems of the area such as chawl reconstruction, hosing for the pavement dwellers, parking for intercity buses etc. This would also involve resolution of legal considerations related to repairs and reconstruction of old buildings.”


Prepare an Outline Development Proposal (ODP) for mill sites. Include surrounding area with road network. Identify and document heritage structures that need to be preserved. Provide land allocation for three types of uses & an outline of the built form.



Pooling the land for increased FSI of 2.0 (compared to FSI of1.33 in island city) Beneficial in creating large new public spaces. The cluster of taller buildings generated by the additional FSI would create a visible landmark, recognizable across the city’s skyline as a symbol of the generation of Parel – and with it, the city of Mumbai.



DESIGN PROJECT introduction & urban design

This project supports the idea of holistic approach & looks at an area covering 7 mill lands in the heart of Girangaon. The project suggests urban design solutions for the selected region and develops a detail master plan for one of the seven lands in question.

Study Region Textile mill structures are a vital part of Mumbai’s heritage. They served the city for decades and have the ability to do so even today. The trick is to tap their potential and use it for the betterment of the city. Mill sites can contribute greatly to Mumbai’s infrastructure and urban planning. This project takes into consideration a district that covers 7 mill lands in the heart of Girangaon. Spread over an area of 580 acres, out of which 60 acres is the total mill land area. This region lies between two of the most important artery roads in Mumbai. All of the mill lands in question are in close vicinity to each other. Literally on every street corner a new mill is found and each is varied in terms of area, functionality, location, and structural make-up.

Map of Central Mumbai to the right highlights the study region in Girangaon. Image to the left documents seven mills situated in this area. MIlls


A few empty pockets of land in- between the mill sites are also considered in the scheme. Apart from industrial uses of mills, the study region encompasses existing mixed used lands with majority of residential uses. 2 out of the seven mill sites in the study region have already been altered in some way. Hence the remaining 5 lands could be considered for appropriate redevelopments.

Possible land uses

Name of the mill

Area in acres Current status

New Hind Textile Mill


Demolished – Residential complex for mill workers

India United Mills No. 5


Modernized - Currently in operation

Digvijay Mill


Defunct – Use to be decided

Hotel & Convention center

Western India Mill


Demolished - Use to be decided

Commercial complex

New City of Bombay Mill


Under demolition (2010) - Use to be decided

Mixed use - Retail & Commercial

India United Mills No. 4


Defunct – Use to be decided

Residential, entertainment center

India United Mills No. 2&3


Reserved for recreational & Public uses

Mills that are already developed in some way


India United Mills no. 5 & New Hind Textile Mill

Mills available for new development plans


Total area of mills


Table illustrates the characteristics of seven mills considered in the study region.


Residential zone



Residential zone

6 7 5 Dockland



Residential zone Study Area Locations of the seven Mill Lands in the study area -

City zoo

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

New Hind Textile MIll India United Mill No. 5 Digvijay Mill Western India Mill New City of Bombay MIll India United Mill No. 4 India United Mill No. 2&3


1. New Hind Textile mill

2. India United MIlls no. 5

3. Digvijay Mill

4. Westernn India M

The entire plot of New Hind Textile mills is dedicated to mass housing for will workers.

This NTC mill was modernized and reopened a few years back. Originally a composite mill, it now only handles spinning. The mill employs more than 400 workers on permanent and contract basis.

Digvijay mill is one of the NTC mills that are slated for redevelopment through joint venture.

All mill structures r on thi demolished in 2009. mains empty. Redevel n mill land are uncertain.

Under the ownership of MHADA, this project will have 3500 dwellings for ex-mill workers while some buildings will serve as transit tenements. Currently under construction, this residential complex has around 20, 20 storey buildings that are all physically linked to each other.

The plot area is comparatively less than other mill sites studied in this report.

NTC will hold 51% stake in each of these projects and 49% will be given to private developers. Proposal for the above mill land is not yet finalized.

In addition, a playground & other facilities like bank, community hall and market have been proposed on the same plot.



5. New City of Bombay mill

6. India United Mills no. 4

7. India United Mills no. 2 & 3

is site were e completely Currentlyy the plot rep opment plans for this

This mill too, is slated for redevelopment under a joint venture program. Built structures on site are currently being demolished. Development plans for land are undecided.

One of the major NTC mills, India United Mill no 4 presently stands defunct. Redevelopment plans for this land are yet to be finalized.

The plot of India United Mills no. 2 & 3 has been handed over to city municipality and reserved as a recreation zone. Where as the area around this mill land is declared as a heritage precinct. Along with a recreational ground, a number of heritage structures on site are proposed to be reused as a museum.


Urban Analysis The two artery roads - Ambedkar Road to the west & G.D. Ambekar Road to the east of are the main source of vehicular traffic that flows into the internal streets of the study area. With defunct mills standing idol for years, this region has less active streets compared to other streets in the city. Over the years, new residential and commercial developments have come up which alter the ‘mill characteristic’ of this area. Presently this area embodies a mix of contemporary and historic architecture. It lacks a distinctive urban form that might bind the two for a cohesive whole. The 15 ft. high walls around acres of mill site reduce the visual and physical connection between adjacent blocks. Permeability and mixed land use are two of the distinctive features of an organic city like Mumbai. For the development of textile industry, mills were given huge chunks of lands that had ample open space around the built structures. This was done in order to minimize nuisance to surrounding neighborhood. However today, the same but inoperative lands spread over long distances, obstruct the pedestrian flow and reduce the required pedestrian permeability. Furthermore their singular use makes them exclusive as opposed to a richer mixed-use development seen everywhere in Mumbai.

 

      

 

 

  

Map of Study Area Pictures of internal streets around India United Mill Land No. 2 & 3. All photos © Author


Need for Revival The analysis of this historic precinct in Girangaon depicts a very different urban character as compared to areas like Fort in South Mumbai. (Refer p.10) The departure of manufacturing industries and commercial activities from this region caused abandonment and derelict of erstwhile bustling physical spaces and structures. With years of political neglect and inactivity this precinct in Girangaon has been disconnected from urban fabric of the city. In early 19th century when the mills were active, they were a vital part of city’s urban life and for the communities around them; they were the focal point of people’s livelihood. Public transport routes were specially laid out to cater these industrial giants and connect them to the rest of the city. Streets surrounding the mills were active at all times with street side markets, bazaars, shops, temples, people, festivals and celebrations. Mill precinct considered under the study area looks at a redevelopment strategy that understands the priority of the city and its relationship with mill sites. As opposed to the current sporadic development in the area, this project seeks to achieve a cohesive urban development, by introducing variety of new spaces into the fabric. Some of the mill structures and premises could be preserved, enhanced and reused for different purposes required. The rationale for urban design of the precinct and adaptive reuse of mill buildings is rooted in following factors –

1. Historic importance & community requirements – • Cotton textile industry was the backbone of Mumbai’s economy for centuries. Mill sites in Girangaon represent this textile era of the city. With change in land use policies and modernization, the manufacturing industry was pushed to the outskirts leaving behind today’s derelict mill structures and sites. These historic structures and pieces of architecture demand for conservation and rebirth. • With the decline of mills in 1982, the lands remaind vacant but the neighborhood they belonged to changed over the years. Workers’ quarters (chawls) got replaced by high rise residential and commercial complexes, which brought in a higher class of people with different lifestyles. • With a few existing derelict mill sties, Girangaon demonstrates a dichotomy of eras, communities, architectural styles and urban forms. Area around defunct mill sites is deteriorated and needs improvements like redevelopment of streets, street furniture and sidewalks. The revival of mill structures and opening up of meaningful mill sites to the neighborhood will only ameliorate and have a positive impact on the quality of urban fabric in the precinct. • Mill sites could be used for open spaces & community grounds and mill buildings as community centers. A place that once was an important destination and a busy thoroughfare for the community needs to regain its position in the society and emerge as a fresh commodity by opening up to community once again, to meet their requirements and revive the deteriorated district.


HISTORIC © Author Present Girangaon: A dichotomy of eras, architectural styles & urban forms.



© Author Architectural contrast between the old low rise ‘Chawls’ & Contemporary high rise buildings.

© Author

© Author

sidewalks & streets surrounding the mill complex are in the need of physical reconstruction and functional revival.


2. Open spaces & mixed use development – • In the area of 196 acres in the island city, only 0.03 acres is recreational open space.12 Modern development plans have already exploited pieces of land by extensive reclamation. Construction activities continue to shrink the national park (biggest open space in northern Mumbai) and encroach mangrove forests and salt pan lands. Very few acres of remaining mill lands are the only opportunity to replace open space for the city. Dense vegetation, water bodies and natural habitat in mill premises make them ideal for an open recreational space dedicated to the city. • Seven mill sites concentrated in a smaller region of the study area creates more opportunities for a flourishing redevelopment. Mixed uses could be incorporated at various sites to achieve busy and active street life. Adaptive reuse of mill buildings will further bind these premises with surrounding streets and communities. Some of the mill structures are strong enough to be adapted as public buildings like museums, library, community halls, exhibition spaces etc.13 • If mill lands are to be developed as recreational open spaces, then it makes sense to reuse the built structures for public uses. This way, a wider range of people can visit the site and learn more about the heritage of the city. Introducing public mixed-uses will increase the level of activity happening on site and create lively/exciting spaces in and around the development. In addition, such place can easily become a tourist attraction and can contribute substantially towards revenue for the city.

Industrial architecture of Mill sites is the visual identity of Girangaon. Some of the mill structures in this area are structurally sound till date. With moderate amount of restoration and reconstruction, they could be used again for various purposes required for the community.

Natural surroundings including dense vegetation and natural water bodies in their premises, Mill sites could be developed as Mumbai’s prime public destinations in terms of active & passive recreation spaces. All photos © Author


3. Urban Landmark & public destinations – • Mill lands were active landmarks of the city in the early 20th century. Today, regardless of a remarkable history and connection to the city, they remain unnoticed by many. A need to revive these important urban landmarks exists as the city thrives for a global identity. Mill buildings are monumental in nature and could give a sense of identity to the region. When used properly; the industrial architecture of Girangaon would not only heighten its esteem but also emerge as a new attraction for Mumbai. • All over the city especially downtown (south) Mumbai and suburban areas to the north have a number of places of attraction. The downtown attracts citizens and tourists by its historic and charming colonial architecture and urban spaces. Whereas the north region provides contemporary places to shop, eat and entertain. However the central region is ‘bypassed’ by many. This could be because of the lack of ‘public destinations’ in the area. Though recently there has been an attraction created in the form of high end ‘Malls’ and entertainment complexes, it does not provide enough outdoor and meaningful public places that could be enjoyed by all! Therefore, rediscovery of central Mumbai by creating public destinations is required to re-establish the broken link between the two coasts.

Prince of Wales Museum

In Orbit Mall

Linking Road

Juhu Beach

South Mumbai & Northern suburbs of the city have a number of public destinations and important landmarks. Ranging from Amusement parks to srteet markets & Museums to high end shopping malls.

public plaza water feature

© Author Existing mill lands in Central Mumbai demonstrate a potential to be city’s important landmarks. The conceptual section above shows the mill premises of India United Mill # 2&3. The existing pond on this site could be developed as a water feature which would work as the focal point of the entire development. Along with a vital public attraction, it will serve the city by providing a meaningful waterfront plaza located near the reused Mill Structures.

Heritage Chimneys of the bygone textile era of Mumbai, could serve as crucial landmarks of central mumbai.



for revitalization Century long history of Mumbai’s mills serves as a backdrop for future redevelopment of the area. Hence urban planning policies should enhance & emphasize the distinct and diverse nature of mill precinct that demonstrates the industrial era of the city & the proposed design solutions should reflect the local fabric of Girangaon & ultimately Mumbai City.

Urban revitalization of Girangaon The aim of the urban design component of this project is to weave the historic mill precinct back into the urban fabric of Girangaon and ultimately Mumbai. The idea is to treat the precinct as an integral part of the fabric rather than an isolated property. Introduction of mixed use areas and reuse of industrial mill buildings are some of ways in which a significant urban incarnation could be achieved, however when it comes to redesigning a historic precinct, it becomes crucial to keep in sync with the precinct’s unique historic character. Re-evaluation of the significant qualities is the first step in revitalization of a historic urban quarter.14 Urban planning and policies should enhance and emphasize the distinct and diverse nature of mill precinct that demonstrates the industrial era of the city. ‘The city in history, provides themes and inspiration for contemporary action, but in novel & unpredictable ways.’15 Century long history of Mumbai’s mills serves as the backdrop for future redevelopment of the area. For historic areas the first step must be to recognize its value and a desire to preserve it. Hence urban renewal and development takes a form of a mixture of old and new, for economic, cultural & aesthetic reasons.15 Girangaon in central Mumbai has undergone important changes since the ceasing of mills in 1982. Many mill sites are now developed and completely transformed. Residential and commercial complexes that now occupy their lands indicate an entirely different architecture. As mentioned by P. Mhatre,16 they are detached from the existing social and functional urban structures of the region. With an increasing aggregation of individual self-referential developments a city gradually loses its spatial coherence; becoming a jumble of competing or isolated monuments and small complexes of buildings surrounded by roads.15 Hence the ‘new’ urban design for the historic quarter will face a challenge to comprehend and address both – the ever changing urban form of the premises and the original, age old industrial architecture of the region.

Design Principles Industrial mill buildings of Girangaon are historically, culturally and socially woven into the local fabric. In spite of the changing local urban fabric, the underlying character of these precincts remains captured in historic built environments. The most important asset of a dilapidated region is its strength in memories (of high growth and development) and the emotion it evokes in the residents.17 Any revitalization effort therefore needs to help rejuvenate these quarters with a deep understanding of its origin, yet with a present-day vision. The obsolescence of buildings and areas is expressed in a mismatch between the services offered by the fabric and the needs seen through contemporary eyes.18 Successful revitalization addresses this mismatch by introducing a design approach that takes care of the modern community and at the same time respects the historic past. Present day obsolete mill sites in Mumbai are the result of changing world economy. Mill buildings and quarters have not only faced physical and structural obsolescence over the years but they also are a direct consequence of change in location. With changing local and national economy, the traditional functions of these quarters have moved elsewhere to cheaper, convenient locations. These areas could be revitalized by functional restructuring or could be preserved as monuments. Either ways, the approach to revitalization should deal with social, physical and economic restructuring of historic buildings, spaces and communities.

An urban culture is a result of human development and one of the peaks of its achievements.19 Old districts in a city or a town are not just precious structures belonging to the history of the city but they are also an important element of city’s urban and social fabric. They are many times an essential part of the ‘image’ of a city for its people. Therefore, it is necessary to conserve and respect historic districts and structures. The revitalization of historic urban quarters involves the design of urban form as well as adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Both these factors are interdependent. New use for an obsolete building will change the urban form around it. It will create new streets and destinations with a consequent change in vehicular and pedestrian patterns. Land use and functions around the intervention will respond and depend upon the newly introduced use for the building. On the other hand, change in street patterns, furniture & signage of the historic district will change people’s perspective of looking at a region that was obsolete for years. It will help create new landmarks in the city and facilitate & enhance the adaptive reuse of historic buildings. Thus this project looks at different strategies for an overall urban redevelopment of the study region and retrofitting of mill buildings and premises.


Urban Design

Project Scope

The organic city of Mumbai shows traditional urban spatial arrangements and forms. Its development catered to the immediate requirements of the city at different periods of time. The city was never planned but it evolved physically along with its economic and demographic growth. Land reclamation still continues to accommodate the growing population of the city. With very less vehicular road coverage, Mumbai is predominantly mass transit and pedestrian oriented.

Girangaon needs an overall strategy that will help to establish a suitable urban form for this historic precinct. The project scope includes a scheme, which takes into consideration the urban revival of the specified region. All the developable land in the study area needs a revitalization scheme that is in tune with its surrounding. Ideas for development should arise from the location of the land as opposed to the highest bidder in the game. Instead of observing these lands as separate entities, they should be considered together.

Smaller blocks, narrow streets, pedestrian oriented pathways, street side shops, temple complexes, markets, corner side plazas with tea shops, snacks & juice centers are some of the common features that are found all over the city. Mumbaikars^enjoy outdoor urban spaces like plazas & markets outside major transport stations, gardens between the buildings, pathways along a street side bazaar. An array of varied activities happening around these spaces, enhance the social fabric of the city. Found almost at every half mile distance, such urban spaces are not just streets or plazas, but they contain characteristics of a city within a city. (Refer p.8) Such a vibrant environment could come across as a fussy and overcrowded image; however it works for Mumbai and its people. It is in relevance with the hot & humid climate of the city and the busy, hectic life of its citizens. Outdoor urban spaces that cater to the social and public realm of the city are needed in order to maintain its pace.

In order to blend the mill lands in urban fabric of Girangaon, it is very important to replicate some of the successful street design scenarios local to Mumbai. Introducing required and new uses will help the lands revive and merge into the system easily and faster. This could be achieved by addressing the following elements of design –

The following sketch & plan above demonstrate the typical urban form of the highlighted area within the study region.

The drawbacks of this system (overcrowding, unhygienic conditions, roadside slums etc.) could be worked on and an improved version of this urban form could be achieved by new development in defunct areas of Girangaon. Consequently this disconnected region of the city could be successfully woven back into its original fabric with enhanced urban spaces. Hence the revitalization of the study region needs to bring back the unique quality of urban life in Mumbai in a better way.

^ Mumbaikars: Residents of Mumbai City. (Similar to Bostonians: Residents of Boston City)


Land Use Appropriate uses could be introduced for five out of the seven mill sites in the study area. New uses will depend on the location and size of these sites. The study area already has a fine mixture of land uses. India United Mill no. 5 still functions as a manufacturing industry. In place of New Hind Textile Mill site, a residential complex for mill workers is under construction. Hence the region is mix of residential, small scale commercial, industrial and retail zones. With its unique central position, the largest site (16acres) of India United Mill Lands No. 2&3 could be developed as a historic park along with a number of public buildings on site. The park can further cater to the commercial and retail complex that might be developed at Digvijay Mill compound and Western India Mill site. With its street side location, Digvijay Mill compound could also serve as a hotel & retail complex. A rich mix of existing residential & retail blocks and new commercial district will help this region evolve as a busy thoroughfare and increase its activity levels. New commercial, public & retail places will increase employment opportunities for the community. The huge land of India United Mills No. 4 could be divided and used for various purposes including residential, commercial & entertainment. Considering the requirement of the community, a school could come up across the historic park. With new destinations in place, additional transport stations (bus stops) could be created to help connect the important sites with existing fabric of Girangaon as whole, giving it additional busy nodes and street junctions.


c f

g e

Existing: Mixed Use


Mixed Use

Key Map: Mill locations

Residential, Institutional Commercial, Retail

a. New Hind Textile Mill b. India United Mill No. 5 c. Digvijay Mill d. Western India Mill e. New City of Bombay Mill f. India United Mill No. 4 g. India United Mill No. 2&3

Commercial Complex Offices, banks etc.

Hotel & Convention Center


Existing: Residential

Public Plaza

Mixed Use Residential, Institutional Commercial, Retail

Public Spaces & Recreation Historic Park, Museum, Community Center, Retail, Food courts etc.

Existing: Mixed Use Mixed Use

Mixed Use

Residential, Retail

Residential, Retail

India United Existing: Residential Mill No. 5

Currently in use

India United Mill No. 5 Currently in use

High Rise Residential Complex Under Construction For mill workers

Existing: Residential The adjacent map shows the potential land use changes that could be incorporated at various mill sites. Introduction of mixed use spaces will increase the level of activity hence making the district a significant part of Central Mumbai.


   


     

    

 

 

 

  

 


Commercial Residential Recreation Retail Industrial Public/Social

New Development Bus Stops

Land use plans for study area

   

 

 


 

  


  

 


 



A conceptual sketch showing ‘vertical’ mixed uses within the newly developed structures.


Streets & Street blocks Large Street blocks and defunct streets which are rarely used as pedestrian and vehicular routes, are the important indicators of the deteriorated region in question. Because of the size of these empty blocks, it becomes difficult to establish a lively street network in the area. The re-design of streets could look at opening up all of the mill sites in the region with reused mill structures that will front the streets. Individual street blocks take the form of perimeter development.20 Hence in the redevelopment plan, it becomes crucial to design each block in a way that helps the new development along the block to respond to the existing land uses across the street. Block sizes could be reduced by introducing more and smaller streets in-between. Wider & well constructed pedestrian pathways along the street will enhance pedestrian flow & encourage street side activities. This will help improve the pedestrian permeability and potential use of spaces along the blocks. A pattern of street network that caters to the newly added destinations could be designed. Street corners could be developed as important plazas, where people could meet, talk, eat or catch a bus. Additional transport nodes (bus, railway etc.) could be established at suitable places on streets.

 

existing _Isolated streets

  

            

    

_Disconnected mill district _Larger block sizes     



Smaller blocks_ More streets_

          


 

Reuse of mill buildings_ Mixed use spaces_ Public spaces_ 



 

  

  

  


 

proposed Adaptive reuse of mill structures for community requirements will help create active urban spaces in the neighbourhood. Relating the existing uses to new uses will enhance the social urban fabric of the district.


 



Street Block Division

Hierarchy of Streets

Street Block Division

Busy Nodes

Pedestrian Streets

Vehicular Streets


Landscape Corridor

One of the pocket parks around a natural water body inside the Landscape Corridor.

Yet another interesting feature of the study region is the existence of 6 heritage Mill Chimneys inside various mill premises. All of these are located along the Landscape Corridor identified in the adjacent drawing. With their strategic locations and monumental importance, a ‘Heritage Walk’ could be introduced. Along with various uses like play grounds, parks & plazas, these places will eventually become the ‘Historic landmarks’ of the precinct. With small & big changes suggested above, quality public spaces could be created that will increase the chances of passive uses, hawkers’ & venders’ activities and play & recreational areas followed by an increased social interaction. Good mixes of retail, commercial, residential, public, recreational & entertainment uses will help the broken fabric of the study area, regain its character that would resemble the spirit of Mumbai City. Chimney # 5

Plan & cross section of one of the pathways in the landscape corridor. This narrow linear space between dense blocks creates opportunities for recreation. With the presence of a Historical Chimney, this route becomes an essential part of the ‘Heritage Walk’ concept.

 


Siit Sit S itttin in ing

 

LLaw La aw wn

 


Plla Pla P lazzaa

Patthw Pa Pat hwa wa y

With landscape corridor’s distinct character, street furniture & signage system, the entire region will get an identity of its own & it could be distinguished as a historic district, where all the existing land uses, proposed new uses and anticipated developments could be bound together by number of smaller public plazas and gardens.

All the mill sites include a water body that was once used for different processes in mill premises. Today, these unused natural ponds could be opened up for public use. The study region includes 4 such ponds. The largest of the ponds (Area: 2140 sq m.) is located at IUM No. 2&3 premises and could be developed as an important water feature inside the historic park. The other three water bodies are comparatively small and could work as small scale recreational waterfronts. When small gardens and urban pocket parks are created around these ponds, the precinct will acquire a rich aesthetic and functional property. Mill sites also include Temples (place of worship) inside their premises, which become yet another important magnet for social gathering. Girangaon community is deeply rooted in their religion and people tend to visit these temples on a daily basis. Hence, all the temples found in the area need to preserved and physically improved. Considering their potential as public places, temple premises could become extensions of plazas and gardens around.

Pat P atthhwa hw w waay

Shaded and vegetated boulevards could be created for the hot and humid climate of the city. With a number of urban pocket parks, ponds and gardens in place, a landscape corridor or a continual network of green spaces could be established within the precinct. These spaces will help maintain the visual identity & continuity of the district’s physical character. This corridor could be kept open ended for further connections with other green spaces within Girangaon, but beyond the study region.

 

 Cross section : Chimney # 5

Plan: Chimney # 5


Landscape Corridor

         

_continual network of green & public spaces _includes varied spaces like boulevards, pathways, gardens, water fronts, parks, play areas, botanical/flower gardens, squares & public plazas. _ entire length of corridor is distinguished by unique street furniture & signage system. _corridor remains ‘open ended’ at several points for further connections throughout

         6

the city.




shopping mall


hotel & convention center

mixi us use s

  

 

res resi esi es ssiident ident deent ntial tia iial al al

e rtainmen ente meennt men m mix-use

pond pon onnd



          

           

pondd pon

   pro ppr rrooppo pos oossed ed


Museum mix-use


residential mixix-use use

mix-use industrial

resident ntial

ppooonnd ppon po ond nd 1         





 


Chimney to Chimney: Heritage Walk

residential complex

_ preservation of 6 heritage ‘Chimneys’ in the area. _ used as monumnetal landmarks _pathway connecting the chimney’s decalred as ‘heritage walk’ within the landscape corridor.



     

Public plaza



existinng ng Museuum

  

             

 


Overall Strategies for Revival Conclusive strategies for urban revival could be summarized as follows. Every strategy described in the following table addresses one or more stakeholders in this issue.




• Recognition of the study area as a ‘Historic Precinct’ with its own distinctive character, vitality and ambience.

• Division of blocks in smaller, walkable units.

• Creation of Landmarks within the district.

• Introduction of landscape corridor with open spaces of different types & sizes to allow variety of uses. E.g. playgrounds, parks, gardens, children’s park, squares & public plazas.

• Preservation & redevelopment of heritage mill chimneys and temple complexes.

• Creation of shaded and vegetated boulevards.

• Key design guidelines regarding the urban form. E.g. building facades, side walk pavements, street furniture & signage system.

• Introduction of small pedestrian plazas at street corners and near transport stations.

• Improved pedestrian movements: streets exclusively for pedestrian use, pedestrian plazas within landscape corridor.

• Introduction of heritage walk within the district.

• Development of street markets and shopping arcades at suitable places.

• Introduction of new vehicular feeder streets for improved traffic conditions.

• Development of additional vehicular & pedestrian junctions. • Additional bus stops at suitable places.

• Introduction of social facilities like libraries, community centers, schools near public open spaces.

Stakeholders - (Refer p.25) City Mill Workers Mill Owners




• Identification of ‘Heritage Structures’ to be preserved.

• Reserved land for affordable housing for mill workers.

• Adaptive re-use of historic mill buildings.

• Repairs and reconstruction of ‘Chawls’ (Worker’s housing)

• Development of each mill land according to its location and size, yet linking it to the overall urban design scheme. • Introduction of mixed use spaces. E.g. retail + residential, institutional + public, commercial + residential + retail, retail + recreational etc.

• Adaptive reuse of mill buildings for worker’s housing. (Redesign of IUML 2 &3) • Mix of residential developments ranging from high end residential complexes to low cost worker’s housing around newly established landmarks.

• Creation of new public destinations.



Proposed: Street Network



 






Proposed: Overall Strategy


  

 

Busy Node Landmark Chimney Open space

 

Water Body Heritage Walk Existing Streets New Streets



DESIGN PROJECT redesign of iuml no. 2&3

The last component of this design project deals with redesign of India United Mill No. 2&3. This Largest mill site in the study area eventually becomes the focal point of the proposed urban revival strategies.

Introduction Originally a NTC (National Textile Corporation) mill land, India United Mill Land no. 2&3 was taken over by BMC (Bruhanmumbai Municipal Corporation) in early 2000. BMC sought a number of development proposals for this land after which it was concluded that IUML no. 2&3 will be reserved as a recreation ground in its entirely. Several structures on site were analyzed and declared as heritage structures and the premises of the site was declared as a heritage precinct. Spread over 16 acres of land, IUML no. 2&3 is the largest government mill in Mumbai. It was a composite mill that handled spinning and weaving. This mill site has more than 80 structures housing different departments. The site also consists of a natural pond which was used as process water supply. Structures in IUML 2&3 premises that are now the heritage structures are as follows -



1. India United Mills precinct: Over 50 years old, it represents a distinctive group of structures integral to the textile industry and the ethos of the old times. 2. Three ring and spinning structures: All over 75 years old, these are spinning sheds with intricate iron work detailing. One has been given Grade 3, two as grade 2 B.


3. Semi-automatic loom: Graded 2 B the powerloom over 50 years, it is a load-bearing structure with wooden trusses and Mangalorean tiles. 4. Water body: Grade 3, this is a 75-year old natural pond that lends natural beauty to the environment around the mill structure.


5. Chimney: Graded 2 A, it is over 75 years old, with a stone masonry plinth and a load-bearing brick superstructure. It has wrought iron straps and wrought iron tension rods at the base. Bird’s eye view of India United Mills no. 2 & 3.



Government's Take To reuse some of the heritage structures, a museum was first proposed three years ago, when a number of defunct mill lands were up for sale. To conserve old Mumbai’s famous city life and culture surrounding numerous mills, the state government proposed the idea of a textile museum, which will offer the new generation a glimpse of the bygone era. The museum is expected to come up in the next two years and will receive funds of Rs 15 crore ($3.25 million) from the central government. The museum will showcase the process of cotton spinning, cloth making and the use of various machineries and looms. It will also have a section devoted to the social life of the mill workers who lived a colorful life and added texture to Mumbai’s culture. The chawl culture, celebration of Ganesh festival at mass level, all have roots in the city’s mill life, and would be portrayed at the mill. Mumbai’s renowned conservation architect Abha Lamba has been appointed to handle the project along with BMC architects, engineers and officials. “ While redundant textile mills have been largely razed to the ground to make way for the ubiquitous alucobond and glass facades, the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai has embarked on the adaptive reuse of the India United 2&3 Textile Mill in Mumbai to create a Textile Mill Museum. Spread over 16 acres, the museum envisages the adaptive reuse of 30,000 sq m of industrial space to house galleries of historic costumes, traditional textiles, looms and a permanent exhibit profiling the history of the textile mills and the life of the mill worker. What may be among the largest textile museum complexes in the country, this project with textile galleries, cafes, fine dining restaurant, museum shop, boutiques, crafts centre, auditorium, space for temporary exhibitions and fashion shows as well as a Museum of Mill history in central Mumbai may well become the harbinger of mainstreaming of reuse in the dictionary of municipal governance.” ---- Architect Abha Lamba 59

Why India United Mill No. 2 & 3 ? IUML no. 2&3 is the very first mill structure to be a part of Mumbai’s heritage list. The BMC team along with conservation architect Abha Lamba has come up with a number of relevant and interesting ideas for the development of this land. Development of this site will not only affect its neighborhood but it will have significant impact on the urban fabric of Girangaon as whole. If developed appropriately, it has the potential to become an important landmark in the city. The natural water body and dense vegetation on site demonstrates a high potential for developing a green retreat within the crowded city. Some of the structures on site are still in a fair structural condition and could be reused for several purposes. Considering the community’s needs and historic significance, mill buildings on site could be reopened as public buildings like – museums, community halls, cafeterias, art galleries etc. The size and central location of the site in the study area increases its importance in the overall strategy of this design project. Surrounding land uses and urban form could be effectively modified with the development of this particular site. In addition, detail design of IUML 2&3 premises will serve more opportunities to create increased pedestrian flows & street networks along the length of the plot. This will enhance the streets & surrounding blocks in the study area. The heritage chimney of IUM will eventually become the most exciting & eventful landmarks along the heritage walk within the precinct. (Chimney no.4 in Heritage walk. Refer p.51) Hence the design component of this project supports the government’s idea of adaptive re-use of some of the heritage structures on site and develops a master plan for the entire premises of IUML no. 2&3.

Location of site in study area.



Structure No.



Structural Status

Constructional Technology

Ground Cover

No. of Storey

Conservation Status

Adaptive Re-use Potential





Steel truss, Mangalore tiles

1380 sq.m.



Institution, Assembly Hall


Grain Go-down



Steel truss, Mangalore tiles

508 sq.m.





Electric & Switch Gear



Jack Arches

259 sq.m.








Wooden truss, Mangalore tiles

495 sq.m.





General Stores



Jack Arches

622 sq.m.








RCC Slab

540 sq.m.




Site Analysis Structures 2

Carding & Blow Room



Jack Arches, Flat Roof

1303 sq.m.





Ring & Spinning



Wooden truss, Mangalore tiles

1451 sq.m.





Workshop Transformer



Wooden truss, AC sheet

310 sq.m.








Wooden truss, Mangalore tiles

1814 sq.m.



Market / Institution


Weaving Shed



Wooden truss, Mangalore tiles

658 sq.m.



Market / Institution





Wooden truss, Mangalore tiles

2099 sq.m.



Market / Institution





Flat Roof

583 sq.m.





Ring & Spinning



Steel truss, Mangalore tiles

2566 sq.m.



Institution / Offices


Weaving Shed



Steel truss, Mangalore tiles

2566 sq.m.



Institution / Offices


Semi-Auto Loom & Sizing dept.



Wooden truss, Mangalore tiles

7050 sq.m.





Time Keeper’s Office



Wooden truss, Mangalore tiles

2972 sq.m.








Steel truss, AC sheet

618 sq.m.








Wooden truss, Mangalore tiles

583 sq.m.



Institution / Offices





Wooden truss, Mangalore tiles

1257 sq.m.





Bailing Dept.



Wooden truss

2138 sq.m.





Waste Go-down




310 sq.m.





Staff Quarters



Wooden truss, Mangalore tiles

1547 sq.m.






5 23










10 13



Key Map: Structures on site.



16 19



Report on India United Mill No. 2 &3: A systematic survey of structures in the mill plots was conducted by a team of conservation architects. This survey was conducted by visually examining all structures to identify their heritage significance, structural quality, construction technology and potential for their adaptive reuse. These surveys were carried out visually.13 Based on this survey structures are graded in three categories: A, B & C. Type A: Buildings that could be retained & Re-used. Type B: Structures that could be retained for their ensemble value, contributing to the character of the place. Type C: Structures that could be demolished. The structural conditions of these buildings have been categorized as follows: Fair: Structures in sound structural condition. Moderate: Structures requiring a few localized repairs to make them in fair condition. Poor: Structures requiring major structural repairs to strengthen them.

Structures to be reused in redesign scheme.


Site Analysis Artery Road

Mixed-use - Residential

North - West Wind Direction

Busy Junction


India United MIll Land # 4 Voltas Industries

Dense Vegetation Flat terrain


New City of Bombay Mill

Sun Path

Government Buildings

Dead zone No Pedestrian activity

Mixed-use - Residential

Public Bus Stops

Busy Junction

Climate & topography

Land Use


The predominant wind direction of Mumbai is NorthWest. Currently the massive mill structures on the west side of the site block the NW winds entering IUML 2&3 premises.

Most of the land use around the site has remained unchanged since the initiation of the mill in early 19th century. The mixed use residential zones around the site comprises of traditional worker’s Chawls, with street side shops including commercial services.

IUML 2&3 premises is situated alongside one of the main artery roads of the study area to the East. This road has two active & busy street junctions. Other streets adjacent to the property vary in levels of pedestrian & vehicular activities. Streets to North & South have moderate pedestrian activities because of their mixed use residential street fronts. (residence+retail+commercial)

The site falls into warm & humid climate of coastal India. Hence summer months of April, May & June receive highest solar radiation where as the monsoon clouds from July through September reduce the heat. The premises comprises of rich tropical vegetation on a flat terrain.









Two of the seven mills considered under the study area, are in the vicinity of the premises. Both these lands are currently unused. With no major landmarks around, the location of this site could be considered as reclusive.

The west street in comparison is virtually a dead zone resulting in an enclosed & narrow roadside between the boundary walls of two mill sites. Mumbai’s local bus transport stops are situated at several locations along the East, North & South streets of the premises. Street to the West however, has no such stops and hence lacks a significant amount of pedestrian flow.



Seasonal sun orientation in Mumbai. Summer sun in Northern hemisphere & winter sun in southern hemipshere.


Walkthrough The premises consist of a 15 ft boundary wall all around the periphery. At places some of the structures on site are boundary edges themselves. The natural environment on site comprises of several hundreds of trees and a 2496 sq m (48m x52m) water body. With over 80 built structures, the site originally had 6 entrances for various purposes.

 l    

 


pond 



(14) (15) 


C  


   

G 



A 







The adjacent plan of IUML 2&3 indicates the heritage structures in red, out of which structure A, B and C were dedicated to ring and spinning process. Structure B was later modified to run power looms. Structure C represents the sizing department. D and E served as storerooms/warehouses for raw materials and end products. Letter F and G indicate administrative buildings that also included canteens, family clinics and other services for workers. Raw material was served into the mill through structure D and it was sent to different departments in A & B. These buildings housed all the necessary machinery and infrastructure for different processes like cotton, polyester mixing, pressurization, carding, drawing, parallelization and doubling of fabric, roving & binding. Roving bobbin was processed through another chain of machinery to produce fine yarn. Yarn cones produced from this process were then stored in warehouses (building E) until they were packed and dispatched to the markets. More than 10,000 km of yarn was produced daily.



Site Photos



Design Concept Re-design ideas for IUML no. 2&3 begin on an urban scale where the entire plot of 16 acres is considered first in terms of its location in the overall study area. To start with, the design includes demolition of the 15ft. boundary wall around the site. It is assumed that apart from the heritage structures on site, all other built structures will be demolished. Hence as part of the design strategy, IUML 2&3 land is first virtually divided into two blocks. Originally disconnected from the surrounding street network, this division of plot provides a link between the isolated street to the west and the artery road to the east of the property. All heritage structures on site except the water body are divided from the open space created on the newly formed block. The link between the two blocks is not vehicular. Considering the type of activities that will occur on site, it is safe & convenient if the link is strictly pedestrian. In case of special events, services & emergencies, this link could be made available for vehicular traffic as well.


   ......

 

  

The fundamental environmental purpose of this design project is to create open spaces. The vast site area allows incorporation of varied opens paces. Different types of outdoor spaces on site (semi-open, paved, semi-paved, green cover etc.) cater to different events & activities. The historic background of the site further adds a unique character to this place. The redesign of this site as a public park will provide Mumbai, the much needed open space in its dense urban fabric. Abundance of vegetation and rich natural surrounding makes the site an ideal location for a recreational place. Together it could be called as the ‘Historic Park’ of Mumbai. The design of the park tries to maintain as many existing trees & vegetation as possible. Hence throughout the site design, spaces are created around the existing vegetation in order to minimize the disturbance to natural surroundings. Additional land cover acquired by demolition of non-heritage structures is preserved as open space that binds various activity zones on site. Hence this vast piece of land gets pockets of green spaces in-between the heritage structures in the form of community grounds, gardens & forested areas. The site also includes approximately 25,000 sq. m. of a natural water body in the center of the property. Consequently it becomes one of the most vital elements of the development.

  






   

 


 

 


 

The site design starts by developing the heritage water body. In order to incorporate this water body into the surrounding open space, it is opened up from two sides and made accessible. Water in tropical climate of Mumbai could be best enjoyed if it’s reachable & touchable as opposed to merely visible. Presently such place is only found at Walkeshwar Temple Complex. (refer p.11) in downtown Mumbai. Known as Banganga, this ancient water body is lined by heritage temples and could be approached by series of steps on its four sides. Similarly in new design, the water body on site is approached from two sides and the pond is enhanced by a water-feature in the form of a water-wall/fountain. Considering the vast area of the pond, a proportionate open space is created surrounding the periphery of the approachable sides of the pond. This open space acts as a sunken plaza. The site also includes a small temple next to one of the heritage buildings. This temple was used by mill workers & their families on a regular basis. Considering the importance of religious places and their positive impact on communities, this temple is re-established and developed as a temple complex on a larger scale. Currently the location of the temple is detached from the rest of the property. In order to include the temple complex in the overall master plan and to improve its spatial quality, the new design relocates the temple in the forested area, close to the water body. The sacredness of water in Hindu religion contributes to the spiritual ambiance of temple complex on site. Heritage buildings on site are re-used for various purposes depending on their location on site, size and structural condition. The largest structure of spinning & weaving shed abuts the southern edge of the property. This building could be re-used as a Textile Museum & art galleries. Part of the building towards the west could be dedicated to community services. The historic chimney on site is preserved and incorporated in street-level plaza on site. It defines the park as one of the landmarks along the ‘heritage walk.’ In principle, the adaptive re-use design ideas for the buildings on site look at extending the premises outside the boundary walls by introducing relevant uses that could enhance street level activities around the block. 67

Master Plan 


1. Sunken Plaza 2. Water Body 3. Temple Complex 4. Forested Area 5. Play Area 6. Water Fountains 7. Street-Level plaza 8. Food plaza 9. Raised Platform 10. Museum court 11. Community ground 12. Sculpture Garden 13. Worker’s Housing 14. Restaurants & Cafeterias 15. Shops 16. Community Center 17. Art Galleries & Studios 18. Textile Museum 19. Bus Stop 20. Bridge



5 3

6 

 1 19

8 2

19 7






8 7

15 18








10 19




Cross Section aa








Design Development Implementation of design ideas discussed on p.64-65 creates four distinct zones on the property. All of these zones at various instances are physically or visually connected to each other. Higlighted pathways on the adjacent drawing act as important pedestrian routes between the zones and also between the site and its surrounding. Four zones on the property could be identified as follows -

Zone Zone Zone Zone

1 2 3 4


ZONE 3 forested area

Heritage Mill Buildings Sunken Plaza Forested Area Street-Level plaza

The overall site design is achieved by the developing the above zones individually & together. Interaction between the various activities proposed throughout the zones binds the design into a cohesive development.

ZONE 2 sunken plaza

ZONE 1 heritage buildings

ZONE 4 street-level plaza


Master plan indicating various zones & pathway connections


Zone One 


  

  

  

     

 

 



 

 


Plan on level one

Cross section bb 70

Sectional Views Heritage buildings

  

 

 

 



 71

Sculpture Gallery


Museum Court


Food Court


Art Gallery Road


Zone Two, Three & Four 


Sunken Plaza -4 m 

  

 



Street-Level Plaza 0m  


 


Cross section cc


Sunken Plaza, Play area


Water body, Street-level Plaza






1. Owi Kale, The Environmental Problems of Mumbai. 2. Simon Raiser, Krister Volkmann (2005), Bringing the Citizens in: Civil Society in Globalizing Cities of the South, Chapter 1: Political Transformation and Capacity Building: Role and Relevance of Civil Society in Mumbai By Sudha Mohan, p. 11. 3. World gazetteer. Retrieved 28 April 2009 rt=npan&col=abcdefghinoq&msz=1500&pt=c&va=&srt=pnan 4. Area & Density: Metropolitan cities (2008), Ministry of urban development (Government of India) p. 33 5.Jyotsna Bapat (2005), Development Projects and Critical Theory of Enviornment, SAGE, p. 111-112. 6. Department of Relief and Rehabilitation (Government of Maharashtra), Mumbai plan: climate & rainfall, Retrieved on August 10, 2010. 7. Anil Dharkar (2010), Mumbai’s roads are commuters’ nightmare, DNA : Daily News and Analysis, Retrieved on March 22, 2010. 8. Population of Mumbai (2009) 9. Kelly Shannon (2009), Reclaiming Mumbai. 10. Neera Adarkar (2003), Gendering of the Culture of Building: Case of Mumbai, Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 38, No. 43. 11. Surendra Hiranandani (2010), Mumbai Musings, Retrieved on January 24, 2011. http://www.theurbanvision. com/blogs/?p=619 12. Deepti Badkar (2006), Urban Public Spaces (Mumbai). 13. Charles Correa et al. (1996), Report of the Study group on The Cotton Textile Mills in Mumbai: Part 1. 14. B. Maitland (1984), The use of history, Concepts of Urban Design, p. 5. 15. Steven tiesdell et al. (1996), Revitalizing historic urban Quarters. 16. Pratik Mhatre, Downtown revitalization: Lessons for Mumbai’s Mill Lands, Geog 616: Urban Geography by Dr. Robert Bednarz , Texas A&M University. 82

17. Christopher Leinberger (2005), Turning Around Downtown: Twelve Steps to Revitalization, Research Brief, Washington D.C.: The Brookings Institution. 18. N. Lichfield (1988), Economics in Urban Conservation. 19. Nahoum Cohen (2001), Urban Planning Conservation and Preservation. 20. Randell Thomas, Max Fordham (2003), Sustainable Urban Design: An Environmental Approach, Chapter 2: Urban Planning and Design by Patrick Clarke, p. 14-24. 21. Neera Adarkar, V. K. Phatak (2005), Recycling Mill Land, Economic & Political Weekly. 22. Ramakrishna Nallathiga (2010), Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Redevelopment of Industrial land in urban areas: A case Study of Textile Mill land redevelopment in Mumbai. 23. Neera Adarkar, Meena Menon (2004), One Hundred years One Hundred voices. 24. Darryl D’monte (1998), Redevelopment of Mumbai’s Cotton Textile Mill Land: Opportunity Lost, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 33, no. 6. 25. Rajshri Mehta, Chitrangada Choudhury (2007), The Mill Mess : 2, Mumbai Newsline (Indian Express Newspapers) 26. Shweta Desai (2008), In Girangaon, 7 Structures get Heritage Protection (Indian Express Newspapers) 27. Sharik Bhowmik, Nitin More (2001), Coping with Urban Poverty: Ex-Textile Mill Workers in Central Mumbai, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 36, No. 52. 28. Chittaranjan Tembhekar (2009), Digvijay Mill: NTC offers 1m sq ft of mill chawls for redevelopment [Mumbai], The Times of India Newspapers. 29. Pandurang Mhaske (2008), Girangaon Festival to Preserve Heritage, DNA (Daily News & Ananlysis) 30. Dr. Ardeshir Damania, History of Mumbai, Retrieved on January 21, 2011. 31. Raj Maratha (2010), Girangaon, BigAdda Blogs, Retrieved on October 18, 2010. raj5013346/tag/kohinoor-mills/ 83

32. Abha Narain Lambah (2010), Recycling Buildings: The Old and the Beautiful, India Today Group. Retrieved on November 8, 2010. he+Beautiful.html 33. Praveen Swami (2001), A Raw Deal and Desperation: Another saga of the deepening hardships that textile mill workers face in Mumbai, Frontline, Vol. 18, Issue. 8 34. EPW Research Foundation, Mumbai’s Textile Mills and the Land Question, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 32, No. 43. 35. Swapna Banerjee-Guha (2002), Shifting Cities: Urban Restructuring in Mumbai, Economic & Political Weekly, Vol. 37, No. 2. 36. Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria (2006), Street Hawkers and Public Space in Mumbai, Economic & Political Weekly. 37. Darryl D’Monte (2007), A Matter of people, Urban Age: Newspaper Essay. 38. Aditi Nargundkar Pathak (2009), Socio-spatial Exclusion in Urban Spaces: Mumbai City, The Urban Vision, Retrieved on January 24, 2010. 39. Vyjayanthi Rao, Proximate Distances: The Phenomenology of Density in Mumbai, Built Environment, Vol. 33, No. 2. 40. Anupama Katakam (2005), A Verdict for Mumbai, frontline, Vol.22, Issue 23. 41. Pratik Mhatre (2005), Revitalizing Mumbai: The Mill Land Issue, Urban Planning Blog, Retrieved on March 9, 2009. 42. Mumbai Mills Report: Analysis & Conclusions of INTBAU India Workshop (2005) International Network for Traditional Building, Architecture & Urbanism (INTABU) 43. Allan Gause at el. (1996) New Uses for Obsolete Buildings. 44. Derek Lantham (2000), Creative Re-use of Buildings Vol. 1&2. 45. Richard Cartwright (1980), The design of urban Space. 46. Francisco Asensio Cerver (1997), Redesigning City Squares & Plazas. 47. Arvind Krishnan at el. (2001), Climate Responsive Architecture: A Design Handbook for Energy Efficient Buildings.



Page 2 & 3 Bottom from left to right Karan Nivetia QT Luong/ #indi39088

Page 6 & 7 In Chronological order 1500: 1661: 1684: Rakesh Soni 1772: 1803: 1838: Constable’s Hand Atlas of India, 1893 edition, Author: J.G. Bartholomew, Archibald Constable and Company 1853: 1872: 1873: 1900: Nirmal Hotkar 1960: 1970: photos&refresh=&scale=0&slide=2 1982: 2000: - Sawpnil Bhole

Page 8 Background Picture: - beautiful laundrette Bottom from left to right: All Photos: Pinakin Sukhtankar

Page 9 Shivaji Park: Oval Maidan: National Park: Worli Sea Face: Chawpaty Beach: Rucha Mandlik Marine Drive:



Page 10 Top left to right Elphinstone College & Churchgate Station: Jeevan Balwant Oval Maidan:

Page 11 Top left & right Temple Patio: Temples lining the ancient tank: Gloria Church: Street Side Shrine: Haji Ali Mosque:

Bottom Left to Right Street Food: Flower & Garlands Shops: Hawkers: Street Side Market: Street Side Market: - William Albert Allard - 2004

Page 12 Mangrove Destruction: Salt Pan Lands: MIll Lands: Rucha Mandlik Forest Depletion: Rapid Land Reclamation:

Page 18 Vegetable Market: Domestic Snack Stall: Chawl (1) Chawl (2): Vinay Surve

Page 19 Culture: http://rishimajumder.wordpress.comcategorytheatre

Page 22



Page 23 Ashok residential towers: Phoenix mill compund:

Page 26 City of Gold:

Page 28 Priyadarshani park:

Page 36 Shaishavi Khandre

Page 39 - Kieren

Page 41 Prince of Wales Mueum: Christy McCormick In Orbit Mall: Linking Road: Juhu Beach:



First and foremost i would like to thank Prof. Todd Gabbard for his guidance and encouragement over the past three semesters. His design inputs helped me achieve the targets set throughout the length of this project. I appreciate Prof. Jason Brody for being on my committee. His critiques have surely led me to a deeper understanding of urban design & planning processes. I also thank Prof. Michael McGlynn & Prof. Ulf Meyer for their timely advise & reviews. Thank you Kalyan Da for helping with the research on Mumbai. I take this opportunity to appreciate College of Architecture, Planning & Design at Kansas State University for providing an ideal environment for learning. Also a special thanks to Rebecca Stark for guiding me through the administrative processes to complete this program at K-state. A big thank you to Sandeep Raut for his time and help during the site visits. I want to express my appreciation to all those who helped me at the BMC office in Mumbai. I appreciate Shaishavi’s last minute help with the photos. Thank you Vinay Surve for sharing your thoughts & ideas. I would not have imagined a better company during the unforgettable site visit at IUML no. 2&3 !! I want to thank my better half Amod, for being patient during my random frustrations & mood swings. I appreciate the moral support & encouragement that always kept me focused. Also a big thank you for taking the time out to review this document. I am always indebted to my family in Mumbai for their intense belief in me and my work. I would like to express my appreciation towards all my friends & professors at Sir. J.J. College of Architecture and finally a big thank you to all my friends in Manhattan, Kansas for just being there.

Urban Incarnations - Adaptive Reuse of Derelict Mill Lands in Central Mumbai, India  

• It involves research in the field of urban design & revival of historic urban quarters as well as adaptive reuse of industrial architectur...

Urban Incarnations - Adaptive Reuse of Derelict Mill Lands in Central Mumbai, India  

• It involves research in the field of urban design & revival of historic urban quarters as well as adaptive reuse of industrial architectur...