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Worli Commons UD 742, Spring 201

Worli Commons UD 742 Capstone Studio Assistant Professor McLain Clutter Spring 2014, Monday-Friday 1pm-5pm

The Common In their 2009 book Commonwealth, political theorists Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri forward a vision of a future global and democratic social organization built around the idea of the common. For Hardt and Negri, the common is a broad category. It encompasses the resources of the physical environment that we all share, the embedded value within our systems for material and economic development, and the networks of communication, information and affect that interconnect the increasingly globalized world. The realm of the common spans the material and the immaterial, the quantitative and the affective. As culture and economy become more standardized under globalization, so too does the breadth and expanse of the common grow around the world. Within this sideeffect of globalization, Hardt and Negri recognize an opportunity to eschew the regimes of privatized ownership that buttress the current and dominant modes of socio-political organization – projecting potentially emancipatory effects for the global poor, the marginalized and the under serviced. The metropolis is an immense “reservoir� of the common. Metropolitan centers are replete with evidence of collective labor embedded within the built environment, and are the nexuses of trade, culture, commerce and communication for our globalized society. Thus, Hardt and Negri identify the contemporary metropolis as a potential milieu within which a social organization around the common might emerge. With this assertion, one is prompted to speculate on ways of life in the contemporary city that challenge or subvert dominant regimes of property ownership. Urban design might play a pivotal role in such speculation.

Worli Koliwada

Worli Commons

The Koli, or fisherfolk, were among the earliest residents of the seven islands that were combined to form present-day Mumbai. For hundreds of years, these people have made a living fishing the Arabian Sea, developing a unique manner of urban life and culture over time that is reflected in their customs, dress, language and ritual. Among the vestiges of these early Mumbai residents is Worli Koliwada, a historic fishing village on Mumbai’s western shore dating back at least to the 16th century. Walking the Koliwada today, one can glimpse traces of an older way of life in its narrow streets lined with traditional Koli houses, religious shrines, markets, and institutions. Critically, the Koliwada is an urban formation that emerged prior to contemporary notions of property ownership. The close proximities within Worli Koliwada, the use of the street, and the Koli’s unique practices of urban life all reflect a paradigm that precedes our contemporary notions of private property.

This studio will use the political and economic quagmire surrounding Worli Koliwada as an opportunity to rethink the potential of the commons in urban design. The village’s historic morphology, reflecting a collectivist notion of property, in combination with the land ownership status of the village today, makes this site uniquely appropriate for such an investigation. Projects in the section will neither accept conventional slum redevelopment for the Koliwada, nor strictly “preservationist” redevelopment that primarily benefits the village’s few landowners. To the contrary, while taking cues for the common from the historic village, this section will project alternatives for Worli Koliwada more cosmopolitan than conservative. The studio will be challenged to leverage the villager’s land rights, and work within the real estate apparatus to unlock latent opportunities of new urbanisms of the common.

While Worli Koliwada emerged under less proprietary understandings of land than that of the present Mumbai, ironically, today’s residents of Worli own their village. The villagers of Worli Koliwada, represented by the Nau Patil Jamat And Gaokari Estate Committee, have been recognized as legal heirs and rightsholders to their land. This fact places the villagers in a unique position of agency. While similar urban villages throughout Mumbai are sited on government-owned land, and are therefore mislabeled as slums, Worli Koliwada’s ownership status has protected the village from such labels. While the village may at times have the outward appearance of a “slum,” and indeed shares several of the same development issues, Worli Koliwada is composed of legally heired lands and houses, and is therefore distinct from the informal settlement.

The studio will borrow Hardt and Negri’s expansive notion of the common as a category that encompasses both the physical resources we share, and the immaterial networks of communication and affect that might unite us. With this in mind, each project will develop strategies for an urbanism of the commons privileging a single urban issue (i.e.: water, housing, ritual, etc.). These topics will be drawn from and build upon your previous work in the Masters of Urban Design program at Taubman College. Students may work alone, or in pairs. Projects may span in scope from a master plan to the surgical insertion of social or material infrastructure. However, all projects should assume and accommodate the increased density for the village made possible by the revised CRZ regulations.

In recent years, there has been increased pressure for redevelopment in Worli Koliwada. With the construction of the Bandra-Worli Sea Link, the Koliwada became newly visible, literally and metaphorically inviting real-estate speculation. Added to this, recent relaxation of costal development regulation zone laws in Mumbai (CRZ regulations) has increased the development potential in Worli Koliwada. With FSI’s much higher than those permitted under the old CRZ legislation, Worli Koliwada would be much more profitable for private interests to develop than ever before. As a result, and ostensibly in response to pressure from real estate interests, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has advocated slum redevelopment for the village. And in response to this increased redevelopment pressure, the land owners of the village have organized under the Worli Koliwada Owners Association & Community Housing Development to invite alternative redevelopment proposals that might preserve aspects of the historic community, while providing infrastructural and open space improvements that would save the village from a future slum designation. While the Owners Association’s actions seem to be strictly an act of preservation, they are equally economically motivated. Mumbai’s local fishing industry is rapidly dwindling as a result of pollution and large-scale industrial fishing operations. The redevelopment of Worli Koliwada might make the land-owning fisherman into career landlords.

Worli Koliwada Redevelopment Guidelines (Adapted from the Worli Koliwada Owner’s Association)

Street activity in Worli Koliwada

1. The current FSI of 1.3 will be increased to 2.5. 2. Maximim building height is 37.5 meters (123 feet). 3. All standing environmental restrictions for CRZ II zones, as amended in 2011. 4. The historic Worli Fort must remain on the site. 5. All existing temples must remain on the site. UD 742 – Worli Commons – Spring 2014

Street activity in Worli Koliwada 2

UD 742 – Worli Commons – Spring 2014


Resources It is expected that the MUD class has amassed a library of general resources about Mumbai that will provide context for our work in Worli Koliwada. In addition, a CAD background of the existing village, and a folder of periodical articles discussing the village’s current development situation has been placed on CTools. Readings and discussions from Professor Glover’s concurrent humanities seminar will be folded-in as resources for this class, and thinking across the two courses is strongly encouraged. More information about Worli Koliwada can be found online at the following sites: Schedule Week 1: May 8-9 May 8 Introduction Student presentations Readings: Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, selections from Commonwealth, Harvard University Press, 2009. Roger Sherman, selection from LA Under the Influence: The Hidden Logic of Urban Property, University of Minnesota Press, 2010. May 9 Reading discussion Assignment 1 issued: Spaces and Actions Above and left: 1942 Maps demarcating Worli Koliwada as legally-heired lands.

Week 2: May 12-16 May 12 Pin-up Assignment 1 Part 1 Due May 15 Assignment 1 due, discussion Assignment 2 issued: Environments and Affects Week 3: May 19-23 May 19 Pin-up Assignment 2 progress May 21 Assignment 2 due, discussion. Final Assignment issued Week 4: May 26-30 May 26 Pin-up May 29-30, McLain out Week 5: June 2-6 June 5 Mid-review

Current aerial photograph. UD 742 – Worli Commons – Spring 2014

Land use: The village is legally designated an “urban village” (beige). The brown areas are designated slums. 4

UD 742 – Worli Commons – Spring 2014


schedule, continued Week 6: June 9-13 June 9 Pin-up Week 7: June 16-20 June 16 Pin-up WEEK 8 June 24 Final review

Grading Taubman College follows the policies established by Rackham Graduate School. For detailed information on academic policies, academic integrity and related matters, please refer to: and Grades will be proportioned based on the following: Participation, general effort and design process throughout the semester 25% Quality and clarity of final project: 75% A - Exceptional work. Both the ideas and execution of the project are exceptionally well-crafted, and the project was presented well at the final review. Drawings and models are of the highest quality, and expertly comminicate the essential aspects of the project. The project has a viable real estate strategy, which has been communicated in drawings and the presentation.The student offered frequent and inspired insight during class discussion. Work was consistently completed throughout the semester, and showed improvement as the semester went on. B - Very good work. Both the ideas and execution of the project are well-crafted. Drawings and models are of high quality, and comminicate the essential aspects of the project. The project has some sense of a real estate strategy, which has been communicated in drawings and the presentation.The student was a valuable contributor to class discussion. Work was completed throughout the semester, and showed improvement as the semester went on. C - Average work. Both the ideas and execution of the project are clear, but merely adequate. Drawings and models show basic compentency, and begin to comminicate the essential aspects of the project.

Assignment 1 Spaces and Actions Part 1 Research the urban issue you have been assigned as it pertains to Worli Koliwada. Format your findings in a slide show to be presented to the class. Due: Monday, May 12. Part 2 This part of the exercise will use as resources your memory, photographs, and field notes from our February visit to Worli Koliwada, your research from Part 1, and any online or textual sources you may be able to find.

D - Poor work. The ideas and execution of the project are poorly resolved. Drawings and models show lack of basic competencies. F - Very poor work.

Draw a sectional-axonometric of a segment of one street within Worli Koliwada, speculating upon the interior spaces of those buildings lining the street. The drawing should be a black and white line drawing. It should speculate upon the shared spaces, objects, and material resources within the scene drawn. Document the interaction between these spaces, objects, and material resources and the villagers, and the interaction between villagers around these physical resources. The buildings, spaces, objects, and urban actors within the scene should be meticulously drawn, and the drawing should include a system of notion intended to explain the interaction between the elements described. The result should be a dense choreography within an urban stage. Your drawing should highlight the urban issue you have been assigned, and should document the way in which this urban issue might unlock ideas of the common.

UD 742 – Worli Commons – Spring 2014


UD 742 – Worli Commons – Spring 2014

Assignment 2 Environment and Affect This assignment builds on the drawings you produced for Assignment 1. Using photographs of texture, tone and pattern, populate the axonometric drawings your produced for Assignment 1 with an impression of the sensibilities that comprise Worli Koliwada. Your drawings should condense an impression of the common experience of the village and the affectual attributes of the village’s urban environment that contribute to that experience. Your drawings may describe qualites of material elements in the urban environment, and immaterial networks of sensibility that seem immanent in the Village. Your drawing should highlight the urban issue you have been assigned, and should document the way in which affectual or sensible aspects of this urban issue might unlock ideas of the common.

Format: 22”x34” color on heavy weight bond. Due: May 21

UD 742 – Worli Commons – Spring 2014

assignment 1 Lily Gonzalez

final project Lily Gonzalez

final project Lily Gonzalez

final project Chen Lu

final project Chen Lu

MUD: Mumbai - Worli Commons  
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