Exploring everyday urbanism and “cultural territories” in the context of Mumbai

Cases of Chinchpokli Precinct, Ville Parle east market, Shitladevi temple, Mahim precinct.

Author: Suruchi Didolkar | Krvia – Post Graduate Program | 2020

Keywords: Everyday urbanism, Third place, Cultural Territories, Place-making.

This Research is a spatial exploration of everyday life within a ‘cultural territory’ to assess, design and create socio-culturally implicit spaces which are being hampered due to rapid urbanization process. Everyday spaces and its life represent the socio-cultural practices with user associational values, knowledge-ability and familiarities with the surroundings leading to place attachment. Here ‘cultural territory’ means the everyday practices and their values additions over time leading to cultural significance and identity of a place.

The research focused on Mumbai’s urban form with rapidly transforming neighborhoods affecting the everyday life and socio-cultural structure. In the recent trends of development it is observed that, immense urbanization stress are imposing everyday spaces to be looked as a ‘real estate’ land resource rather than a social opportunity leading to non-livable cities. Hence, this thesis argues that having understood the planning systems, the development plan do tackle the urbanization pressures but neglects the micro level neighborhood/ territorial planning qualities to address the timely existing socio-cultural& informal attributes of everyday life & spaces.

The framework formulation was the second step after situating the research argument. Through theoretical framework, this thesis amalgamated ‘Third place’ theory (People – meanings)by Ray Oldenburgand ‘cultural territories’ theory(Form – Activity – Meaning) by Montgomery to derive FORM – ACTIVITY – PEOPLE (tangible and intangible) parameters to access the everyday life. An enquiry through research question was the checking point that How would the amalgamation of ‘Cultural Territories’ and ‘Third place’ concepts aid in reviving the social, cultural and physical aspects of everyday life in an urbanized context of Mumbai?

Selection of cases as ‘cultural territory’ are based on Macro level -Fine grain, Precinct with cultural production (traditional livelihood practices or festivals) , precinct along a major transit node, informal user networks, and redevelopment & regeneration process at rapid stage. Micro Level – typology of Public realms at street and block level with less active in quite residential neighborhoods, overcrowding in commercial based neighborhoods & decaying quality like in historic cores). Case wise Issues and concern were respectively analyzed to formulate strategies.

The last stage to this thesis is to demonstrate interventions – spatially imaginative interventions using urban design tool kits and regulatory frameworks using urban local codes to demonstrate case wise Tactical and strategic nature of interventions. It also suggests regulatory guidelines to sensitively tackle the current trends of development and practices overcoming urbanization and monotonous standardization in an urban setting.

Text & Image Credit: Suruchi Didolkar | Krvia – Post Graduate Program

Click the following link for panels:  https://app.conceptboard.com/board/aiod-6ex1-quin-fpbm-49sq

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