Urban Coalescence: Employing the BGI model as a contemporary resolve for the socio-ecological concerns

Harnessing the unrealized potential of the Industrial Heritage, Mumbai.

Keywords: Climate Change, Blue-Green Infrastructure, Industrial Heritage, Mill     Lands.

The thesis identifies a need for a paradigm shift in the approach to solve the rising threats from climate change. Several global cities face issues of Urban flooding, rising temperature, deteriorating quality of life, urban spaces and infrastructure. In response these cities have altered their urban planning and design to incorporate nature-driven solutions as a counter to traditional infrastructure practices by harnessing blue elements (such as seas, rivers, lakes, wetlands, and water utilities) alongside green elements (such as trees, parks, gardens, playgrounds and forests).

The thesis explores opportunities of the Blue Green Infrastructure Model for the city of Mumbai to engage the derelict and underutilized grey infrastructure, that is, the Industrial Heritage. The methodology adopted identifies solutions and strategies at three scales, the Urban, Precinct/Neighborhood and Building/Complex scales and proposes a toolkit for Blue-Green-Grey infrastructure and Heritage. This approach shall aid the response to climate change, promote resilience and safeguard the Industrial heritage that is a key marker of the city’s development.

A vivid reminder of how today’s world came to be the way it is, when industry employed entire communities and provided the heartbeat for many towns and cities. In this respect these historic industrial landscapes deserve our closest attention.

 Therefore, the thesis aims to present a contemporary solution for the mill lands, while also utilizing them as infrastructure for the city’s inhabitants. The study attempts to formulate a framework that amalgamates the potential of the derelict and underutilized industrial heritage with the blue green infrastructure model to address the socio- ecological issues of the city of Mumbai.

In conclusion the approaches in conjunction aim to formulate a framework that will aid in strategizing contemporary solutions to contemporary issues and utilize the derelict industrial lands of the scale: due to their scale, availability, potential and heritage value. This shall be achieved through the BGI model which provides solutions that address the social-ecological and economic issues of the city. The model will function at three major levels- city, precinct and plot. The model will not only ensure development but also aim to develop strategies that maintain, enhance and revive the heritage value. The model will propose strategies that utilize the potential of these sites in amalgamation with elements that promotes neighborhood development that benefits the inhabitants and communities and makes them sustainable and promotes their social and economic growth along with accentuating the quality of life.

Text & Image Credit: Simran Mhatre | Urban Conservation | KRVIA 2022. Blog Cover Image Credit: DNA India

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