Rapid urban growth and growing inequality has created a global crisis in housing that increasingly segregates the rich from the poor. Though not fully understood, there is a clear and parallel relationship between the size of a city and its level of socio-economic disparity: the larger the city, the less equal it tends to be. Physical and social segregation, which both reflects and perpetuates socio-economic disparity within a city, is a growing concern in cities worldwide - including Mumbai. The long-term success of a city depends on the collective well-being of all its inhabitants. To what extent can architecture support social inclusion and break down spatial segregation within the megacity?
arch out loud challenges competition entrants to design a mixed dwelling development on one of the last undeveloped sections of Mumbai’s coastline. Entrants will design for both the indigenous fishing community that has occupied the site for hundreds of years - as well as a new demographic drawn to the affluent neighborhood that now encompasses the site. Proposals should identify architectural and planning solutions that support integration between these socio-economically distinct communities.
Worli Koliwada sits on the northern tip of Worli, one of the seven original islands of Mumbai. Some of the village’s current inhabitants are direct descendents of the Koli that predate the Portuguese, who took control of the islands in 1534. There are nearly 40 koliwadas (fishing villages) in Mumbai, many of which are under threat due to steady declines in annual catch and competing development interests. In a city where land is regarded as the most precious resource, it may only be a matter of time before Worli Koliwada is replaced by more profitable ventures. In 2015, the village was sent a notice from the Slum Rehabilitation Authority to declare 22 plots as slums - the first step in claiming the land for future development. In December 2017, the SRA re-opened this contentious case against the opposition of most locals.
Worli Koliwada’s unique combination of historical, social, and environmental significance have protected it from the brazen development happening elsewhere in the city. What might a successful mixed dwelling development look like in Mumbai? Is there a way to capitalize on the city’s rich traditions and history without destroying them?
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