Sep '06 - May '08
so after a couple of tries over the weekend to collect the research i've done so far and my personal ideas regarding them, I've written up a beta abstract that more or less gets at what I'm thinking. Its still really raw, and I still need to figure out how to better integrate my ideological / theoretical interests with concrete, study-able phenomena, but this is what ive got so far .... its still way too lengthy to technically be an abstract, and i'm trying to figure out how to pare it down (and concurrently, streamline the logic behind it as well). constructive comments / criticism are very welcome.
MIGRATION AS A CIVIC ACT:
NEGOTIATING MODERN MUMBAI’S HYBRID URBAN TERRITORIES
ARJUN BHAT | SMARCHS ARCHITECTURE AND URBANISM
This thesis studies the case of urban migration in Mumbai, and proposes a design for a relocated administrative state government which would serve the additional function of facilitating the migration of new incoming urban migrants into Navi Mumbai. The thesis establishes how the city’s colonial development, characterized by specific patterns of both human and ideological migration, has created a condition of multiple imagined urban territories, which the city’s post-colonial, globalized urban development has largely failed to address. The project seeks to engage the city’s hybrid condition by understanding migration as a civic act, and establishing a new urban type within the city, one that facilitates future infra-urban migration, as a platform from which to address Mumbai’s new globalized hybrid public sphere. The study assumes the intermediary power of the built public work to provide a platform upon which the tensions between local, municipal, national, and global interests can be confronted and navigated.
The issue of globalized modernization vis a vis local pluralism arises a salient factor regarding case of Mumbai as a “late-industrializing” city: the current economic success of the city, which has largely been the result of advancements in the communications and I.T. services sector, was possible largely in part due to the prolific production of the informal services sector, which comprises more than 80% of Mumbai’s total service economy. This economic sector is primarily comprised of urban migrants, and in essence, provided an economic vibrancy which allowed Mumbai to overcome its infrastructural shortcomings in the inter-period between independence and its global emergence. Migration has played an essential civic role in the success of Mumbai.
Mumbai’s migration has also prompted one of the largest urban projects in Asia. In 1972, pressures upon the city in terms of congestion and overcrowding led to the government’s founding of Navi Mumbai, a twin city planned to absorb future migration by taking on the planned new seat of State Government, and serving as a new Metropolitan financial center. The Capital was not moved, however, and while the city has indeed become a successful upper and middle class economic center, it has largely failed in relieving the over-densification of the old city. Given the forthcoming development of a city-wide rapid transit system, the thesis examines the potentials of a re-invested look at moving the Capital with a new role – to serve in the facilitation of urban migration into Navi Mumbai through the provision of economic, literacy, and social welfare services. The urbanistic goal of the project is to promote, through both spatial and programmatic juxtaposition, a reciprocated civic exchange between the city’s leaders and its urban poor, creating a pluralist “third space,” and forging a strong statement as to the direction of Mumbai’s developing global identity.