Selected Entries 2019

Housing Redevelopment Of Worli Koliwada

Aakash Dave
Indubhai Parekh School of Architecture | Rajkot

‘Home’ is a process of creating and understanding forms of dwelling, culture, belonging
and identity.
Mumbai gets its name from Mumbadevi, the goddess of the Koli community, the indigenous fishing community whose links with Mumbai date back to the time when it was an archipelago of seven islands. Having lived here for centuries, the Kolis are hereditary landowners. Worli Koliwada locates on the northern tip of Worli, one of
the seven original islands of Mumbai.
Inside this urban village are meandering streets filled with colorful homes which have gained an identity due to a history of participatory and incremental development densifying it with a mix of Kolis and migrants from around the country. Throughout the years, the fabric of the village has been moulded by the local residents who have built houses, shops and temples, and have actively participated in the local administration imparting the residents with an overall sense of culture and belonging.
The Koliwada has seen the transformation of Bombay to Mumbai over centuries and has struggled to fit into
the city’s mosaic of contemporary urban culture. The village today faces a series of problems like migratory and demographic shifts, encroachments, scanty waste management, and substandard infrastructure. Adding to this, pollution of the sea water has led to poor catches amongst the Koli fishermen, forcing them to leave their
inherent occupation posing a threat to the community.
In recent years, after the construction of the Bandra-Worli sea link, the village has come under new light amongst the government and developers. In response, the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) has proposed redevelopment for the village. MHADA has taken through many redevelopment projects for Koliwadas, leading to severe consequences on the Kolis residing in these chawl like houses; destroying business related activities and further alienating the aboriginal fisherfolk from their original living space, profession, trade and the city.
On a broader picture, this is the state of housing today, modern planning methods and the way these projects are financed do not allow the kind of incremental growth and user participation necessary for such villages to come to life. The tendency is for entire colonies to be built and sold to consumers, who buy/rent, but have little
say on the physical evolution and social activities of where they live.
The thesis aims to take an approach by having the user to play a bigger role in the making of their homes where the architect intervenes in a subtle manner, laying out guides, which the user infers/selects from adding a bit of their own, in turn, giving rise to something unique. While the master planning focuses on the redevelopment keeping the community’s social and professional needs and tries to retain the essence of the urban village with an intent to preserve, reconnect and strengthen the centuries-old community with the social system and the city.