Register: APR/30/2018, Submit: MAY/01/2018, Eligibility: Designers, architects, professionals, students; individually, (interdisciplinary) teams up to 4 members which can be from different countries and universities, Fee: 55 USD (DEC/11/2017 – FEB/01/2018), 75 USD (FEB/02 – MAR/29/2018), 95 USD (MAR/30 – APR/30/2018), Awards: 1st Place 5,000 USD, 3 Runner-up Awards 1,000 USD each, 10 Honorable Mentions, Directors’ Choice Award
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. At 21.4 million people, Mumbai (India) is the fourth largest metropolitan region in the world, and more than half of the city population lives in slums. The price-to-income ratio, which measures the time it would take the average household to buy a home, is the second highest worldwide at 32 years – an unattainable goal for most.
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.
Additionally, entrants are asked to confront complex realities by addressing one or more site-specific and city-wide challenges:
- shortage of public open space
- threats to the historic and urban fabric
- annual monsoon flooding and rising sea levels
“To dwell means to belong to a given place.”
In 2008, for the first time in human history, the urban population surpassed the rural population worldwide; an additional 3 million people make the move each week.’The need to house more people in less space is a global challenge that navigates conflicts between profit and affordability, development and displacement, and private versus public interests.
Mixed-income housing strives to address these contradictions by accommodating various combinations of spatial, financial, and social needs with integrative strategies. Earlier attempts at social housing, such as the western public housing projects of the 1950s and 60s, failed in part due to geographic and social segregation. Inclusionary zoning, central to successful mixed-income housing developments, fosters social integration in economically diverse populations at the urban scale.
The housing crisis in Mumbai can be seen most clearly in the proliferation of slums, which house an estimated 62% of those in the city preper.’ Currently the City of Mumbai relies on private-public partnership (PPP) models for slum rehabilitation, providing government land to developers at minimal cost in exchange for in-situ high-density towers that house the displaced. In practice, these towers are plagued with severe problems that include cramped living quarters, insufficient amenities and open space, disregard for pre-existing modes of social interaction, shoddy construction and maintenance, and reinforced segregation from adjacent luxury towers.
DWELL seeks a more inclusive approach to development in the megacity, that brings together socio-economically disparate constituents in both the private and public realms. Through what strategies can architecture create places where all residents have a feeling of belonging and ownership?
Rapid urbanization and growing demands on limited land pose another global challenge – the loss of public open space. Along with affordable housing, open space is fundamental to a city’s social, economic, civic, and environmental success – but faces increasing threat from uncontrolled development and private interests.
Urban public space includes streets, boulevards, and sidewalks, as well as public open spaces such as parks, squares, recreational areas, natural assets, playgrounds, and other open public facilities. In Mumbai, shrinking open space is of particular concern: open space per capita is just 0.88 sqm per person, compared to New York City at 2.5, Tokyo at 6, and Delhi at 15. Part of the challenge lies in the current lack of accessibility and protection of existing open space in Mumbai; of the available 30 sq-km, only 40% is currently being used.
Designers should interpret the program as they feel best addresses the particular concerns of the brief. There is no required scale for the proposal.
The mixed-income housing development should address two distinct socio-economic populations:
1) Koli – The original settlers of Mumbai, and fishermen by trade. Traditional Koli homes include a veranda (oti) for weaving and repairing nets, a kitchen (chnoll a main room (vathan), and a worship room (devghar).
2) Worli – A new demographic drawn to this upscale neighborhood in central Mumbai with waterfront property and expensive views.
The project should include public open space that serves residents of the mixed dwelling development, residents of Worli Koliwada, and visitors from Mumbai and beyond. Consideration should be given to the site’s spectacularviews, position along the city’s western coast, land and water access, and current lack of public amenities such as toilets.
1) Threats to the historic and urban fabric – Worli Fort, built by the British in 1675, sits at the southern edge of the site and lends it historic significance. Urban plans of note include proposals to ease traffic congestion through ferry transportation or, more recently, the construction of a coastal highway along the city’s western coast.
2) Annual monsoon flooding and rising sea levels – Water plays an undeniable role in the future of Mumbai. The site boundaries are intentionally inexplicit, open to new possibilities in coastal architecture and planning.
3) City of Mumbai guidelines – The following links are provided for context and are not requirements:
- Floor Space Index maximum for koliwadas
- Heritage I site limitations
- Coastal Regulation Zone III protections
LOCATION – ISLAND CITY
Originally a cluster of small islands inhabited by fisherfolk, the megacity of Mumbai is now built on top of more reclaimed land than any other city in the warld. Its remarkable transformation in form, scale, and population has been achieved in just 300 years, and continues to rapidly change.
Drastic infill commenced in the 18th century with active reclamation and deforestation-induced siltation. Anthropogenic influence continues to shape the land, as seen in narrowing creeks and infilled tidal inlets due to regional development and mangrove destruction, and steady sea-level rise due to global climate change. These changes have put the city’s future in a perilous position, as demonstrated so clearly in the 2005 flood that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people.
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 descendants of the Koli that pre-date the Portuguese, who took control of the islands in 1534. The colony was handed over to the British in 1661, who built a fortlet in 1675 to surveil their coastal position. The fort was renovated in 2007 and retains its original footprint, and now houses an unofficial gym and temple. 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. On record, the 65-acre Worli Koliwada counts 457 dwellings, but over time residents have constructed additions and new structures for supplementary incnme. Population estimates range from 60,000 to 100,000, with a mix of Koli and migrants from around the country.
In 2009, the City of Mumbai opened the Bandra-Worli Sea Link (BWSL), a S250-million, 8-lane bridge that connects the western suburbs of Mumbai to its business center. The passage of more than 37,000 vehicles per day on the BWSL, which skirts the Worli Koliwada, has brought new attention to the previously hidden village.
Its existence comes as a surprise to some, given the affluent character of the rest of Worli – known for its luxury high-rises and celebrity residents. 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 lncals.”
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?