CHARLES CORREA

CERTAINLY ARCHITECTURE IS CONSIDERED WITH MUCH
MORE THAN JUST ITS PHYSICAL ATTRIBUTES.
It IS A MANY LAYERED THING.BENEATH AND BEYOND THE
STRATA OF FUNCTION AND STRUCTURE AND MATERIALS
LIES THE DEEPEST AND COMPULSIVE LAYERS OF ALL

DELHI Incremental Housing Gandhi Ashram Belapur Kanchanganga Gun House. Jawaharlal Nehru Kendra Housing AMHEDABAD . PROJECTS British Council.

You start with a basic house. but you have to let people change it to their own needs. .Charles Correa • Correa discussed housing and the importance of people to be involved in determining its design and use.“ .Concept Of A Smart City "Making housing is like a bird building its nest.

This led to the rapid growth of the informal sector and formation of slums in inner-city locations. encompassing its economic basis as a port and centre of maritime trade. in the late eighteenth century the city was joined by land reclamation to the larger Salsette Island in the north by the British. its settlement and mobility patterns. its skills and employment. spread from its colonial centre in the south towards the north in several developmental waves. neighbouring cotton mills. driving up prime real estate prices in the south and threatening to push much of the city’s poorer and lower-middle class population – the backbone of the city’s workforce and wealth generation – out into ever more distant suburbs in the north. the sea has shaped Mumbai. surrounded by water not on one or two. • Originally situated on a handful of small islands around fifteen kilometres from the nearest mainland shore. by the early 1960s things were reaching a critical pitch. as well as its relations with the neighbouring mainland and other regional inland locations. the two main north-south commuter train lines were becoming dangerously congested. • The practice of simply extending the city’s boundaries further north while retaining the high concentration of jobs on the reclaimed southern promontory was more or less successful for much of the eighteenth to mid-twentieth centuries. The city was becoming the most densely inhabited place on the planet with some of the lowest open spaces per capita. It floats on a narrow tongue of land. emerging like a mirage above the waves. Throughout the city’s history. Mumbai-The Problem • In geographical terms. docks. perhaps like no other city in India or indeed in the world. but three sides. The sea defines Mumbai. most of which were built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. then called Bombay. Mumbai. • The city’s original centre included its port. fort. • Bombay’s population growth was exploding. the city of Mumbai is that rarest of places: a city far out at sea. • The city was quickly turning into an urban “sprawl machine” attracting more and more migrants. a railway terminus and other public institutions. merchandise warehouses and subsequent business districts. as many workers preferred to live in inner-city slums rather than in proper accommodation in far-away suburbs. . At the same time. However.

5 million in the years leading up to the Second World War to 4. Pravina Mehta and Shirish Patel. . and was predicted to double by 1984. • Following much public support and extensive deliberation. which would eventually become the largest planned city of the twentieth century. • The proposal would also integrate the areas on the mainland rim. suggesting to re-structure the north-south developmental pattern into an east- west one centred around Bombay Harbour. • There seemed to be no practical conception of how to deal with this self-perpetuating “one-way street” of urban development. By 1965. It opened up entirely new perspectives on the future development of Bombay and its hinterland. the basic proposals were accepted by the state government in 1970. • The very advantages that the sea and land reclamation had offered Bombay were rapidly turning into an unmanageable burden. • Along with two of his colleagues. Correa submitted a memorandum to the Bombay Municipality in 1964. into a new polycentric urban structure.5 million in 1964. A new city was to be planned. • This was innovative thinking. and represented the first concerted effort at decentralising the urban functions of Bombay.New Mumbai Insight • Bombay’s population jumped from 1. called New Bombay. had it not been for the vision of Charles Correa. municipal limits had already reached the northern end of Salsette Island – today’s suburb of Mira Bhayandar – meaning that the city sprawled over a continuous 45- kilometre stretch from the south to the north. some 20 kilometres east of the old centre of Bombay.

Their aim was to settle at least four million people in New Mumbai. Large bridges then made it possible to create a direct link with the old centre. and Charles Correa headed it as chief architect from 1970 to 1974. thus containing the spread of further emergency accommodation and creating enough new jobs. Mumbai-City Needs A Twin • The government did not finally accept this plan until 1970. when it started to buy land east of Mumbai old town. so that there was now nothing else in the way of the actual goal of a new commercial centre with a new urban structure. • The City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO) was founded. .

Mumbai-City Needs A Twin • There were two key aspects to be dealt with: creating living space and setting up mass transport systems. . • The intention was to carry out real town planning here.000 inhabitants. and a start made by designing 1000 dwellings for 350. for which Correa produced a development plan. the building development structures. i. is now part of New Mumbai.e. • The southern sub-centre called Ulwe. building heights and street width etc.. rules were fixed. with the colonial British planning in Old Mumbai definitely providing a model: a development and use plan was drawn up in co-operation with CIDCO.

New Mumbai Insight • Planning for New Mumbai . formerly Bombay. . and Bombay became the centre for the shipment of goods. • So the world focused its interest on Indian cotton. with a population of about twelve million at the time of writing. • But Bombay did not start to flourish until 50 years later. Mumbai‘s particular topography – it is a long. when the turmoil of the Civil War cut off American cotton export. • Britain‘s efforts as a colonial power 200 years ago were directed at “citifying” something that was essentially a withdrawn little town because of its outstanding location as a harbour and trading centre. northwards. narrow peninsula – meant that the constantly needed extension of the city limits was possible in one direction only. • The huge city is growing by many thousand hopeful immigrants from predominantly rural areas each day. is the commercial and financial centre of India.

where commercial life developed and population density and land prices are highest. with the aim of establishing New Mumbai. the port became the largest in India. . Journeys lasting several hours on express trains had to be accepted if people were to get to work. but use an eastern site cut off by a sea bay for urban expansion. • As early as 1964. and rapid urban expansion created the problem of a housing shortage and a proliferation of emergency accommodation. a state of affairs that eventually reached its natural limits. is at the southern end of the peninsula. • The extreme expansion of the urban area to one side of a fixed commercial centre created Mumbai‘s major problems of long transport routes. • The centre of Mumbai. New Mumbai INSIGHT • Ultra-fast growth began. now and then. Charles Correa with his colleagues Pravina Mehta and Shiresh Patel proposed to the Mumbai city authorities that they should not expand any further northwards.

and transport with adequate stopping points. public buildings. • Urban quality in the sense of an ambience appropriate to human scale meant considering factors like varied living space dependent on urban density. fixed structure – and thus inimical to the Indian free spirit – has been under construction for several decades. public buildings and areas. green areas and transport links with buses and trains. with room for natural growth. This ambitious. • The complexity of a city as an urban organism meant that flexibility had to be a factor as well. numbers of floors and street and rear façades. New Mumbai-A Smart City • Every income group was to be considered here. masonry buildings for middle income groups and apartments for high earners. • Correa developed a complex and flexible urban structure for Ulwe. . structures like neighbourhoods and quarters. with fixed building height. but at the same time laid down strict building guidelines to guard against Indian urban sprawl: urban blocks as the basic structure. • An urban centre offered administration. and also fixed use dependent on position within the city. and cost/use factors devised in categories. also sufficient green areas and open spaces. for example clay or bamboo buildings for lower income groups.

New Mumbai .

New Mumbai .