Project description by jury
The proposal tackles issues linked to unhealthy fishing practices and the lack of adequate sanitation systems in Mahim Koliwada, a neighborhood of Mumbai that emerged from an ancient fishing village. Starting from a bottom-up approach that involves several stakeholders, including the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) of Mumbai, NGOs and community members, the project suggests new multipurpose infrastructures for the district. The design focuses on different zones of intervention moving from the river to the urban front. On the coastline, new jetties and farm areas improve fishing activities; next to them, community spaces mingle with fish equipment storage and a recycling center; a third zone allocates facilities for fish cleaning and drying operations as well as a kindergarten and workshops; finally, a segment facing the urban front hosts an open market, community kitchens, an Internet café and a center for compost and biogas production. The project also aids the mangrove ecosystem recovery of the Mithi River to reduce the risk of flooding and trap trash in the water. In so doing, the infrastructure gives rise to new dynamics of water, waste, and energy management within the community, that offer a high potential in generating sustainable businesses and a strong basis for circular economy models.
Showcasing the possible intervention in Mahim Koliwada, the project suggests in a very realistic and convincing way how the Koliwadas of Mumbai can acquire a new centrality in the city’s layout and economic organization. The Holcim Awards jury Asia Pacific recognized that operations of this kind can effectively bring new social and economic legitimacy to remote districts of Mumbai and help avoid long-distance commuting. The quality of the drawings that skillfully communicate the idea of a respectful and considerate transformation was found highly commendable.
People: Community participation and social inclusion
The project adopts a community participation and bottom-up planning approach because of its potential to achieve sustainable outcomes. Different stakeholders such as the UDRI (Urban Design Research Institute of Mumbai), NGOs, and community members take part in it to generate trust and commitment regarding its implementation. Furthermore, the project understands sanitation is intrinsically linked to equity and social inclusion. Collective livelihoods – such as community kitchens, places to dock, and to sell fish – are part of the new transitional infrastructures. Also, the definition of an organizational structure of blocks in Mahim sets up a governing mechanism from which the settlement can grow, considering ongoing negotiations over land rights and demarcation.
Planet: Sanitation as ecology
The project moves towards a renewed and comprehensive approach to urban sanitation, understood as an ecology of interdependencies. Water, trash, and energy management within the community, together with livelihoods and fishing practices, create an integrated lifecycle that occurs in the proposed infrastructures. In the new business and circular economy model, all these work together in a closed-loop of material resources and management issues, including waste separation, composting, biogas, and renewable energy generation. An interface with the water protects the entire Mahim village from the flooding season and collects waste, by the reconstruction of the mangrove's ecosystem of the Mithi River.
Place: Hybrid infrastructures and local livelihoods
The proposed hybrid infrastructures allow fishing activities accompanied by local livelihoods to take place. Zone A proposed for docking and farming; Zone B for community space and fishing equipment provision; Zone for C for cleaning and drying fish together with workshops; and Zone D for a fishing market, community kitchens and internet café. The new multifunctional infrastructures are composed of two parts. Service point areas constructed in brick locate the main sanitation infrastructures. Exterior flexible and adaptable bamboo structures - a local material of shorter lifecycle-accommodate fishing activities but also new livelihood opportunities. They conform seasonal, adaptable, and resilient spaces that absorb the intensifying flux that the fishing villages experience.See more
Koliwadas, the traditional fishing communities of Mumbai, are becoming more and more marginalized. This project aims to rehabilitate Mahim Koliwada with new infrastructure developed in collaboration with the community. Four intervention zones from the coast to the city edge are planned. In the first zone, new jetties will support fishing activities, followed by storage facilities for equipment and a new recycling center. In a connecting zone, seafood processing, workshops, and community functions will be located. The fourth zone will accommodate a community kitchen, market, and plaza. The project also supports the restoration of the mangrove ecosystem in the Mithi River, thereby reducing the risk of flooding.
“My project rethinks sanitation infrastructure as an instrument to integrate marginalized communities into the city,” explains winner Soledad Patiño from Harvard, MA, USA: “It understands sanitation as an ecology of interdependencies that affect everything from sewage treatment to water supply.” The jury says that the project will give the Mahim Koliwada new social and economic significance. “It’s a truly holistic approach,” praises Marilyne Andersen: “It has a deep understanding of life in such a place and combines it with aesthetic.”Read more »
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Next Generation 1st prize winner Soledad Patiño, architect and urban designer, Harvard Graduate School of Design, MA, …
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