Editor’s Note: This story is part of a campaign called Biodiversity by the Bay, run by Mumbai’s Ministry of Magic. The campaign is a citizen-driven environmental initiative to protect the rich biodiversity that lives in, or makes a stop in Mumbai on its migratory path elsewhere. The story is one in a series – An Architecture Student’s Vision for Building a Greener Mumbai – in which young architecture and urban planning students pen down their ideas for a sustainable future for development in Mumbai.
In India, historically water was an utmost significant resource for the communities as their religious, social & economic activities were truly dependent on the banks of a river. Ghats along the rivers were expressions of both social and cultural richness of cities. Whereas some cities, palaces, forts, and capitals were planned along river banks. Most of these cities could develop a distinct identitywith the river, guided by geography, climate, local resources & history. Through time and transformation, the traditional riverscape and its inherent Indianness gradually faded away. The identities of vibrant cities were lost to misplaced aspiration and imported perceptions.
Similar in the case of Mumbai, rapid urbanisation and haphazard growth has completely transformed the natural landscape which once consisted of hills, forests, riverine systems, creeks, and mangroves.