Bombay-Nouveau by Urban Nouveau

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Bombay-Nouveau by Urban Nouveau

Architect Filipe Balestra of Urban Nouveau has sent us his proposal for a series of towers built in the swamps surrounding Mumbai, sketched out on a napkin.

Bombay-Nouveau by Urban Nouveau

Balestra's idea is to allow expansion of the city without displacing the rubbish dump, recycling centre and homes at the city's centre.

Bombay-Nouveau by Urban Nouveau

Urban Nouveau previously developed a proposal for sensitively revitalising slums, which was featured in the Dezeen Book of Ideas – on sale now for just £12.

Bombay-Nouveau by Urban Nouveau

Here's some text about the concept from Urban Nouveau:


Bombay - maximum city, surrounded by water - is just in time to pick up an evolutionary strategy for the benefit of all. Dharavi - in the heart of Bombay - is one of the world’s largest urban villages. It contains the city’s garbage recycling centre and is the home of the cleaners, the taxi drivers and the people without whom the current urban processes are unfeasible.

Bombay-Nouveau by Urban Nouveau

What if, instead of moving the people of Dharavi to the outskirts of the city and using that land to build new housing, offices and leisure... all the necessary program would be built inside towers which rise from the shallow swamps that surround the city, branding Bombay with a new perspective: from the water. Existing Bombay remains as it is, and is incremented naturally. Pressure withdraws from the city centre. Dharavi stays.

Bombay-Nouveau by Urban Nouveau

Boats and bridges connect the shore with the new islands. The islands are easy to build because the water level is low. The respect for local flora and fauna is the starting point of this environmental and socially sustainable process.

Bombay-Nouveau by Urban Nouveau

Urban Nouveau is an interdisciplinary platform which supports an open network of human beings solving problems of everyday life. Urban Nouveau declares itself elastic to bridge formal-informal, legal-illegal, city-countryside in order to achieve appropriate balance in every challenge. Combining improvisation and intuition with research and expertise while performing on local and global issues, Urban Nouveau thrives on collective evolution.

  • Sara

    A double strategy for the growth of Bombay and the preservation of Dharavi?
    I believe in it!

  • A-L

    Sounds smart. I agree with you Sara ;)

  • A K

    Utter crap!! And Most insensitive work. The images here give a very wrong perception of the Urban fabric of Mumbai. And the idea of developing these towers, is so insensitive that if the idea is realized, it might be a disaster for the city.

    Dezeen, please judge the posts, CRITICALLY and then publish them. In my opinion, Such irrational and non- descriptive sketches on tissue paper napkins from "influential people" should not be published.

  • sten

    frank gehry's AGO was proposed on a napkin as well? biter?

  • Suvin

    Brilliant. The 'islands' would have the benefit of both water views & land views.

    Can already see ring roads built along the periphery of the swamps to link up all islands.

  • tsujitakuma

    メタボリズムの失敗はスラムのもつ土着的なエネルギーによって乗り越えられよう
    The combing energy of the Urban Village will be beyond the failure of Metabolism of Japan

  • tsujitakuma

    メタボリズムの失敗はスラムのもつ土着的なエネルギーによって乗り越えられよう

  • ooo

    on a napkin?

  • Carlos Pedro Sant’Ana

    The Napkin is always the same. This is stupid photoshop to look cool…

  • xtiaan

    yes we all know how wonderfully towers work in economically depressed areas, is the napkin a metaphor for this being a throwaway idea?

  • xoxo

    next time they should sketch proposals in the sand. if they're thinking sustainability to the extreme!

  • http://www.urbz.net Matias

    Of the countless nonsensical ideas for Dharavi, this one takes the cup. Maybe Urban Nouveau should get in touch with Mukesh Mehta – the former adviser to the government on the Dharavi Redevelopment Project who was recently fired – and inspire him with more cynical utopia.

    I’ve got no issue with tissues but it is sad that even people who have spent time thinking about these matters cannot see beyond the slum and the high-rise. There is a rich world in-between to which Dharavi belongs, if only creative minds could think beyond binaries.