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MUMBAY MAPPING

An Ongoing Morphological and Urban Evolution

MUMBAY MAPPING
By Andrea Boschetti -

After Barcelona we move on to India, to a city that is as unique as it is complex: Mumbai (or Bombay as it was known at least until 1995). We will be analyzing the city through our customary six maps obtained by directly processing up-to-date GIS data available on the web. The first map examines population density. An initial reading of this map leads us on to the other maps regarding, respectively: employee density, the orographical lie of the land, service density, public transport and how green spaces are structured. With more than 12 million inhabitants, Mumbai is India’s most populous city. The metropolitan area is one of the world’s most highly-populated (more than 21 million inhabitants), but above all it is the most densely-populated city in the world, with more than 30,000 inhabitants per square kilometre. Mumbai is built on an elongated strip of land crisscrossed by waterways, consisting of islands connected via bridges that jut some 40 km out into the Indian Ocean. As the population map shows, the peninsula is dotted with densely-inhabited areas, crowned by the Dharavi District, to the east of Mahim Bay, and to the south, around the Back Bay Gulf, Kamathipura, which is the oldest part of town. The map of how workers are distributed essentially overlaps resident density, confirming Mumbai’s strong “mixed-use” vocation. The infrastructure map reveals a kind of longitudinal filigree running north-south along the peninsula. To the east, the Eastern Freeway runs to the industrial port area; through the middle, the Eastern Express Highway goes to Back Bay in the South; and to the west, the Western Express Highway bypasses Mahim Bay over the Banda Worli Sea Link bridge. The orographic map shows that water is a key element for understanding the urban layout. The morphology we see today is the result of a process of gradual land reclamation from the sea. Originally, the entire area of today’s metropolitan sprawl consisted of...

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