Theory & Discourse
City| Landscape: A Rumination | Sriganesh Rajendran
LA 56
Regardless of the sea, creeks, streams and a forest core, Mumbai evokes the metaphor of a 'concrete jungle'. To appreciate the city's natural landscape and ecological structure it is essential to look for clues in between its frenetic development. Transects across the city reveal a range of urban patterns and form. They also identify rocky foreshores, sandy beaches, tidal flats, marshlands, creeks and plains from the south to the north. A similar sequence is seen from the Thane creek on the east to the Arabian Sea along the west. The forested hills of Borivali National Park cohesively bind these, creating an intrinsic landscape pattern..
Intrinsic landscape

Mumbai's evolution from a natural archipelago to its present amalgamated landform is well known and forms a typical narrative beginning from the reclamation of seven islands. Peeking into prehistory takes us into a landscape that formed roughly 65 million years ago, coeval with the disappearance of dinosaurs. This landscape witnessed the Indian subcontinent's migration towards the Asian plate until 35 million years before present. Thus, a long period of sea level changes, volcanic flows and geochemistry became causal factors in the genesis of a terrain that would be seen by mapmakers from the sixteenth century onwards.
In this terrain, the relative orientation of hills in the 'Bombay islands' and Salsette, Elephanta and Trombay suggest an apparent parallelism. Broadly speaking, the eastern faces of Mumbai's hills exhibit a homogenous and compact structure, while the western sides are more weathered and heterogeneous. This influenced the siting of rock-cut caves at Salsette island (1st century BCE to 9th century CE), and the occurrence of the famed 'Kurla' and 'Malad stone' cladding seen on colonial buildings (mid-eighteenth-nineteenth century CE). The differential cooling of the lava flows created some remarkable features such as Gilbert Hill, Andheri, with its perfect polygonal columnar jointing, nearly 50 m high, while contact with sea water gave rise to 'pillow' shaped rock formations, as seen at Malabar Hill and Haji Ali. Many hillocks in the city retain only a vestigial elevation due to quarrying (e.g. Jari Mari, Hanuman Tekdi, Cumballa Hill etc.). The aforementioned Gilbert Hill-a National Geological Monument-originally covered a greater area; what remains is sandwiched by high-rise buildings.

 


ISSUE NO: 56
Tribute
Remembering Mahesh Tarachand Paliwal

Dr Aarti Grover

Mumbai
Reading Mumbai

Shilpa Gaurish Chandawarkar


CITY | LANDSCAPE: A Rumination
Sriganesh Rajendran


The Resilient River: Rejuvenation Of Mithi River
Priyajit Pandit

'Colonial Fantasy' To Contemporary Hubris-
One More Attempt At Reclaiming Backbay

Hussain Indorewala

Managing City's Environment
In conversation with Dr Prasad Modak

Seeking Answers, Constructing New Questions
In conversation with Ravindra Punde


Mirrored Modernities: Movies And Myth / Marine Drive And Dharavi
Rohan Shivkumar


Manto And The City Called 'Bombay'
Amrita Kaur Slatch& Mohammed Esa Shaikh


Re-Reading Mumbai: The Landscape Of Narratives
Nisha Nair-Gupta

The Parsi Baugs: How India's Small Community Has Claimed Its Space
Farishte Irani

Experiencing Publicness
Saylee Soundalgekar

Public Realm: Mumbai
Trupti Talmale

Documenting Historic Urban Landscape
In conversation with Abha Narain Lambah

From Landscapes To Landscape Practices -
Woven Invisibly In The City Fabric

Urmila Rajadhyaksha
Landscape Conservation
Nurturing Culture

In conversation with Shiraz Allibhai

Competition
Urban Design Challenge 2018: A Design Ideas Competition

Anamika Bagchi

Seeing the Unseen
The Story Of Fig

Mike Shanahan

Book Review Traversing Through The "Sen'trees' Of Mumbai"
Book: Sen'Trees' Of Mumbai

Review by Khushboo Adhiya


The Architecture Of Love And Longing
Book: Gardens Of Love: Stories Of A Marriage

Review by Keki N. Daruwalla

Born Of A Deep Love For People And Place
Book: Brinda Somaya: Works & Continuities

Review by Dr Aruna Ramani Grover

Garden Calendar
Autumn-Winter

Grotech Landscape Developers Pvt. Ltd.







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