Belapur, Navi Mumbai
This project, located on six hectares of land about 2 km from the city centre of New Bombay, attempts to demonstrate how high densities (500 persons per hectare, including open spaces, schools, etc.) can be easily achieved within the context of a low-rise typology. The site plan is generated by a hierarchy of community spaces, starting with a small shared courtyard 8m x 8m around which seven houses are grouped. Each of these houses is on its own piece of land, so that the families can have the crucial advantage of open-to sky spaces (to augment the covered areas). Furthermore, they do not share any party-walls with their neighbours – which makes these houses truly incremental, since each family can extend their own house independently.
These houses cover almost the entire social spectrum from squatter families to the upper income brackets – yet, in order to maintain the fundamental principle of Equity, the sites themselves vary in size only marginally (from 45 sqm to 70 sqm). The form and plans of these houses are very simple, so that they can be built and extended by traditional masons and craftsmen-thus generating employment in the Bazaar Sector of the urban economy (i.e., exactly where they are needed for the new urban migrants).