2021 CAT A - Catch me if you can; Coexistence with the rising waters
Mumbai is at risk of being submerged in the sea by 2050, a threat putting lives of millions in danger and making permanent changes to its already collapsing ecology. This project explores the context of urban resilience in relation to sea level rise in congested and conflicting urban environments, where decision makers and social classes hold very opposing views. This proposal steps away from conventional sea level rise adaptation measures and advocates flexible initiations. That comes from a belief that complex changes caused by climate change seek ideas of gradual transitions, that follow rhythms, cycles and uncertainties of nature, rather than end scenarios. It builds on the resilience of city’s most vulnerable groups, coastal urban villages and informal settlements as they are continuously being overlooked as stakeholders in climate adaptation policy and planning and furthermore ignored by formal flood mitigation measures. The project advocates science-based and community-informed types of planning and design process.
Catch me if you can project works across scales, different natural, socio-economic systems and spatial conditions. It proposes a city-wide network, coastal acupuncture, which aims to locally grow adaptation measures from strategically located coastal settlements - catalysts. It expands the existing makeshift adaptation practices by low income residents with horizontally dynamic measures. It blurs the notion of an edge from a single line into a wider coastal zones, thresholds of opportunities. Further on it proposes a strategic toolbox of strategies based on community needs, availability of local resources, specific spatial configurations and natural conditions. It consists of Coping, Re-Inhabiting and Scaling with more specific sub-steps, that aim for a coexistence between water, land and people. Developed pathway and spatial initiations are based on the conditions of indigenous Koli communities and suggest multifunctionality, slow transitions and community involvement. Indigenous practices of working and living with nature become a part of climate adaptation project which aspires for a territorial symbiosis and restores a relationship between land, people and water.
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