UCL Urban Laboratory


Vertical Mumbai - 3D urbanism in twenty-first-century Asia

06 December 2017, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Vertical Mumbai - 3D urbanism in twenty-first-century Asia

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IAS Seminar Room 19, First Floor, South Wing, UCL Wilkins Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT

The Centre for the Study of South Asia and the Indian Ocean World will host Dr Andrew Harris (UCL Geography / UCL Urban Laboratory) for a lunchtime seminar, 'Vertical Mumbai: 3D urbanism in twenty-first-century Asia'.

This paper uses a focus on Mumbai to explore upward trajectories in contemporary urbanism. It details unprecedented scales, quantities and innovations of high-rise construction in Mumbai over the last decade, and a growth in forms of vertical urban mobility. It is suggested these vertical trends are a clear signal and component of a new Asian century of inter-referenced urbanisation and 'hyper-building'. However, the paper argues these vertical trends need to be understood as more than simply a response to rapid population growth and space constraints. The recent verticalisation of Mumbai is identified as a central feature of a dramatic fracturing of urban space in the city, and indicative of key social and political disjunctures in the Asian world-class metropolis.

Dr Andrew Harris is Co-Director of the UCL Urban Laboratory, convenor of the Urban Studies MSc and Senior Lecturer in the UCL Department of Geography. He has worked extensively on the role of culture and the visual arts in urban regeneration strategies, with expertise in London and Mumbai.