21 October 2009

Yellow caterpillars go for a walk in Bandra

Went to see the much talked about 'yellow caterpillars' of Bandra East and loved it! I think it works beautifully connecting people almost effortlessly from the Bandra Kurla Complex to the Railway station above some uncrossable roads, slums and murderous traffic. Even the design of this elevated walkway is quiet nice with its simplicity and lightness, sadly thanks to a few narrow-minded historians and critics the design of the other elevated walkways being constructed across the city has been changed to a much more heavier and bulky look and feel.!

Here's lots of photos of it:
As I walked on this I was constantly thinking of two amazing Utopian visions for the city: Constant Nieuwenhuys' New Babylon and Yona Friedman's inhabitable bridges.

Wouldn't it be great if this simple need to get people to and away from the railway stations could in fact be the genesis for an alternate model for the growth of this crazy metropolis?

So what would happen when these structures start growing - longer and taller - spreading a web of streets in the sky... Couldn't they start housing small shops.. houses... and eventually an entire city - a New New Bombay perhaps!!

To all the short-sighted critics out there I will quote Yona Friedman :

“We all know
how cities are
they can eventually,
become different”

Here's a few interesting links on how different architects/planners have dealt with various urban visions using bridges and elevated walkways:

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