Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Historical Analysis through Maps

Sorry for a long break in between!!
MAPS: Maps are a visual representation of an area; they also depict the relationships between the spatial elements of that area. Maps are a tool that i am using for analysis of the research i have done for Ranwar and about Ranwar. They are indicative in nature and depict my viewpoint based on the various available data and resident interviews over the period of my study.
Please do leave your comments and feedback!

1) The Age map of all the heritage built-scape : This map indicates the age of buildings existing as of July 2010. All buildings built before 1934 are considered historically significant. The span of life of this built form ranges from 75- 200 years. The built scape belongs to a specific style of architecture and spatial character, which defines the cultural ethos of the community that occupies them. They need special attention in terms of conservation and regeneration.

2) The Age map of all the built scape : This map indicates the age of buildings existing as of July 2010. All buildings built before 1934 are considered historically significant. The span of life of this built form ranges from 75-200 years. One can see the stark difference in the built form in the last 25 years, which has juxtaposed itself against the older built form. This also in clear indicates the threat the old built form, which needs conservation in first priority is under the scare belt.

3) Comparison in between various village structures: This collage of maps shows the similar village structures of the community of the East Indian Catholics, whose ancestry comes from the profession of Paddy cultivation. They were converted to Christianity by the Portuguese around 1575 AD. These villages date back to 400 years of constant evolution with various house types. Today these villages are looked as prime properties for development in FSI (Floor Space Index), by the builders. Hence most have them have been declared Heritage Precincts by the Heritage Society of Mumbai (MMRDA), to protect a culture, lifestyle and architecture which defines the cultural ethos of all the suburbs they are from.

The structure of the village is defined by narrow streets, winding/zing zag lanes, house types of G or G+1 levels of local vernacular architecture influenced by the Portuguese and the British styles. They hold a similar pattern of evolution all along the cost of Konkan region. They congregations/huddled houses are normally found on infertile tracts of land, the foothills in most cases. The houses are very close to each other (mainly for security reasons) and their fields move outwards, towards the fertile landscape.

There is no planning that goes into the while the houses are being constructed, wherever there is space they used to construct. Also the houses in the village grew with the increase in family members to accommodate everyone. 

4) Probable Evolution of Ranwar : This collage of maps shows the probable evolution of Ranwar through the 400 years. It is an indicative probability mainly based on the sample interviews I had with the residents of Ranwar. It is also more so an example to show how villages of this nature and spatial character evolved around the Konkan coastline.
Ranwar, 1610:
The houses start to be build around paddy fields by the farmers. They build them in a cluster format close to each other mainly for security reasons. There are about 10 houses at this time and their fields are close by. There is no planning what so ever that goes into the building of a village. The land found perfect for construction is built on. Ranwar, comes from the word 'Ran', meaning forest and 'Wada/Wadi' meaning settlement, making it to 'Ranwada' and finally 'Ranwar'. This proves the existence of a forest around, maybe moving upwards to the Mt. Mary’s Hill. Ranwar was divided in to sections mainly due to its location just at the foothills. as marked in the map, the clusters in the east belonged to 'Wada chi Wadi', higher towards the hill, while the west side belongs to 'Het Wadi', lower towards the downhill. 
Maximum Height of built scape: 396 cm
Ranwar, 1710:
Everything remains same as in 1610, a few more houses have been added. 
Maximum Height of built scape: 396 cm
The families started getting bigger and the houses started extending. This is one of the main reasons of Evolution of a village of this kind.
Maximum Height of built scape: 670 cm
Ranwar, 1910:
The farmers start loosing their land to the British Government for development in exchange for an assured job with the govt. The clusters have become stronger and the roads have started getting definitions. A community has started growing. There is a sudden jump visible due to the rapid increase in population.
Maximum Height of built scape: 670 cm
Ranwar, 1960:

The communities start migrating to new places with new migrants entering. The village is loosing its character due to the rapid development by the new Indian Government. The village is saturated with built scape.
Maximum Height of buil scape: 1525 cm
Ranwar, 2010:
Things are changing rapidly and a culture, lifestyle and architecture that complement each other in a community like this is dying. There are several reasons for the same.
Maximum Height of built scape: 1525 cm and going higher and higher.

5) Effects on Ranwar before and after Reclamation: This map indicates the scenario of Bandra before and after the reclamation in 1972. The effects of which are seen in Ranwar directly in terms of wind circulation and lifestyle. The reclamation which took over the south sea portion affected a lot of spatial characters of precincts nearby. At one point it used to be the best docking station for ships as they were protected by the cup, created by the 3 forts (Bandra, Worli, and Mahim) around that area. The sea edge also called for a lot of activities like family hangouts and swimming for the young.

The Lifestyle of the people got affected as a result of both Ranwar and Bazaar road being landlocked. It got in a lot of traffic and the wind circulation has been disrupted.
In the map the blue area is the water edge, the one in the south was reclaimed in 1972 to make land for development, which connects to the main western expressway that takes most of the traffic of Mumbai. Towards the other water edge in north-west there are several high rises that have blocked all the view and wind. Also in between the ares full of concrete blocks and the green cover is reduced to a considerable level.

In the below Mumbai Map of 1954 (source unknown), we can see the image of Mumbai before the second reclamation took place. In the circle one can see the cup protected by the three forts of Bandra, Worli and Mahim very clearly. It is in the Third and the last reclamation of 1972 when the southern edge of Bandra and the western edge of Mahim were reclaimed for development. The Honourable Supreme Court put a prohibition on any further reclamation in the city by putting in effect the Costal Regulatory Zones.

The Historical analysis was mainly carried out to see the heritage aspect of Ranwar Precinct. But it is not just with the analysis of the historical aspect that things get clear, a lot more analysis was done to create the reference points of better understanding the current state of the Hamlet amongst the madness that Mumbai faces everyday.

No comments:

Post a Comment