If architect P. K. Das?s vision for the city, summed up in his 2012 exhibition ?Open Mumbai: Let?s Expand Public Spaces?, seemed ambitious, Alan Abraham?s ?The Bombay Greenway Project? seems like wishful thinking. Abraham, who runs Abraham John Architects and is brother to actor John Abraham, envisions a sort of green terrace that runs as a continuous open space above the city?s railway lines.
The greenway would have paths for cyclists and pedestrians, spaces for public performances, markets, urban farming and picnic spots, a water harvesting system and a rent-a-cycle scheme that would allow commuters to walk, cycle and take the train, all in one journey, to their destinations. The plan, which is an entry for the Cycling Visionaries Award hosted by the Vienna-based conference Velo-city, aims to reduce traffic congestion and air pollution and link the eastern and western parts of the city that are poorly connected by train.
As open spaces are in short supply and in constant danger of being built over, elevated terraces could well be a reality. But as our authorities lack the will and imagination to create open spaces on land, we wouldn?t hold our breath for aerial ones.
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April 18, 2013
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