The Bombay Greenway Project
THE BOMBAY GREENWAY PROJECT:
Turning the railways into greenways…
The Railway in Bombay defines the linear city & dictates how 7 million people travel daily!
The Railway into Greenway proposal envisions a 21st century greenway over the existing railway lines; 166kms of continuous, flat, traffic & stress free space to encourage active modes of transportation & healthy city living!
THE BOMBAY GREENWAY PROJECT:
A City Divided:
The railways run through the city like a river: long & linear holding the city together like a spine!
Unfortunately, the City stands divided into East & West, the South & West being the more exclusive, being closer to the developed seafront.
All peak hour travel is North-South in the morning & South-North in the evening.
Advantages to the railways:
• The proposal does not do away with the existing system, instead it chooses to improve the interconnectivity, beautify all existing railway stations, & create the potential for newer stations.
• Safety: Railway crossing accidents would be reduced; currently about 10 people die daily (3700 per year) while crossing railway tracks!!! Thousands are injured yearly.
• These dedicated corridors would also allow for faster & better train services.
• Sound pollution due to the trains could be better contained & dramatically reduced.
• Heat gain on the trains could be reduced, allowing for more effective & economical air-conditioning.
• Rain water lost yearly could be harvested; incidents of flooding could be controlled.
• All stations would be elevated; platforms & trains services would be unaffected.
• All ticketing & entry could be modernised & security improved.
• The redesigned stations would have public conveniences such as toilets as also revenue generating concessions – flow-er shops, book sellers, coffee shops & restaurants.
• The existing overhead equipment could be updated & laid on the underside of the greenway, eliminating expensive accidents that are currently common
Advantages to the City:
The Greenway would have pedestrian & cycling pathways to encourage ‘active modes of transport’ for daily commute or even for leisure activities.
The proposal aims to:
• make people once again walk, run & cycle in clean parks & re-introduce ‘active modes of transport’
• make public spaces “green” & accessible to anyone anywhere in the city
• bridge the east-west divide that is currently dictated by the over ground railway system
• lessen traffic congestion & air pollution
• create panoramic city views
• address the city\\\’s needs for more open spaces that are both attractive & safe
• create spaces for leisurely activities (reading & picnics)
• create spaces for the arts: public performances, art installations
• create spaces for daily markets
• introduce the concept of urban farming
• create a safe & secure environment
It is a complete self-sustainable model that will improve Bombay’s infrastructure.
• It will carry all the major services: electrical, gas pipelines, water supply & communication lines.
• Rainwater harvesting will solve Bombay’s water problem.
• The water used for toilets, cafes etc. will be recycled & used for landscaping purposes.
• Solar lighting systems & other modern green methods shall be used to meet the energy demands.
Bombay is a city that is bereft of accessible open spaces & lacks greenery.
The proposal aims to re-introduce indigenous trees to enhance local biodiversity, to reduce high carbon footprint, to pro-vide shade in Bombay’s perennial heat & to help the local bird population. The trees would work as a privacy screen for neighbouring buildings & enhance the views of the neighbourhood
Exercise & Leisure:
The Greenways are beyond basic transportation needs. The mornings for the fitness-oriented, mid-days for lunch goers, evenings for family outings, and shows at night.
The proposal does not only seek to address the North-South nature of the Railways but also to allow for a greater East-West interconnectivity. We have also proposed connections in several areas allowing for a system of interchangeable modes of transport with government & public participation. A rentable cycle scheme would allow a person to walk, cycle & use the train to his destination without owning any means of transportation but having full access to them.
Alan Abraham, Abraham John ARCHITECTS
Category: Urban Planning and Urban Design