Bombay is a city that never gives up. In its relentless pursuit of surviving and enduring the darkest of odds, it has become a city that always fights back and comes back stronger. This is our ode to that city we have all grown to love. We strongly believe that the future is optimistic, and it is our responsibility as designers and artists to pull out magical utopias from the darkest of dystopias. Speculative narratives of a future city should hence look brighter and pose important questions that shape our actions today.
How do we create inclusive visions of future cities with space for everyone? What will the state of power dynamics be in a future where all land is unfarmable and water is the most valuable resource?
These questions shaped our speculations of a Bombay in the distant future.
In the years after the great civil war of 2030s, the world saw a drastic surge in rising sea levels. Focus shifted from class disputes to creating habitable environments in the forthcoming climate changes. Bombay was hit the worst.
We envision Bombay in the year 2099 as a manifestation of the resilience of its people, a city that survives yet after getting taken over by the seas. This is a vertical city where real estate values increase with the amount of farming space in each plot. As all land is mostly underwater, people of Bombay had to become urban farmers coming up with innovations in vertical farming that fed the entire city. With new technological advancements and construction techniques Bombay has survived as a floating city built on the foundations of its ancestors. Communities have evolved and morphed into hyperactive beings that work together and have control over resources important to run the city. For instance, a newly evolved hybrid Koli community manages to rule over the seas and controls water supply all over the city, they also specialize in biological sciences and study the rare marine species now inhabiting submerged Bombay. Religious statues are now hot air balloons lined with solar absorbing panels that help generate electricity in the lower darker parts of the city. Bollywood now plays real time through holographic projections over suspended theatres in air.
This city lives and breathes of its power of communities and crafted built spaces made by its people projecting a utopia we should all work towards to in the near dystopian futures.