Skyward Serenity

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Virginia Tech


This thesis explores the challenges of urban sprawl and land scarcity, focusing on Mumbai, a city constrained by geographical boundaries and marked by high population density. With Mumbai encircled by the sea on three sides, opportunities for horizontal expansion are severely limited, prompting the exploration of vertical development as a sustainable and innovative solution. This research proposes a vertical urban model that stacks traditional city sectors—residential, commercial, and recreational—within a compact vertical space. The aim is to house a growing population efficiently, while freeing ground-level areas for vital green spaces such as farms and public parks, especially targeting the eastern coast of Mumbai, the city's last undeveloped frontier. A central element of the thesis is the design approach, which counters the typical social isolation found in high-rise living. Drawing inspiration from the communal dynamics of Mumbai's traditional chawls, the proposed architectural model merges communal living areas with private spaces to foster both community interaction and individual privacy. This hybrid design approach is thoroughly developed through an analysis of chawl lifestyles, adapting their community-enriching aspects to suit the demands of modern urban living in vertical structures. By investigating the feasibility and benefits of vertical integration through detailed architectural designs and urban planning frameworks, this study not only addresses Mumbai's physical constraints but also prioritizes the psychological and social well-being of its inhabitants. The outcome is a holistic urban development model that not only enhances urban life quality but also provides a template for other densely populated cities facing similar challenges. This thesis sets a precedent for future urban planning endeavors, promoting a balanced, sustainable approach to city development that can be adapted globally.



Highrise, Skyscraper, Vertical City, Mumbai