urbz Goa

urbz Goa

urbz has been engaged in Goa for over a decade through our office in Aldona. Our work in Goa is mostly centred around research on various aspects of Goa's urbanism that challenge the urban-rural binary. In the past, we have worked on projects such as documentation of homegrown settlements in Indiranagar and Chimbel, extensive research on Goa's Comunidades, and several other urban research reports.

Goa, which is the smallest state in India, can be conceptualised as an urban system made of a network of villages and a few bigger towns of max 100,000 people. These villages and towns are interspersed with fields and forests and each settlement is connected to the others through an intricate web of small roads. As is the case in many Indian cities, large infrastructure projects along with savage real estate speculation and corrupt politics are challenging the unique spatial organisation of Goa.

Its rich and varied history includes several regional kingdoms and deep encounters with the Vijaynagar and Portuguese empires. The latter had the most impact on its terrain with a continuous presence from the sixteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. As an alternative to centralised metropolitan urbanism, Goa has an edge that can play a very strong role in our quest for an environmentally sensitive, yet modern habitat that is inclusive, culturally diverse and urbane. 

Today, Goa’s system of villages, towns, fields and forests are being superimposed by a planning logic connected to mainstream mechanisms of connectivity and mobility, real estate development and aspirations. The people of Goa are struggling with the balancing out of all these factors and are looking for ways to organise Goa’s growth and future in a manner that does justice to its special cultural and historical distinctiveness that is intimately tied to its physical, environmental and spatial logic. 

Our ongoing engagements in Goa attempt at addressing some of these issues. Our quest to provide alternative urban imaginaries is inspired by Goa's story which we hope can also help sustain its balanced approach to terrain and habitats.  

 

Selected Projects:

Bio-topical Goa

In this workshop we conceptualized Goa as an urban system made of a network of villages and a few bigger towns interspersed with fields and forests. Each settlement is connected to others through an intricate web of small roads. 

 

Goa's Commons

We continue to study Goa's rich history of the Communidade - a distinct institutional arrangement that has shaped its history and growth.  

 

Accommodation and Housing

As is the case in many Indian cities, large infrastructure projects along with savage real estate speculation and corrupt politics are challenging the unique spatial organization of Goa.

With Arminio Ribiero urbz did a series of inquiries on the growing homegrown settlements - between villages and towns. 

 

Homegrown Settlements - Goa

urbz Goa organized a documentation project of housing typologies, in the village of Chimbel during 2018-2019 working in Indira Nagar, a homegrown settlement. 

An exhibition was organised in the village which became the basis of a series of discussions around housing needs, migration and new emerging habitats.

 

 

 

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