Guardians of the leftover city conceptualises the usage of leftover railway public lands to re­charge the degrading environment of the city. This project unifies the infrastructural leftovers into a panorama of environmentally sound landscapes that will readjust the lens of urban development in our cities. Our cities resonate with the ever-increasing burden of expansion entailing global threats of climate change. The attempt to accommodate this expansion in our cities has orchestrated the political and economic structure of our cities into an elaborate diegesis of dismissive capitalism, the reflection of which is pronounced on our natural landscapes quite literally. Vacancy in every form is cashed into profits of parochial businesses, unmindful of the disturbed environmental footprint which persists longer. This profound affirmation of economic gains of both the government and the people can mate with environmental sensitivity to rebuild a narrative of sustainable development in the long run.   

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Total infrastructural vacant land: 271 hectares

Railway vacant land: 194 hectares

The value of public land: RLDA has proposed to commercialize these vacant lands. But considering these vacant lands are public assets, what can be expected out of them? Instead of populating our cities with commercial multiplexes which are economic assets only to their private owners and exclusionary in terms of their usage, we must re-evaluate the repurpose of such lands with more pressing crises that will benefit the city’s sustainability a benefit against time.

The rise of the Vacant Lands: The adaptation of these infrastructural leftovers to proThe provide durable solutions against these crises is what should be the underlying principle vide of such repurpose projects.100 years down the line, the accomplishment of an ecoof ecological weighed against the transience of a multiplex will be stronger and way more logical beneficial for the health and wealth of the citybeneficial city

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The developments that would follow the construction of multiplexes on railway lands would result in increase of impervious land cover in the form of new roads, parking space etc. The dynamics of land market will also shift slowly and if not solved taking into consideration the interests of marginalised people, it would again result in unaffordability.


The Multiplex Syndrome

What is the alternative?

194 hectares of land instead of bieng commercialised into multiplexes should perform as environmental recharge points of the city. These lands should be used to provide the people of the city to experience a clean and pollution free environment which will benefit their health. The goal should to be limit temperatures that would benefit the overall environment of the city in a way that every inhabitant enjoys a healthier life.


On an average, one tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two mature trees can provide enough oxygen for a family of four.


1 hectare= 4180 trees (spacing= 5 ft) 

Of 194 hectares, a total of 100 hectares to be planted with trees

Total number of trees= 4,18,000 trees

Oxygen produced= 10,86,800 pounds

100 hectares will provide fresh air to 8,36,000 people

To repurpose railway vacant lands into recharging the degrading environment of the city, to give it back healthier and wealthier to its people.



How can the site demonstrate these principles? What potentials does these lands in the city hold?

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Local Context//


The site is located near the Chimanbhai Patel bridge. The major connections to the site are Ashram Rd, the north-south metro corridor, the riverfront, the railway and the Chimanbhai bridge.
The torrent power station lies along the railway track.
The peculiarity of the site is the existence of multiple infrastructural networks and the potential of connections they can form.

Chimanbhai Patel bridge


New Ashram Road

Metro Station

Torrent Powerhouse BRTS BusStop

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The massive scale of transport infrastructure is sized down when viewed from the overhead bridge. The people now have a chance to experience the city and its nature at different levels


The overhead bridge is connected to the vegetation for people to have a choice of what experience they want. The abundance of numerous local species can also be educational.


stepped landscapes

vendor;seating;bicycle parking

overhead pedastrian bridge connecting either side of the railway track

plantation and slope of land make quite spaces for public use under the bridge

decks on landings to make spaces for people to experience nature


The lawns in between private and public land is used for activities related to both. The irregular shape of seating and ambiguity of a boundary gives opportunity to loose spaces to exist amidst the few constructed spaces. These spaces are used by vendors or people to park bicycle and also for mild plantation. These loose spaces are crucial to the structure of the public space since they help blend in two very distinct realm of urban space, public and private.