Bombay Imagined Is A Visual Archive Of The City’s Unrealised Futures

Bombay Imagined Is A Visual Archive Of The City’s Unrealised Futures

What makes Bombay the ‘city of dreams’ is not just its endless opportunities but a collective public imagination that holds within itself the desires, aspirations, and fascinations of millions of people that have attempted to leave behind a mark in this megalopolis.

From high-reaching skylines to thronging bylanes, Bombay has a place for everyone with a dream to materialise and a story to share. Ever since the city’s inception in 1668, there have been several thinkers, artists, creatives, and planners who have tried to visualise what this ideal city of dreams would look like. Bombay Imagined: An Illustrated History Of An Unbuilt City is an archive of 200 unrealised urban visions collected by architect and urban planner, Robert Stephens.

These visual aspirations include humane housing, expanded parks, sanitation systems, and more. The ideas are preserved and illustrated through maps, creatives, and other forms of visual expressions of a city’s lost futures.

The collection which took over seven years to compile contains excerpts and chapters that spans over 400 years right from the late 1600s to the 21st century. Each excerpt expels a vision for a futuristic Bombay that is ambitious yet rooted in the local culture and context that engulfed the city in that given period of time.

Some aspects of the book also give a brief insight into the neighbourhoods that perished in the sands of time while others mark the transition of certain nooks and corners that evolved gracefully over time. The book which is available for pre-order here, will be officially released in March 2022.

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