The work in this book learns from the city of Mumbai. It reflects on categories of ecology and human existence found in many cities yet which remain outside of typical urban planning frameworks. Many of the categories the book explores are those that stem from the special tropical environmental, peninsula and estuary conditions within which the urban landscape of Mumbai has grown. Many of the categories explored by the book are said to be in crisis, for example, those of water supply, air quality, the mangroves, salt marshes, vultures, pink flamingoes and, of course, the intense density, cultural and economic spectrum of its human population.
The book does not try to solve specific problems. Rather, it highlights many of the specific aspects of Bombay/Mumbai that make the city both a challenge and yet so fascinating. Using the research and design skills of the multiple contributors to the book, both from Edinburgh and Mumbai, the book opens possibilities for new thinking and new visualizations of Mumbai.
The book takes the opportunity to frame specific ecological issues but then develops them through innovative means of graphic representation. The book argues that such research methods and techniques afford new possibilities for processes of urban planning. The book offers evidence not only for how Mumbai might be configured but also then of what insights Mumbai offers to other cities, perhaps particularly in India but also in any circumstance where the relationships between urban, agricultural and natural landscapes are so intertwined.