Faculty: Manan Singal

Urban formation patterns in port towns of India.

The Indian Ocean edge due to its geographical spread introduces various cultural distinctions in its coastal towns. Trade being the center of the port town, each town displays a unique urban structure and pattern. The trading network leading to the hinterlands and its interdependency in coastal towns generates numerous patterns of tangible and intangible networks.
Trade doesn’t remain only a commodity, but expands to ideas, religion, and cross-cultural influences due to the movement of people across distant regions eventually transforming the town’s urban form. Throughout history many traces of various port towns are found in India. The geographical instabilities in and around some coastal towns have resulted in the decline of the port and its sea trading prominence. The political shifts resulted in unique formation and transformation in the urban patterns of the port towns. Today existence of smaller port towns is critical due to the expansion of coastal transport activities and threats of sea level rise. The research attempts to identify the generators in Indian port towns through the port town evolutions and their impact on certain urban patterns of today. The study is focused on the towns located along the coast of Gujarat. The towns may display shifts in patterns due to the nature of the generator being physical, political, socio-cultural, environmental, or amalgamation of these.