Redefining a Twin City

Redefining a Twin City: A proposal to unlock the land value of Howrah’s jute mills

Howrah is a city of enormous but undervalued economic potential. As one of the most rapidly growing cities in India, Howrah is a hub of connectivity through which millions of people move every day. But Howrah’s identity has been systematically eclipsed by its twin city Kolkata, due to a historic east-bank bias in formal and strategic planning activities. As a result, Howrah’s most valuable land assets—which include over 100 acres of underproductive industrial on and around its waterfront—lay fallow and inaccessible in the absence of a vision for Howrah’s future.

This project proposes a new vision for Howrah that celebrates and amplifies the city’s urbanism and industrial assets. Embracing the role of the New Jute SPV, we put forth a master plan for the downtown neighborhood of Shibpur that combines ongoing industrial production with 21st-century enhancements in three jute mills: Fort William, Bengal, and Howrah. We also design, and offer to finance, street and connectivity improvements to incentivize the adaptive reuse of industrial land according to our master plan vision. We believe redevelopment in Shibpur will serve as a billboard for Howrah’s new and distinct identity.