Emphasising on the need for rapid expansion of the metropolitan region, European city planners shared their experience in urban planning with officials from Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) and other stakeholders at a workshop Monday. The workshop focused on economic development of MMR while addressing the environmental and social issues arising due to urbanisation. The initiative named ‘Sustainable Urbanisation and World Cities Conference’ is a joint venture between European Union and city NGO ‘Mumbai First’. Urban planner and key note speaker Pedro Ortiz suggested that the phenomenon of urbanisation is irreversible. Therefore, officials should focus on expanding the metropolitan region.
“The MMR is increasing by a mere three per cent per year in comparison to Pune, which is growing at 11 per cent. If we are to accommodate the future population of city, there needs to be rapid expansion of metropolitan limits,” he said. Ortiz also highlighted the city lacks necessary resources for development. “The metropolitan region development planning must be executed at city level and also at state and national level,” he said. The workshop also emphasised on the of balancing economic growth with environmental protection and social upliftment.
“When we talk development, it is not just economic development but social and environmental development too. Investing in city’s public transport is as necessary,” said Dr R Hall, Principal, European Union DG of Regional and Urban Policy.