THE AVERAGE living space for a person in Mumbai, the space-starved commercial capital of the country, is barely 8.3 square metres. At a time when Mumbai’s new 20-year blueprint is on the anvil, The Sunday Express looks at the city’s current land use patterns and how the new Development Plan 2034 proposes to make a difference.
Currently, the city’s 1.24 crore residential population occupies barely 24.88 per cent of Mumbai’s total geographical area (473.28 sq km). In other words, there are over 1.2 lakh people per square kilometre of developed residential space.
According to the Existing Land Use (ELU) survey 2012, which was used as a benchmark for drawing up the DP 2034, the average per capita space available in Mumbai’s slums – that account for more than half of the city’s population — is just 2.73 sq metres or 29.38 sq feet. This makes Mumbai’s slums the densest habitation in the world.
The new DP has proposed to increase per capita residential space to 18-20 square metre. Ironically, the predominant users in the overcrowded city are ‘no development’ lands, which account for almost 32 per cent or a third of the total area. Only 2.2 per cent of the land, concentrated in south and central Mumbai, is currently used for commercial activities.
One of the goals of the draft DP 2034 is to reassert Mumbai’s primacy as the country’s commercial capital. The town planners have proposed increased construction rights for commercial users in the new blueprint to improve this statistic.