The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is studying a new redevelopment model for Mumbai to create more collective public space, The Indian Express has learnt.
On Saturday last week, Bimal Patel, an Ahmedabad-based architect and urbanist, made a presentation to a gathering of architects, independent town planning experts and BMC chief Parveen Pardeshi, about a redevelopment model that could be implemented in the financial capital to free up space over time.
According to sources, Pardeshi has sought feedback from BMC officials on the model and its feasibility in Mumbai.
Patel, who is the president of CEPT University and heads the planning and architecture firm HCP Design Consultants, said in an email reply to The Indian Express: “The presentation explained how the redevelopment of built-up areas of cities — in which small buildings are replaced by larger buildings — can be better managed. When small buildings are replaced by larger ones, the stress on infrastructure and the street network increases. Through proper planning, it is possible to ensure that along with the redevelopment of an area, the street network also improves. Proper planning can also help raise resources for the development of adequate infrastructure. The presentation used the example of such planning in Ahmedabad and suggested that it can be most fruitfully used in Mumbai.”
Patel will make another presentation to BMC officials on July 29. Aside from Ahmedabad, Patel gave the example of other cities, such as Washington, US, where development gives more open space and road space.
Patel’s firm HCP Design Consultants is a consultant for the Development Plan of Eastern Waterfront, planned from Colaba to Wadala on Mumbai Port Trust land. The firm is also in charge of the Vishwanath Dham redevelopment project in Varanasi, and is executing town planning projects in Pimpri-Chinchwad, on the outskirts of Pune.
A BMC source said Patel’s plan involves doing away with compound walls around buildings, turning them into street space or other public spaces, to be utilised for footpaths, wider roads and common recreation areas. Owners will be persuaded to part with the land around buildings through the incentive of additional Floor Space Index (FSI).
“Considering the possible resistance from property owners, the said plan offers additional FSI for giving up the private areas,” the source said.
According to the source, Mumbai has road space of at least 7-8 per cent and even less open space.
“If the plan is implemented properly, congestion will reduce. The civic body is planning to identify 2 sq km in each of the seven BMC zones, where redevelopment along the lines suggested by Patel may be carried out, with property owners offered incentives for giving up land.
BMC officials said no final decision had been taken on implementation. The idea is in its “very initial stages and nothing has been finalised”, said an official. But BMC officials who know of the plan say synchronising it with the civic body’s Development Plan (2014-34) would be the bigger challenge.