This project has been initiated under the Fort Management Plan.
In 1999, the UDRI was commissioned by the Ballard Estate Association and Bombay First to prepare for the conservation as well as an Urban Management for this business district. Following this, UDRI, in association with Bombay First prepared a report titled ‘Ballard Estate – A Proposal for the Urban Management of the Area’, followed by a publication based on the report, in 2000 titled ‘Ballard Estate, A Corporate District – a proposal for upgrading and managing the area’. Both the initiatives intended to identify as well as to highlight the emerging issues that threaten to transform the ambience, spatial quality and efficiency of Ballard Estate as a Business District.
The study tried to identify the main issues concerning the built heritage and visitor perception of the area in order to make recommendations at both, the level of overall zoning and planning policies, as well as individual designs for street furniture, restoration of heritage buildings, heritage trails and the possible creation of a business improvement district. One of the issues at the forefront, was of the management of public spaces. The open spaces within Ballard Estate are largely pockets of residual space within each block of office plots. Unfortunately, these considerable residual open areas formed between groups of buildings have turned into veritable dumping grounds due to lack of maintenance. These courtyards could potentially be used as positive spaces to accommodate contemporary requirements to be integrated in the precinct. Suggestions are offered for the enhancement of the Estate as a conservation area while facilitating its use as a commercial and corporate district. A set of critical next steps to be undertaken are proposed through a combined effort of the building owners, BEWA, corporate bodies and local executive bodies.