Recent trends indicate reduced migration within Mumbai, and a greater increase in satellite towns of Khargar, Thane, Badlapur, Belapur, Panvel and Kalyan-Dombivali. The 2011 census shows a 54% increase in the population of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (excluding Mumbai) over the earlier census figures. The region covers an area of 4355 sq. km, housing a current population of 20,998,395 and includes the following municipal corporations:
Greater Mumbai: www.mcgm.gov.in, Navi Mumbai: www.nmmconline.com, Thane: www.thanecity.gov.in, Kalyan-Dombivali: www.kdmc.gov.in, Vasai-Virar: www.vvcmc.in, Mira-Bhayandar: www.mbmc.gov.in, Bhiwandi-Nizampur: www.bncmc.gov.in, Ulhasnagar: www.umc.gov.in
Given that the Mumbai Metropolitan Region’s Plan is up for revision and the Mumbai Development Plan is currently undergoing revision, it is an opportune moment for the two to dovetail into each other, opening up a larger vision for the city and region. The role of the Regional plan is thus critical for defining the development/growth of all areas in the region.
The last MMR development plan has been in force since 1995. Now under revision, it is imperative that we revisit the assumptions made at the beginning of the plan and assess the development that this plan has brought about. This will also ensure that the policies that did not work be removed and replaced with those that address the issues of the current era.
There is hardly any awareness among residents and businesses about the existence of a Development Plan within Mumbai, and the situation worsens as we move into the peri-urban areas. Key planning questions of the region today concern growth, municipal reforms and the confluence of infrastructure.
The Regional Plan is to provide an overarching framework to the local Development Plan but has been framed as too complex to be understood by people. Hence, the major challenge would be to translate this information into a palatable format and then raise support for planning policies. This is the role that UDRI sees itself playing — framing pertinent research questions for the city, region and beyond; assessing the findings to conceptualize the role of the region; and assisting in framing a response to the proposed development plan.