Since 2000, the UDRI has been actively involved in documenting and facilitating discussions around the 1800 acres of Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT) land along the eastern waterfront from Colaba to Wadala. With the shift of port activities to other technologically developed ports, few port operational activities remain within the 1800 acres of MbPT, thus opening up the opportunity to envision the use of the land for public purposes. The potential and impact of the eastern waterfront to the entire city is immense as it is almost 4.5 times the area of the mill lands, is equivalent to 18 Oval maidans, 10 Chowpatty beaches or 21 Priyadarshini parks.
The UDRI together with the Kamala Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute (KRVIA) initiated a detailed study of the Eastern Dockland as well as a macro plan for the entire eastern harbour in 2001 available as a publication at UDRI. In 2005, the UDRI was commissioned by the Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority to produce an interim report for a vision plan. Through 2004 to 2009, UDRI organised several public meetings and workshops to create awareness. In 2010, MIT and UDRI partnered to conduct student workshops and site visits, culminating in the publication called Landscape and Urbanism.
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In 2014, the Ministry of Shipping appointed UDRI as part of a committee to prepare a roadmap for the redevelopment and rejuvenation of Mumbai’s waterfront and port lands. Pankaj Joshi, Executive Director, is UDRI’s representative on the committee. The MPLDC report has been submitted to the Government of India as of January 2015 and has since been made publicly available through the Right To Information Act.