City and Regional Planning

Mumbai Eastern Waterfront Plan

Fall 2015 Studio

Mumbai, a dense, vibrant, and complex metropolitan region of 21 million inhabitants serves as the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of the country. The city aspires to emerge as a major global city in the 21st Century, but continues to face a variety of economic, social, infrastructural, and environmental concerns. Mumbai’s economic drivers and employment generators are shifting, economic inequality is growing, and its demand for affordable housing far exceeds its supply. The city’s infrastructure, including its transportation networks, public utilities, and stormwater management is at capacity and in disrepair. Mumbai struggles with severe flooding, pollution, wildlife degradation, and anticipates a wide range of climate change impacts.

As Mumbai grapples with these challenges, the city experiences immense development pressure amidst its rapid population and economic growth. In the last 30 years, Mumbai’s Eastern Waterfront, home to the region’s historic port, has generated development interest, as nearby modernized ports have rendered it obsolete. Located on infill land on the eastern coast of Mumbai’s Island City, the waterfront is adjacent to many of the city’s oldest and most active neighborhoods but is physically and socially isolated, and despite its port and industrial activity, relatively undeveloped. The waterfront shares many of Mumbai’s economic, social, infrastructural, and environmental concerns, but offers a unique opportunity to address them through redevelopment and reinvention. This opportunity requires planners to define and address resiliency in Mumbai’s Eastern Waterfront, especially in its economy, housing, infrastructure, environment, and identity.

This comprehensive resilience plan for Mumbai’s Eastern Waterfront is divided into three elements: existing conditions, resilience plan, and implementation measures. The existing conditions of the city and waterfront focus on history, demographics, economy, employment, housing, urban form, open and public space, infrastructure, transportation, and environment. This element provides the basis for the plan, especially the definition of resilience, and shapes the vision and goals.

The plan defines resilience in the context of Mumbai and the Eastern Waterfront and presents a vision and goals for its future development. The plan’s frameworks, which serve as its backbone throughout the entire site’s development, contain a variety of strategies addressing the waterfront’s economy, housing, infrastructure, and environment. A structure plan, along with three elaborative small district plans and demonstration projects provide catalytic actions to spur resilient development throughout the waterfront.

Finally, plan implementation is presented, including the plan’s metrics, phasing, governance, and financing, as well as case studies for comparison. Through the entire plan, Mumbai’s Eastern Waterfront will demonstrate resilience, reestablish Mumbai on a global stage, embrace and promote the city’s unique identity, and serve as a replicable model of development.