Slide left and right to see Mumbai’s green cover transition from the 1980’s to now!
Reimaging Mumbai’s Green Spaces
In Mumbai, green space is a valuable resource. While the BMC’s Open Space Policy and Development Plan both address the open spaces of Mumbai, as does the BMC’s commitment towards 100 new urban forests, there is more that can be done to address the need for green cover in many of the city’s wards. In the face of shrinking green cover, we invited Mumbaikars to envision what they want in their urban parks.
In collaboration with Civis, a technology platform that encourages citizens to participate in the governance process, we ran a public consultation online to ask Mumbaikars what improvements they would like to see in their parks, and which wards they would like to see new parks in.
The consultation received over 550 responses online from the MMR region, the majority from 18 to 34 year-olds. Respondents would like to see parks with longer hours, more seating, better lighting and more facilities for older people, athletes, and the differently-abled. They are looking for change when it comes to the washroom facilities, running paths, and for better hours to access their parks. Respondents also voted on their top choices for neighbourhoods that need new parks, with Andheri, Jogeshwari and Vile Parle in the K Ward getting the highest votes.
Respondents strongly articulated the need for more parks, and especially for a better distribution of parks, such that there is an appropriately sized park in close proximity for all residents of the city, including those who live in less affluent localities.
This was a very inspiring consultation, with many suggestions about how Mumbai’s parks could be reimagined coming in. Mumbai parks are part of its culture, as we can see from comments such as, “Public parks should act as abstracts of the communities surrounding them, and generate community pride”, and “our beautiful city is suffocating today, and it needs to breathe”.
We delivered the report to BMC superintendent of gardens, Jitendra Pardeshi and Ashok Yamgar, Deputy Municipal Commissioner (Environment), and were excited to present the recommendations to them in October, 2020. They received the report favourably with the commitment to take people’s inputs towards improving the city’s parks. Mr. Pardeshi also forwarded the report to the respective deputy superintendent of gardens in the priority neighbourhoods.
Our collective looks forward to collaborating with the BMC in the near future towards protecting and improving Mumbai’s green spaces for the benefit of all citizens!