Webinar: The State of Mumbai Urban Planning

Mumbai’s population growth is attributed to the influx of migrants due to the textile factory boom in the 1900s. In 1921, migrants made up about 84% of the city’s population. Historically, Mumbai’s large migrant population has been its backbone. However, since the dissolution of the factories, Mumbai has shifted from an industrial center to a center of service industry, changing the patterns of migration from one state to another. For a long time since this change, migrants have been accused of “stealing” residents’ jobs and helping to clean up the city’s slums. However, contrary to the view that migration to Mumbai from other states is a growing problem out of control, census data revealed that migration into the city has slowed down over the past two decades. The high cost of living and slowly shrinking economic opportunities seem to be the reasons why people choose not to move to Mumbai.

view of two high rise buildings in mumbai
Severe socio-economic disparities in life push people out of town | Photo: Flickr, CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0)
Dedication to the public domain

In this context, how can the glaring discrepancies in the socio-economic structure of the city be remedied? With 55% of Mumbai’s population living in slums and systematically excluded from access to basic necessities, what is the future for this large population of city dwellers? What we want to ask and answer is: has urban planning in Mumbai failed?

Read more: New rental law could leave up to 2.5 million Mumbaikars homeless

Building on this background, our panel discussion would focus on different facets of urban planning: land use, design, environment, infrastructure and transport, commenting on Mumbai’s current situation in these areas and how we can start thinking about its future. . Facing a third wave of COVID-19, BMC elections and Mumbai’s climate action plan in the works, the city is at a key stage in determining its economic, health and climate future.

The discussion will be based on our past stories which cover infrastructure, environment and public health.

Some of the broader questions we want to address are:

  • Why do development projects like the coastal road continue in the face of Mumbai’s degraded environment? What are the possible solutions ?
  • Why does a large population of Mumbai – 55% – still live in slums? How can this be rectified?
  • About 20% of Mumbai’s public health budget remains unspent. Where is Mumbai lacking in health services?
  • Learning from the lessons of the pandemic, what should urban planning in a city like Mumbai entail? What does a post-pandemic city look like?

The webinar will be followed by a brief Q&A session open to attendees.

Event: The State of Mumbai Urbanism

Date and time: Thursday, January 27, 2022 at 4:00 p.m. IST

register here

poster for webinar, 'The State of Mumbai Urbanism', by Citizen Matters


Driver Berjis

Urban Planner, Associate Member of Institute of Town Planners India, COA Accredited Architect, Accredited Professional Indian Green Building Council. Main research interests are related to the natural environment, governance, land and water management – ​​much of my efforts relying on descriptive methods.

Aslam Sayyad

Aslam is a photographer and conservationist who has worked extensively with and for the empowerment of the Koli and Adivasi communities in Mumbai.

Akhtar Chauhan

Professor Akhtar Chauhan is an architect planner and educator based in Mumbai, India. He is currently the former director of Rizvi College of Architecture. He is the founding president of the International Association for Human Habitat (IAHH). He is the President of the Maharashtra Schools of Architecture Association (MASA). He is president of Comprehensive Development Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd., architects and planners.

Reject Mathews

Rejeet Mathews is Program Manager, Urban Development at WRI India, where she has been a partner for nearly 9 years. His current work focuses on spatial-economic planning, integration of land use and transportation, land use planning, affordable housing, alternative mechanisms for land acquisition, development and servicing, revision of spatial planning laws and capacity building. She has provided technical inputs to various committees, reports and policies anchored by municipal, state and national governments in India.

Merchant Prachi

Prachi is an urban planner at MCGM. She worked on setting up the Mumbai Parking Authority at MCGM. She is part of the Mumbai Commission for Art, Music and Culture. She was appointed as a member of the Gender Advisory Committee for MCGM. Leading Urban Studio at the Center for Policy and Governance, Schools of Habitat Studies at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

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