Mumbai: Will city's urban spaces be the next go-to places to chill?

Updated: Sep 10, 2019, 07:56 IST | Arita Sarkar

Culture Commission identifies five spaces to be developed as community centres; invites ideas from architecture students through competitions

Mumbai: Will city's urban spaces be the next go-to places to chill?
The 90-metre-long road behind Jaswant Rai Mehta Udyan in Ghatkopar could be developed to have a seating arrangement and some public facilities

The Mumbai Commission for Arts, Music and Culture (MCAMC) has identified five urban spaces to be developed as community areas for Mumbaikars so that they can relax and spend some fun time away from the hustle and bustle of the city. While the spaces would be maintained by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the ideas for the pilot project would be selected from those pitched by architecture students. In a bid to get a bit of brainstorming done on the matter, the commission conducted a competition among some students last week.

Officials from MCAMC said that once the ideas were finalised, the respective ward officials would implement the project and maintain the spaces as well. Rajiv Mishra, an MCAMC member, said, "Mumbaikars are hungry for community spaces where they can interact freely. These spaces can be art plazas where events involving painters, sculptors and artists can be hosted. The idea behind the competition is to bring out some of the best ideas."

Also Read: Mumbai: 23 gardens across city to be open for 24 hours

Students of J J School of Art and Architecture have submitted proposals for four of the five sites and an internal committee would review their ideas soon. This committee will include a member each from MCAMC, Development Plan department, Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee and JJ College, and the students will present their ideas before them soon. The MCAMC is yet to review the ideas, and if the pilot project turns out to be a success, then other spaces would also be considered.

The areas that have been identified include a 90-metre-long road behind Jaswant Rai Mehta Udyan in Ghatkopar, which currently has vehicles parked in a haphazard manner. Based on the idea submitted by the students, the road could have a seating arrangement and public facilities like an ATM, drinking water fountains among others. Another site is a 4,000 square-metre plot in Mulund that was previously used as an Octroi naka. Sources said this space could be converted into an exhibition area or a platform for live performances.

The MCAMC has also proposed to utilise the space under J J flyover and the lakefront at Charai Talao in Chembur. The proposal submitted for the lakefront includes a deck, seating area and a musical fountain in the artificial pond. The commission has not received any proposals for the fifth site, which involves a leisure park at Borivli. In the current development plan, the plot's reservation was changed from a college to a leisure park. The commission plans to have another competition to invite ideas from students across the city.

Also Read: Mumbai: BMC to set up a monitoring committee for gardens

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