From Master Plan to Vision Plan: The Changing Role of Plans and Plan making in City development (with reference to Mumbai)
Master plans are the traditional instruments used by urban local governments in India as forward planning tools by anticipating urban development and making provisions for the same in terms of (a) the allocation of land for various uses, (b) the regulation of its development and (c) the provision of civic infrastructure. However, they failed to meet the expectations of the citizens as well as the decision makers for several reasons: their design and approach were far too simplistic in anticipating the citizens’ needs and aspirations; their very long tenure has been a major hindrance to anticipate socio-economic changes over time horizon; further, the restrictive approach taken to their implementation without adequate flexibility to meet the changing needs of hour has been acting against the spirit of urban planning. Essentially, it is because of these inadequacies in the plan design, plan making and plan implementation that there is a need felt now on steering an alternative course for achieving the city development goals. Vision plans, in this context, have emerged as alternative instruments useful for achieving the city development goals over a medium to long term; and they are increasingly becoming popular in the cities across the USA as well as elsewhere. This paper describes the evolution of master plan in the Indian context and analyses its inadequacies first (as found in literature); subsequently, it explains the positive features of emerging alternative approaches like the strategic vision plans. In particular, it illustrates the specific case of the Strategic Vision Plan for Mumbai, jointly prepared by a partnership of private non-profit initiative and for-profit organisation, as to how its design is different and as how it takes in to account of / built upon some of the principles of master planning approach. It therefore lays down, finally, how the urban planning has to change the course, akin to the economic planning focus change from that in central planning [of pre-modern era] to decentralized planning [of post-modern era].
Volume (Year): 4 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4(13) (November)
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