IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

From Master Plan to Vision Plan: The Changing Role of Plans and Plan making in City development (with reference to Mumbai)


  • Ramakrishna NALLATHIGA

    () (Center for Good Governance Road No. 25, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad 500033, Andhra Pradesh, India)


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].

Suggested Citation

  • Ramakrishna NALLATHIGA, 2009. "From Master Plan to Vision Plan: The Changing Role of Plans and Plan making in City development (with reference to Mumbai)," Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management, Research Centre in Public Administration and Public Services, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 4(4(13)), pages 141-157, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:rom:terumm:v:4:y:2009:i:13:p:141-157

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Brito, M.P. & Flapper, S.D.P. & Dekker, R., 2002. "Reverse logistics," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 2002-21, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Master plans; City development; Vision plan and Planning focus.;

    JEL classification:

    • O21 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Planning Models; Planning Policy
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • L52 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Industrial Policy; Sectoral Planning Methods


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rom:terumm:v:4:y:2009:i:13:p:141-157. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Colesca Sofia). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.