Mumbai’s skyline is set get taller and denser with the revised Development Plan (DP 2034) providing for increased floor space index (FSI) for special projects, especially in areas around mass transit systems.
The new concept has de-linked FSI from density and connected it to a transit-oriented approach, raising the variability for special projects up to an FSI of 5 for commercial development. In the city, this has been increased to 3. FSI is the ratio of the permissible built-up area to the plot area.
Setting aside fears that increasing FSI without considering growth of social infrastructure will result in chaos, officials said they have ensure the FSI regime is chained to road width of a minimum nine metres, going up to 24m and beyond for commercial and other development.
The new DP also envisages independent FSI provisions for Gaothans, Koliwada and tribal pockets, while newer FSI regulations have been created for funnel areas around the airport and redevelopment of private buildings in the suburbs, officials said.
According to its provisions, revenue collected from Transit Oriented Development (TOD) will be shared equally between the planning authority and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), which will use it to create additional infrastructure. Nitin Kareer, Principal Secretary, Urban Development, said, “The FSI and Transferable Development Rights (TDR) regime are linked to the width of the road. Mumbai has been divided into five zones, where the permissible bulk FSI will be allowed to be parked depending on the area’s proximity to the mass transit station.”
Flexible FSI for city
The new DP has ensured development rights have been granted an FSI of 3, including premium and TDR, which can be extended if fungible FSI is applied above and over it. Senior officials said this was done keeping in mind South Mumbai’s advanced infrastructure, as well as its decreasing population.
However, experts fear densification of this already congested area will create a mess. On the other hand, an FSI of 5 for commercial establishments will create new office spaces, and business districts will get high incentives on the lines of Lower Parel and Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC). The Sate government wants to create eight million jobs in the city through spatial planning, they said.
The blueprint also envisages the creation of one million new houses to accommodate Mumbai’s growing population, but town planners are asking if the city has the infrastructure to take the load. Municipal Commissioner Ajoy Mehta said, “We are looking to balance the needs of the working population along with the need for more and better housing. At the same time, we are not ignoring the city’s environment or open spaces at all.”
To create a million more homes, the DP has designated areas that were classified as No Development Zones (NDZ) as Special Development Zones (SDZ). Of the 3,355 hectares under NDZ, 2,100 hectares will be set aside for creating affordable housing. Besides, another 330 hectare from salt pan lands will be added to the land pool for the same.
Mr. Kareer said, “NDZs were never meant to be locked up forever; they were supposed to be developed if the need arose. At this point, Mumbai needs the housing stock for its existing and future population.”
The city will get two Central Parks in Cuffe Parade and Sewri. The Cuffe Parade one will measure 300 acres and will be developed by the BMC. The Sewri park will be developed by the Mumbai Port Trust (MbPT).
NDZs were to be developed if the need arose. At this point, Mumbai needs the housing stock for its existing and future populationNitin KareerPrincipal Secretary, Urban Development