Mumbai's 'last big' hope lies in docklands' inclusive revival
MUMBAI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - It was a trip few Mumbai residents had made before - to a smelly dock on murky waters in the city’s southern tip, to see colorful art installations inspired by the fishing community, the city’s original residents.
The Sassoon Dock Art Project, which ran until the end of December, gave many Mumbai residents their first excuse to walk through one of the city’s oldest docks, an area set for a massive overhaul under a plan to redevelop the docklands.
Mumbai’s most valuable piece of land, the docklands sprawl across 752 hectares (1,858 acres), about one eighth of the island city.
They are located along a 14 km (8.7 miles) stretch along the waterfront, dotted with defunct warehouses, jetties and slums.
The proposed redevelopment of the land, owned by the government-run Mumbai Port Trust, is the biggest opening up of land in the city since the redevelopment of about 600 acres of textile-mill land in the heart of Mumbai in the 1990s.
That redevelopment was meant to create equal quantities of open spaces, public housing and commercial real estate.
Instead, it drove tens of thousands of mill workers from their homes, as planners prioritized offices, bars, malls and multi-storeyed parking, according to campaigners who fought for their rehabilitation.