EVALUATION OF CITY

Topics: City, Mumbai, Urban planning Pages: 17 (7365 words) Published: September 24, 2014
Nallathiga R.

FROM MASTER PLAN TO VISION PLAN: THE
CHANGING ROLE OF PLANS AND PLAN
MAKING IN CITY DEVELOPMENT (WITH
REFERENCE TO MUMBAI)
Ramakrishna NALLATHIGA
Number 4(13) / November 2009

Theoretical and Empirical Researches in Urban Management

FROM MASTER PLAN TO VISION PLAN: THE CHANGING ROLE OF PLANS AND PLAN MAKING IN CITY DEVELOPMENT (WITH REFERENCE TO MUMBAI)

Center for Good Governance
Road No. 25, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad 500033, Andhra Pradesh, India ramanallathiga@yahoo.co.uk

Abstract
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].

Keywords: Master plans, City development, Vision plan and Planning focus

1. Introduction
Planning has occupied much of the importance in India’s past. Economic Planning had been central to its economy in the post-independence era until the 1990s1. While economic planning has been changing the course towards changing over the decade and a half, such changes in physical planning have not come forth. The physical planning, here, essentially refers to the urban planning, or urban 1

A detailed discussion of the economic planning and its changes can be found in Ray (2002)

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Nallathiga R.
FROM MASTER PLAN TO VISION PLAN: THE CHANGING ROLE OF PLANS AND PLAN MAKING IN CITY DEVELOPMENT (WITH REFERENCE TO MUMBAI)

development planning, with which we are concerned in this paper. India’s strong historical past in the form of civilization and associated systems has been well researched by historians e.g., Thapar (1990), of which town planning was a characteristic of the civilizations more than 2000 years ago. However, much of this planning was a concerted effort of specific kingdoms prevalent at various points of time in

came to vogue in a civilized society based on institutionalized systems. Like several other countries, much of the current town planning system in India owe’s its origins to the British town planning system, although the features and functioning of it...

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