Public spaces such as open spaces, streets, stations, transit hubs, markets, religious places, institutional areas are places where people congregate. These areas serve as nodes for social interaction, economic exchange and spaces for cultural expressions. They are therefore needed to be multi functional, inclusive and democratic in their character. The design and development of these spaces therefore, should take into account the interests of all sections of the society. read more
Globally, it is seen that in most cases, large scale planning efforts have failed because when the actual implementation happens, the local needs are not sufficiently included. In this context, place making has a very important role to play. It offers a solution to integrate the micro level needs and details with the macro level planning objectives with a focus on community participation. This helps in making the public spaces more meaningful. It further, helps to build a sense of ownership and belonging amongst the local residents which is critical for the maintenance of such public spaces.
In such cases, where public spaces are important resource for development, optimizing on what is available i.e. putting the available facilities and infrastructure in its best use would improve the conditions of livability in a city.
The economic competitiveness of any city depends on the quality of infrastructure and quality of life. It is a well established fact that, cities that invest in improving their public realm have enhanced community cohesion, civic identity and prosperity. The unplanned growth and increase in population in many Indian cities has resulted in deteriorated standard of living. The available public spaces are often too less and those that are available; are not well designed, fully utilized and maintained.
Mumbai is a financial capital of India and attracts a large number of people for employment. The increasing population and high density of settlements pose challenges to the availability of public amenities and spaces. Further, those that are available are seen to be underutilized, encroached or not well maintained. read more
People have lost hope and developed sense of apathy towards public spaces. MESN strongly believes that place making is essential to bring perceptible change in short span of time in the city of Mumbai, which is fast losing its competitive edge due to poor quality of life.
The virtuous cycle of development of such public spaces will help to create trust amongst citizens, various development agencies and stakeholders which is an effective tool for city’s improvement for future. Place making efforts will help bring social equity by having accessible public spaces to all especially the lower income group communities and prevent its appropriation.