The Greater Mumbai Ward B District was formed over the mid 18th to 19th centuries when Mumbai grew rapidly northwards from the Fort and bay and along the railway. This district has important historical and cultural significance from the period consisting of workers’ housing and many industries especially related to cotton textiles and the docks. There are many buildings of cultural and heritage significance that still need to identified or already has listing status for conservation.
The residents of the Mandvi and Pydhonie communities accommodated in the out-of-date chawls still work the dock areas and local industries. The area has a high population with a diverse mix of uses including housing, manufacturing, shops and religious buildings. The Darkhana Jamatkhana built in 1914 is a major community resource for the area’s residents.
The area is undergoing tremendous change due to the city’s rapid growth and increasing density. As a compact district bounded physically by major roads and the railway, the response to rapid change has been vertically where property owners are developing their lands to current zoning. The character and fine scale of the existing fabric, many with historical significance may be lost to redevelopment. A great number of buildings are in disrepair, obsolete in provision and unsafe leading to likely incremental redevelopment.
The desktop study involved four core strands as an all-inclusive report that through a consensus building process with the appropriate authorities and stakeholders could then be further expanded as a development framework and planning guidance for the district. The Vision to bring about the improvement to the quality of the physical environment and the lives of its residents will involve the backing of its leaders to implement change and to uphold the quality of a healthy and civic life. The study consists of city-wide contextual analysis, a more local scale focus area around the Darkhana, specific building plots for redevelopment and guidelines and strategies for streets and public realm.