South Mumbai Marine Drive Refurbishment Project
The ‘Refurbishment of Marine Drive’ project is a vital constituent of the overall traffic and transportation enhancement schemes of Mumbai, namely the Mumbai Urban Infrastructure Project - MUIP. The design concepts being implemented were conceptualized during the global competition organized by MMRDA to short-list & select the consultants for the refurbishment project.
Marine Drive promenade and the Chowpatty beach are renowned landmarks in Mumbai, both for the Mumbaikar as well as tourists. Arguably the most famous public space in the city, Marine Drive is one of the longest man made promenades on the Arabian coast. It imparts some breathtaking views of the elements that give the city its character- the prestigious stretch of Art Deco buildings, the second largest cluster in the world, beautifully aligned with the sea face. An important thoroughfare, Marine Drive links many areas of Mumbai to the CBD - Nariman Point, as a North South corridor.
An icon of cosmopolitan Mumbai, it is a place where the rich and the poor alike stroll along the promenade, each with their simple reasons from daily exercise, studying under streetlights, offering prayers to the sea, seeing the sunset - to day dreaming - to relaxing… those seeking solitude or those cherishing a moment with friends, or a background shot to the Bollywood films. Marine Drive hosts numerous public gatherings during social festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi (the idol immersion ceremony), Diwali (the festival of lights) and Sankraant (a thousand kites in the sky!). Besides these, international events such as air-shows have also been held here.
The motivating challenge for us as designers on the project has been to nurture the characteristic essence that the expansive boulevard offers to an individual or crowds, and create generous opportunities of exploring the surroundings, the sea side and cultivating an overall lasting experience.
The approach of M/s ARC-CGL towards evolving the Master Plan for Marine Drive has been structured on the homogenous understanding of four main principles. The concept and design was not fragmented or restricted to beautification but also took into account the current and future needs of Mumbai.
ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY AS FOUNDATION: Marine Drive over the years has transformed into a precinct with great historical, ecological and socio-cultural relevance. However in the process of transformation it has degraded over the environmental front. Our proposal takes an educative approach to restore and create spaces like ECO-WALKS, NATURE TRAILS, a PALM GROVE to restore the lost natural Heritage Value of the precinct. Implementation of environment sensitive rules and regulations and usage of indigenous plantation forms an inseparable component of the design.
SOCIO-CULTURAL REGENERATION: Design features like THE OASIS, THE PROMENADE, THE SUNSET AND SUNRISE GALLERIES, THE CHRUCHGATE VISTA, HERITAGE WALK, MEMORIAL PARK, PROMONTRY, EATERIES and OPEN-AIR-AMPHITHEATRE are all designed towards enhancing the socio- cultural and interactive community binding qualities of a large city open space which Marine Drive provides to Mumbai.
STAKEHOLDERS AS CATALYSTS FOR DEVELOPMENT: Any urban development involves co-operation from the Stakeholders - in this case, all of Mumbai. Participating citizen groups of the immediate areas play a major role towards identifying the problems of their neighborhood at grass roots level. The proposal attempts to foster a framework in which the Stakeholders take the responsibility of the maintenance and management of the precinct.
A COLLABORATIVE ENTREPRENEURIAL APPROACH: This is essential towards extensively realizing the goals of creating a Global Landmark and generating a sustainable model for any Urban Open Space.