Designer street furniture in Mumbai?
This dream is expected to be a reality in a year’s time with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) inviting seven international firms to design and install street furniture to upgrade the look of the city.
The BMC on Friday outlined its plans to allocate the job of visualizing and creating street furniture in seven zones to seven different firms, who are associated with their own parent companies from across the globe.
Designing street furniture to give a different visual identity to public places is a common practice in global cities.
Street furniture refers to road signage’s, bus shelters, dustbins, local maps and miscellaneous signboards on one end of the spectrum and benches, pews and toilets on the other end.
The concession period for advertisement and maintenance of street furniture, according to the BMC, would be 20 years.
“The beautification of the city roads is a priority for this project with contractors creating street furniture for every street in their respective zones in an individual style,” said Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak.
“Individuality and diversity will be important, as each zone should look as different as possible from the next,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner R.A. Rajeev.
This, however, raises the question as to whether road signs would change from zone to zone, thereby confusing motorists.
“The point is to beautify the roads and not confuse motorists,” said Phatak. “Benches, shelters and dustbins are some of the elements of street furniture that would be customised,” Rajeev said.
“Ultimately, all plans are subject to BMC approval. We will ensure that road signs are consistent.”
The BMC also stressed that the revenue-sharing model (between the corporation and the contractor) would be decided on a zone-wise basis, which at this point, has been slotted in a descending order.
“The contractor for zone 1 will have to share more revenue than the one for zone 2 and so on,” explained Rajeev.
The contractors will also maintain, guard and replace the street furniture, in case of vandalism.