Navi Mumbai: Charles Correa's gift

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Jun 18, 2015 00:41 IST

Among the well-known works of architect Charles Correa, who died on Tuesday night, is the design of the satellite city of Navi Mumbai.

Correa, who was the chief architect in planning the city, pushed for the use of water as a means of transport between the old and the ‘new’ Mumbai. “The proposal to shift Mantralaya and other offices to Navi Mumbai would have helped decongest the city,” said Correa, at the HT for Mumbai awards ceremony.

In 2005, when the massive land parcel of textile mills in the city was being opened up, Correa, through the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI), a research institute on urban planning which he founded, submitted a proposal. The plan envisaged a holistic revamp of the place, instead of mammoth structures. The plan, had it been followed, would have given the city at least 400 acres of public space in central Mumbai.

Pankaj Joshi, executive director, UDRI, said, “Our comprehensive plan of development of mill land has been neglected. The mess which we see on mill lands would have been avoided had the plan been used.”

Correa had redefined the debate with his classic 1/3rd plan –a blueprint of publicly-accessible mill lands, intertwined with cheap homes and green spaces. Correa proposed a mill could be divided into three parts -- one for cheap housing, one for green spaces and a third to be kept by the owner for commercial exploitation.

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