Citizens Participation Crucial for Mumbai Beautification Project by Ar. Shalaka A. Lalwani

DATEMay 2, 2021

What does the word ‘Beautification’ derived from the basic adjective ‘Beauty’ really mean? Every being or situation has a positive as well as a negative aspect to it. When we focus on or highlight its positive aspects, we find its beauty or call it beautiful. When we focus on even the smallest negative or defect in the situation, we find the same object flawed! Thus, focusing on the positive aspects of our city will do well for its beautification initiative.

CoBOL Architects & Planners will like to suggest a couple of ways by which Mumbai’s ‘City Beautiful’ moment can be made everlasting and self-maintain itself in the long run. By participation of its citizens, housing societies, muhalla committees, slum societies, private developers, and even corporates can contribute to BMCs efforts to make our cities’ beautification proposal sustainable and permanent in the long run.

A three-pronged action plan involving the participation of its local communities, as well as allowing them to take ownership and maintenance of their precinct while, ‘Highlighting The Positive (HTP)’ will create lasting changes. Making Mumbai City Beautification one of the most consistently beautiful cities in our country and someday even in the World.

So what will the three-pronged approach of Community, Ownership, and Maintenance entail? 1) Community: Clean Up, Recycle, Paint & Plant. 2) Ownership: Brighten, Sell & Exchange. 3) Maintenance: Clean out, Create & Enjoy. Lets discuss these aspects in detail.

1) Community: Housing societies, muhalla committees, slum societies, private developers, and even corporates can take ownership of their prescient or area within their boundary. To keep it clean, to recycle waste generated inclusively and sustainably. And ultimately making recycling a habit for its residents. The next step will be painting neglected areas, compound walls, common areas by involving local schools, colleges or artists to contribute in positive art. Along with plantation of native trees, fruit or flower-bearing will be ideal to support native birds and biodiversity. Planting kitchen gardens to make the city streets positive with homegrown organic foods will be especially useful in trying times to combat food shortage. Such neighborhoods can create their own garden comities to learn, grow and make their precinct beautiful.

2) Ownership: Communities can look into whether their percent interiors, as well as boundaries, are well lit. They can light up their building facades, compound walls, common areas to add to their general ambiance at the same time helping to increase their safety and security. Communities can organize garage sales, weekly/ monthly bazaars to sell their homegrown produce, common clutter, junk to raise money to improve or repair their precinct. Such sales can be locally advertised on the web and local papers. Exchange programs can be organized by gardening communities to exchange seeds, saplings and organize plantation rallies to make their precinct greener.

3) Maintenance: Communities can take stock of broken equipment, benches, unsightly clutter in their percent and audit a community cleanup. And carry it out regularly by incentivizing participating citizens. Communities should be encouraged to create common spaces, to play, breakout, gather and sit for the use of children, youth, senior citizens. Thus making their prescient safe and inclusive. These spaces will make neighborhoods and in turn our city beautiful to live in. Communities, areas, and neighborhoods can have collective experiences like fairs, music festivals, food fairs to create interesting events in our city. To make it beautiful thriving with life, create a new economy and tourism-friendly ambiance.

“Public participation with the three-pronged approach to build Community, Ownership, and Maintenance is crucial for the success of the Mumbai Beautification Project in the long run. It will also lead to an appreciation of property values in neighborhoods and will be good for our economy.”


ICMA.Org | Top 10 Ways to Beautify Your City | Jun 24, 2013. Retrieved 4 May 2021

Britannica.Com I By Naomi Blumberg | Article Titled: City Beautiful Movement, Urban Planning | Mumbai | January 20, 2021 3:12:18 am. Retrieved 4 May 2021