Shortlisted in Infrastructure Projects 2023:

One Green Mile – Public Space and Streetscape Design by

2023 Infrastructure / India / Built in 2022 /

Creating Streets as Public Spaces

One Green Mile is a “Complete Street” project that addresses the global challenge of transforming vehicular dominant corridors to reclaiming streets for its people in the heart of Mumbai’s financial district. The project demonstrates how encroached and underutilised spaces can be converted into safe and fun public places using principles of good street design and place making.

StudioPOD was hired by Nucleus Office Parks (NOP) to create Public Private Partnership project that collaborated with the local government, community, private stakeholders, and design experts to develop the street based on the following principles:

1. Road dieting
2. Equitable Street Distribution
3. Programming reclaimed underutilised spaces
4. Resiliency of community & landscape

This 1.8km stretch of Senapati Bapat Marg (SBM) passes through the Lower Parel neighbourhood and is amongst the busiest sections as it connects to the existing suburban railway stations. To facilitate movement of commuters, bus stops and taxi stands are located along it. The road experiences extremely heavy traffic volumes especially during the peak hours; to address this a flyover was built in early 2000s, which bypasses a few of the junctions.

StudioPOD led a multi-disciplinary team to develop and execute the masterplan for One Green Mile over a span of two years by following the due process that a complex city project like this demanded. Detailed existing conditions analysis, stakeholder engagement and approval process between different authorities was initiated to kick start the project. The master plan proposed three main strategies (i) streamline traffic movements & street geometry (ii) equitably allocate space for all users and create a high-quality public realm (iii) develop the space under the flyover as a public space.

A traffic survey was conducted based on which an analysis was done to tabulate the requirements for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles. Considering the high volumes, an innovative solution involving reclaiming road space used for parking for the creation of a wider public realm was developed. This along with adjustment of the road geometries resulted in streamlining of traffic movement as well as creating a public realm that reduces conflicts. The public realm was richly planted with local species of trees and shrubs and street furniture was introduced. This transformed the footpath from a narrow footpath hidden behind parked vehicles to an exciting and well programmed public realm including a cycle track.

Multiple micro-destinations along the street have been created as pause points nestled within the reclaimed pedestrian zones and within the neglected under flyover spaces. These micro-destinations in the form of parks, plazas and safe refuge areas have seating, wayfinding and adequate lighting surrounded with landscape elements like swales, green islands, and trees, designed for shade and resiliency.

‘Parel Baug’, – a park under the flyover has been transformed from an unwelcoming underutilised space to a truly public place filled with games, laughter, and shelter for the community. Culturally rooted programs like the study centre, also known as a “Vachnalaya” was introduced, for students to read and study in a quiet, distraction-free community space and meet with peers around the clock. The play area was designed to be a flexible space for all games and community gatherings. Curated public art illustrates the history of the area while creating a sense of place. The project has reclaimed 2.3 acres of public realm, installed 5 new modular bus stops, planted 130 new trees, and created 1 acre of new public open space for its daily 1.5 million commuters.

The newly designed street articulates an innovative way of streamlining the vehicular traffic and reclaiming unused area for pedestrians, cyclists, and native landscapes. The 2.3 acres public realm has one-third of the area covered in landscape, richly planted with native species of trees and shrubs in the busy commercial street. This further helps to reduce the urban heat island effect and improve air quality. The increased porous area also helps as a cost-effective green infrastructure for storm water management. Stonecrete, made of a mixture of locally available natural stone and concrete has been used as the pavement material, allowing for a seamless walking surface and increased durability. The once neglected under flyover space is now a well-programmed community park for people of all ages. Planting extends throughout this space, providing much needed greenery on both sides that helps in reducing the air pollution, create legibility and provides an audio-visual buffer, while cooling the surrounding spaces.

One Green Mile shows how a collaborative approach in urban design, landscape urbanism and placemaking can create a thriving public place while making daily commute easier and comfortable for more than 1,50,000 people per day.

Urban Design and Landscape Urbanism Lead : StudioPOD

International collaboration for underflyover space: MVRDV

Public Art collaboration: St+art India

Landscape Architects: AMS consultants And Enviroscape India

MEP: ARKK Consulting

Lighting: Lighting Concepts

Traffic Analysis: Rahul Dalal & Sustainancy Consultants Pvt Ltd Consultants Pvt Ltd

Signage & wayfinding : StudioPOD

Structural Design: JJW Consultants LLP

Clients : Nucleus Office Parks & Municipal Corporation Of Greater Mumbai (Mcgm)

Location: 19.010137489635284, 72.83425341715018

Elphinstone Flyover, Saidham Nagar, Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400012

Design year: 2020

Year Completed: 2022


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