The Linking Road Park Project, Bandra, Mumbai, India
Abraham John Architects

Reclaiming the Streets
The Linking Road Park Project, Bandra, Mumbai, India
The Linking Road Park Project aims to bring into plain public view and access to Patwardhan Park (Bandra, Mumbai, India), a beautiful 3.6 acre park that currently fronts Linking Road but is walled off both physically and visually by a row of street shops, mainly shoe shops. The footpath is occupied by these shops and traffic comes to a standstill due to the overflow of shoppers and the absence of a usable footpath. 
The current extension of Waterfield Road, Bandra is present on plan but is not motor-able due to illegal parking, temporary shops and the high pedestrian volume. The proposal aims to convert this road into a 1.3 acre open pedestrian plaza that would appear to be a part of a larger Patwardhan Park. 
This is an innovative proposal that calls for the relocation of the 70 shops from the perimeter of the park, 17 from the opposite side and 9 from the perimeter of National College, Mumbai to this plaza. An uninterrupted pedestrian access to the Park, right in the middle of the busiest locations in Mumbai. To facilitate the flow of traffic along Linking Road an Underpass is provided, which will allow for full pedestrian access above. The number of shops are retained and relocated at the north end corner of the pedestrian plaza, closer to the main Linking Road shopping area. This would transform the chaos on the road to an orderly and sustainable pedestrian plaza. 
The proposal benefits not just the residents of the neighbourhood and nearby Communities, but also the millions who throng the street shops, the general motorists, the pedestrians and the students of colleges on Linking Road. Everyone would now have direct access to this beautiful park.
People of Mumbai have just 1.1 sq. m of open space per person, the Linking Road Park Project will help tackle the issue and the same intervention can be multiplied or applied to other places, within the city or elsewhere to benefit at a greater scale.
Case Study: The Equal Streets movement is one of the attempts where in, every Sunday morning local people with bikes, skateboards, yoga mats and footballs replace snarling traffic on the stretch of Mumbai’s Linking Road. It is a vision of a better, happier and healthier city. If on a weekday, pedestrians can barely navigate this traffic-congested, hawker-infested, heavily polluted stretch in Mumbai’s swank suburb of Bandra, for the last few Sunday mornings these few kilometers of Linking Road have become a road of their own.

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