Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation
At a Glance
Engagement and Behavior Change
Dimple Behal supported BMC/WRI India to identify gaps and devise potential strategies in regulatory policy to improve flood resilience in Mumbai, in alignment with the Mumbai Climate Action Plan.
A coastal city with a significantly high population density and rampant development, Mumbai has encountered a significant rise in urban flooding issues and stress on its stormwater infrastructure during high rainfall events. Anthropogenic activities and the future development of the city have a pivotal role in increasing flood resilience, a key action of the Mumbai Climate Action Plan.
The project’s objective was to analyze the existing scenario of flood-risk in Mumbai through the lens of current development planning and regulations, and their implications on the city followed by the gap analysis. This would further help in devising regulatory strategies for mitigation and adaptation to reduce flood-risk.
This project’s solution involved planning for city flood risk, introducing spatial interventions to reduce run-off by increasing permeability, and reducing pressure on existing storm-water drains. This includes the protection of existing green and blue spaces, retrofitting existing land surfaces and buildings with flood-resilient designs, interventions at land parcel level to promote permeability and improvement in streetscapes to reduce run-off.
In addition, natural areas contribute to detaining stormwater before it flows to the stormwater infrastructure, which makes it imperative to have stringent mechanisms to protect areas for flood-resilient development in the city. Special zoning regulations could also be introduced to flood-prone zones. The urban flooding issue cannot be treated in a silo and illustrates a dire need for strong consultations with different stakeholders such as government, policy-makers, academicians, and local communities to help prepare comprehensive policy interventions and regulations.
The city of Mumbai provides a large contribution to India's GDP. Improved policy level instruments and flood-resilient strategies will not only reduce loss and damage due to flood risk and save costs on capital-intensive grey infrastructure for stormwater drainage, but will also improve livability.
These strategies would have co-benefits in the form of per-capita availability of open space and improved air-quality. Better adaptation and mitigation strategies can reduce loss of livelihood, damage to infrastructure and the financial cost of the city. Robust enforcement strategies can help Mumbai combat climate change impacts such as flooding in a proactive manner.