Airport Slums Rehabilitation, Kurla, Mumbai

The area in the immediate neighbourhood of the Mumbai airport runways have large tracts of land occupied by dense slum settlements – almost 650 tenements per hectare.

If the airport is to be redeveloped, modernized and its security improved, the 82000 slum families will have to be humanely rehabilitated. The sheer scale of the rehabilitation, almost similar to an urban renewal scheme, threw up many challenges:

-Getting reasonably priced land in close vicinity to avoid loss of livelihood on relocation.
- Special planning and provision for social amenities and infrastructure.
- Approval of changes in regulations like FSI, TDR, conversion of industrial land to residential/commercial. 
- The design challenge of not letting the limited land availability reduce the rehabilitation project into another concrete shanty.

The 53 acre Kurla site was proposed to accommodate 20000 tenements in ground + 9 storey structures. The development is planned around a central 54000sq.ft maidan with the high school and community centres abutting it. Connecting access roads break up the development into several zones and blocks. Each block has been designed around central open spaces that link diagonally to the open spaces of the adjacent blocks thus promoting air circulation and the feel of openness. They weave into a lively and ventilated fabric of built form and open spaces.

Each residential unit is planned as a compact 269 sq.ft. carpet area block with a living room, kitchen, bath and toilet, as stipulated by the government of Maharashtra.

Client: Housing Development & Infrastructure Ltd. (HDIL)
Area: 53 Acres, 20000 Housing Units. Cost: Rs. 80000 lac.
Period of construction: 2008 - ongoing  
Supporting architects: Mohammed Ali Momin (Associate), Snehal Karlekar, Madhuri Thakkar