Urban renewal is the process of rejuvenating an urban area by renovating, regenerating, or rebuilding the existing infrastructure. In India, urban renewal projects have been implemented in various cities to cater to the growing urban population and improve the standard of living. However, these projects have been met with both successes and failures. This essay will examine three examples of urban renewal projects in India, highlighting their successes and failures. The three projects are the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project in Ahmedabad, the Slum Networking Project in Indore, and the East Kidwai Nagar Redevelopment Project in Delhi.

Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project

The Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project in Ahmedabad was initiated in 2004 with the aim of converting the 11.25 km stretch of the Sabarmati riverfront into a recreational and commercial hub. The project involved the construction of 42 parks, a promenade, and a 28.5 km cycle track. The riverfront was also developed for various activities like boating, sports, and cultural events.

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Recreation spaces around riverfront_©Copyright Credit-sabarmati riverfront development
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Sabarmati Riverfront _©Copyright Credit-sabarmati riverfront development

The project has successfully transformed the riverfront into a vibrant public space, attracting many visitors. The project has also generated employment opportunities, boosted the local economy, and improved the overall standard of living in the area. The riverfront development has become a landmark project for Ahmedabad and has won several international awards.

However, the project has also faced criticism for being elitist and ignoring the needs of the urban poor. The project has displaced several informal settlements, and the cost of the project has been a burden on the city’s finances. The project’s success also depends on maintaining the facilities and preventing encroachments on the riverfront.

Slum Networking Project

The Slum Networking Project in Indore was initiated in 1994 to provide basic amenities to the urban poor living in slums. The project involved the provision of basic infrastructure, such as water supply, sanitation, and electricity, to the slum dwellers. The project also involved the construction of community toilets and stormwater drains.

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Slum network in Indore_©Copyright Credit- AKDN

The project has been a success as it has provided basic amenities to the slum dwellers, improving their living conditions. The project has also encouraged community participation, as the slum dwellers were involved in the planning and implementation of the project. The project has become a model for other cities in India and has won several awards.

However, the project has also been criticised for inadequate addressing the root causes of poverty and slum formation. The project has not been able to provide permanent housing to the slum dwellers and has only provided basic amenities. The project has also been limited in its scope, as it has yet to be able to cater to the growing demand for housing and basic amenities in the city.

The Bhendi Bazaar Redevelopment Project

The Bhendi Bazaar Redevelopment Project is a major urban renewal project in Mumbai, India, which aims to transform the 200-year-old congested neighbourhood into a modern and sustainable community. The project was initiated by the Saifee Burhani Upliftment Trust (SBUT) in 2009 and was planned to be completed in multiple phases over 10 years. The project aims to replace the dilapidated buildings and narrow lanes with modern high-rise towers, wide roads, and open spaces. The redevelopment plan includes the construction of 17 high-rise towers, a commercial hub, a community centre, and various other amenities.

The project has faced numerous challenges, including resistance from the residents concerned about their displacement and loss of heritage. However, the SBUT has taken measures to ensure the participation of residents in the planning and execution process and has provided them with new flats in the redeveloped buildings. The project has also faced issues in managing construction debris and its impact on the local environment.

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Bhendi bazaar before_©Copyright Credit-the guardian
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Highrise proposal for bhendi bazzar_©Copyright Credit-the dawoodi bohras

Despite the challenges, the Bhendi Bazaar Redevelopment Project has made significant progress and has been praised for its innovative approach to urban renewal. The project has incorporated sustainable design principles and focused on preserving the neighbourhood’s heritage. It has also been recognised for its efforts to create a model of inclusive urban development by providing new homes and amenities to the existing residents while also attracting investment and creating job opportunities for the wider community.

In conclusion, urban renewal projects in India have had varying degrees of success and failure. While some projects have successfully transformed neglected areas into vibrant, thriving communities, others have been met with resistance from locals and failed to achieve their intended goals. It is essential to understand each project’s unique challenges and complexities and work towards finding solutions that benefit all stakeholders. Effective communication and community involvement are crucial to the success of urban renewal projects, as are careful planning and implementation. It is also essential to consider these projects’ long-term. Sustainability and impact on the environment and society. By learning from past projects’ successes and failures, we can strive to create more equitable and inclusive cities for all.


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