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Mumbai - the bicycle friendly city, bicycle masterplan & design guidelines for central mumbai

Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/DSN
Publication Date
  • Fysisk Planering
  • Spatial Planning - Communications
  • Spatial Planning - Social Planning
  • Bicycle Planning
  • Sustainable Planning
  • Mumbai
  • Political Science


Mumbai – the city of contrasts, is home for more than 20 million people. It is the financial centre and the most modern city in India. As most cities within developing countries Mumbai is striving to imitate the western model of growth and lifestyle to achieve a “developed” status. Motorization, especially private motorized modes, has become prioritized because they are seen as a big part of this development. This neglecting has also led to a significant prejudice against bicycle riding as a transport mode. Over 300 new cars are registered ever day in the city. Not only is congestion a big problem but pollution from vehicles are posing serious threats to peoples health and to the environment. 88% of the population is using public transport today but with a larger growing middle class, ready to buy private vehicles, traffic related problems are likely to worsen. The gap between rich and poor is increasing, parts of the population can hardly afford to use the public transport system. Even though Mumbai is claimed to have the highest income per capita in India, 40 % of the inhabitants are still living below the poverty line. There are many aspects in society that could have a positive effect if a well working bicycle infrastructure were to be developed in Mumbai. Bicycling is not something new in India, bicycles have been used for a long time both for commuting and transporting goods. India is the second largest producer of bicycles in the world. 3% - 7% of all trips are done by bicycles in Mumbai today but studies shows a sharp decline in bicycle journeys over the past two decades. It is likely that bicycles will disappear from the streets in less than a decade if no actions are taken from the government. Six goals have been chosen to look at in this thesis, they are; Equality, Safety, Mobility, Urban life, Environment and Health. Some facts under each goals are presented and it is explained how a well working bicycle network could improve some aspects under each goal. Design standards of how bicycle facilities should be constructed and an illustration of a bicycle masterplan is proposed based on interviews with the public, literature studies and analyzing of the existing roads. Recommendations on how to work with changing prejudices against bicycling and how the planning of a bicycle network could be implemented are given.

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