As part of tactical urbanism, the BMC has planned to construct a ‘Sister City Square’ at Kalanagar, Bandra West, to honour its bond with 15 sister cities across the world. A tender for it was invited on Friday. This project will serve as a tourist destination for domestic as well as international tourists, the BMC believes.
Mumbai has 15 sister cities, including Stuttgart, Berlin (Germany), Los Angeles (USA), St. Petersburg (Russia), Yokohama (Japan), Honolulu (Hawaii), New York City, Zagreb (Croatia), Barcelona (Spain), Busan (South Korea), Port of Odessa (Ukraine), Jakarta (Indonesia), Nadi (Fiji) Antananarivo (Madagascar) and Shanghai (China). Mumbai has maintained good relationships with them through cultural ties, commercial growth, sharing of knowledge, and signed memorandums of understanding (MoU).
As part of the relationship, the BMC has planned the Sister City Square at Kalanagar junctions, adjoining a service road to the Mhada building. As per the draft designs for the plan, along with landscaping and beautification, the square would have Flags of all the countries with sister cities.
There will also be an information desk for each city, and a help desk for students or tourists who are visiting from these cities. The project would also improve the traffic movement at the junction, claimed a BMC official.
The project is an idea of state tourism and guardian minister for Mumbai suburbs, Aaditya Thackeray. The total project cost is estimated at Rs 1.63 crore; it is expected to be completed in six months. The project would be funded through the district planning committee funds for the improvement of traffic islands and public spaces.
Kiran Digghavkar, the assistant municipal commissioner of G-North ward (civic planning department), and also in charge of implementing tactical urbanism, said that the project would create awareness about international linkages Mumbai has and is seen as a space for strengthening cultural and social relationships with international students and citizens of Mumbai. He said, “The idea is to create a space where domestic and foreign tourists can visit, spend time, and interact with their peers.