What Stops India From Growing Vertically?
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the civic authority in Mumbai, recently proposed a base floor area ratio (FAR, or the ratio of the area of the floor constructed on a plot to the size of the plot) of two throughout the city. To know whether having such uniformly low base FARs in Indian cities makes sense, we should compare the density of Indian cities to other major global cities. For the period with comparative data available, French capital Paris has an average population density of 88 people per hectare and the UK's capital London has 62 people per hectare, while it is 389 people per hectare in Mumbai, 233 people per hectare in Hyderabad and 207 people per hectare in Bengaluru. This means that the constraints Indian cities face are enormous and development will not meet the needs of people if the FAR is not high in central areas. A look at the infographic below shows Mumbai as a rare major city curbing vertical growth despite being highly dense. This is also true of Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bengaluru and other Indian metros.