The Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) works primarily in the field of research on core urban issues such as efficient public transport and mobility, effective policies for housing, heritage conservation, environmental protection as well as adequate standards for the provision of social amenities. Thus, our work has long-term implications on both, Greater Mumbai and the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR), which in turn, impacts its entire population, that is, about 22.8 million people.
Spanning an area of 4,312 sq km, the MMR comprises Greater Mumbai, Vasai-Virar, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan Bhiwandi, Ulhasnagar, Ambernath, Matheran, Karjat, Pen, Panvel, Alibag, amongst many other towns and cities, across 8 Municipal Corporations and 9 Municipal Councils.
Presently, the data that is available with different agencies such as NGOs, municipal bodies, planning authorities, and other government bodies and hence collating it all is time consuming and cumbersome. Thus aiming to bridge this gap in data, UDRI proposes to create a platform to showcase spatial information on the MMR via a geospatial platform.
GIS provides easy access to data, in comparison to data presented in tabular form. The idea is to provide data across multiple thematics such as demography, boundaries, health, education, environmental features, transport networks, physical infrastructure, state of governance, land use and development plans for Greater Mumbai and the MMR. The objective behind the creation of the MMR Mapbook is to collate data across several thematics from various sources by filing RTIs and gathering data from various agencies, and finally make a spatial database with each feature mapped geographically.