Development Timeline of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai

Mumbai City and environs has been a living urban lab for practitioners around the globe since decades. Some of the key aspects which highlight the journey of Mumbai as an emerging global city are:

  • Transition from trade to services
  • Busiest ports in the region
  • Cultural and Fashion Capital of India
  • Focal point of the growing regional system of cities

Mumbai city and suburban district is, at 440, just over half the size of New York City, but is home to 12.4 million people. The wider metropolitan region, at 4,355 is relatively small compared to other global regions, yet has a population of close to 20.7 million. It is one of five mega-city regions in South Asia .

The region comprises of Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Navi Mumbai and Ulhasnagar, 15 Municipal Towns, 7 Non-Municipal Urban Centers, and 995 villages.Its administrative limits cover Mumbai City and Mumbai Suburban Districts, and parts of Thane and Raigad District. There are 40 Planning Authorities in the region that are responsible for the micro-level planning of the different areas.

The timeline presented below highlights some of the key facts of the development of Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Navi Mumbai is one of the largest planned city in India. The twin city concept was adopted by Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Planning Board (MMRPB) with a view to decongest the Mumbai city. Navi Mumbai project began in 1971 with the formation of CIDCO with an objective to convert 344 sq. km. of marshy land lying between the village of Dighe in Thane district and the village of Kalundre of Raigad district into a new city.

Land-use zoning and development regulations were used as tools for environment control in its Development Plan. Polycentric model of urban development was adopted for development of the project area into 14 nodes. Strategic planning approach towards development included acquisition of all land within the notified area to have a better control of the environment and to use land as the main resource for development.

Some of the key indicators of the Navi Mumbai Notified Area based on available Census 2011 data are presented.




Navi Mumbai Notified Area has a complex institutional framework for planning process with six agencies currently administering the area. Agencies for management and development of proposed airport and Special Economic Zone are expected to be key stakeholders in the future planning process of the region. A representative map is shown with the planning jurisdictions in the Navi Mumbai Notified Area.


With the state government approval for redevelopment of existing gaothan in Navi Mumbai Notified area the challenges and opportunities for CIDCO and other planning authorities in the region are enormous. The spatial distribution of these gaothans would be key in implementation of this new policy initiative. Spatial distribution of around 95 gaothans are presented in the map below.


This article is part of NIUA-CIDCO Smart City Lab initiative to document the dynamics of urban planning and development in the Mumbai region. Contributions from researchers, practitioners, students, and staff of the planning authorities and academic institutes are invited to share the evolution of cities and towns in the region.