ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Life between Buildings

The Use and Abuse of FSI

The World Bank has been complaining that Indian cities are not making optimal use of their land and has been pressing for upward revisions of the floor space index, particularly in Mumbai and Bangalore. However, the bald comparison of FSI across cities that the WB presents is seriously misleading. This paper proposes a new metric, crowding, defined as the number of persons per hectare for a particular urban use. Thus we have indoor crowding, park crowding, and amenity crowding. How the new metric of crowding might be used in planning or replanning urban areas in general and the major policy changes that need to be made if Mumbai's housing shortage is to be seriously addressed is also discussed.

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