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BMW Guggenheim Lab Mumbai unveils winning designs for competition to rethink busy transportation hu
Kala Nagar Traffic Junction It's Time to Change Our Outlook [panel excerpt] Radhika Mathur.

MUMBAI.- The BMW Guggenheim Lab, in collaboration with Mumbai Environmental Social Network (MESN), today announced the winning entries for “Rethinking Kala Nagar Traffic Junction,” a call for innovative proposals to redesign one of Mumbai’s most congested transportation hubs. Launched in November 2012, the competition, which was administered by Lord Cultural Resources, asked applicants to address the junction’s complex traffic flow and explore ways to reimagine its infrastructure with ideas that could be applied to other intersections throughout Mumbai. The competition is part of the Mumbai Lab’s exploration of the growing need for urban spaces that enhance everyday life for all Mumbaikars.

The competition’s winners were selected by a jury of local and international experts, including Lab Advisory Committee Members Enrique Peñalosa (former mayor of Bogotá) and Geetam Tiwari (transportation expert), along with Mr. Vivek Phansalkar (Joint Commissioner Police, Traffic), Mr. PRK Murthy (Chief of Transport, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA)), Mr. Sirish Patel (urban thinker and civil engineer), Mrs. Tasneem Mehta (Managing Trustee and Honorary Director, Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum), Mr. Ashok Datar (economist), BMW Guggenheim Lab curator David van der Leer, and Mumbai Lab Team members Neville Mars and Trupti Amritwar Vaitla.

Mr. PRK Murthy, Chief of Transport for MMRDA, one of Mumbai’s main city agencies overseeing the revamping of the Kala Nagar Traffic Junction, said, “The submissions were both creative and practicable, demonstrating the degree to which design can affect livability and improve urban comfort in cities. MMRDA will consider implementing elements of the competition entries in different phases over the coming years.”

“This is a highly welcome initiative aimed at optimizing public spaces in general and improving the Kala Nagar traffic junction in particular,” said Mr. Vivek Phansalkar, Mumbai’s Joint Police Commissioner, Traffic. “I congratulate the BMW Guggenheim Lab for this important endeavor and hope that we will be able to support some of the winning entries and encourage their implementation.”

“We are thrilled by the submissions and the enthusiastic response we received from students and professionals working in the fields of design and urban planning,” said BMW Guggenheim Lab curator David van der Leer. “The Lab is grateful to have had the opportunity to conduct this design competition and work with MMRDA to ignite practical and innovative solutions for the first steps in the renovation of this important Mumbai space.”

The selection committee awarded three honors in the professional category and two honors in the student category. A “people’s choice” winner, selected from either category, was decided by more than 200 community votes at the skywalk of the Kala Nagar Junction and by visitors to the Lab at the Dr. Bhau Daji Lad Museum.

The five designs selected are:

• Ms. Mayuri Sisodia and Mr. Kalpit Ashar, professional category
• Ms. Sweta Parab and Mr. Hrishikesh More, professional category
• Ms. Radhika Mathur, professional category
• Dr. D. Y. Patil College of Architecture – Ms. Shreesha Arondekar, Ms. Gargi Thakur, Ms. Pooja Kudale, Ms. Anaya Patil, Ms. Snehal Sonawane, Ms. Asmita Rai, and Ms. Sayali Potnis, student category
• Mr. Andres Perez and group, student category
• Ms. Vedika Tulsiyan, Mr. Jaynish Shah, and Mr. Karan Sancheti, “people’s choice” category

Jurors praised the entries for their responses to the specific character and nature of traffic in Mumbai. Entries in the professional category were noted for solutions that addressed the urgent need for improved clarity of signals, signage, and lighting; preservation of green spaces and natural environment; ease of proposal implementation within city guidelines; improved bus lanes and boarding; clearer demarcation of traffic lanes; initiation of rainwater collection and reuse; and consideration of noise levels. In the student category, selected proposals focused on bicycle use, the pedestrian experience, improved signal lighting, and creative use of space under the existing flyover. For more information on the competition, visit the Lab’s website.

Honoraria of 70,000 INR were awarded in the professional category, and 20,000 INR in the student category. The “people’s choice” winner will receive an additional 15,000 INR.

Shortlisted entries included:

• Mr. Nikhith Ashok
• Architect Sabu Francis and Associates
• IDEO Innovation and Design Pvt. Ltd.
• Mr. Amit Karambelkar and Mr. Ninad Patil
• EHDD – Mr. Samir Shaikh
• Mr. Gaurav Sardana, Ms. Prachi Donde and Ms. Palak Kothari

The Kala Nagar traffic junction is one of the most vibrant and challenging public spaces in Mumbai, connecting Island City to Mumbai’s western suburbs through five main traffic arteries. The junction has one of the city’s highest traffic volumes, with about 60,000 passengers per hour, both above and below the highway’s flyover, at peak times. Inconsistent lane use, jaywalking, illegal parking, and bus stop boarding add to congestion on the ground level. Research also shows that the Western Express Highway, which connects with the junction, ranks among the ten most dangerous roads in Mumbai, as measured by casualty rates.

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