Singapore 8th July 2010
Back from Mumbai in Singapore for a few days before jetting off to China for a tightly scheduled “round the country” trip to visit some of our project sites and coordinate progress with our clients. I think most of us who have visited countries like India are always sad to witness the poverty and living circumstances of many. While the slums of Mumbai were made popular by the movie Slumdog Millionaire, the reality of life in the streets make us humble and appreciate everything we have got!
It is with pleasure therefore that I am negotiating the lighting design for a project in Mumbai that will turn dirty and unused road and seaside land into a beautiful landscaped park with many themed features that will be free and open to the public and give them a nice environment to relax and enjoy life away from the “streets”. Lighting will obviously be crucial to make it a safe and enjoyable place to be at night. I don’t know whether I will eventually get to do the job but I do like the intent behind the project and it is good to see Mumbai moving this way. Many big developers are forced by the government to spent part of their profits back into the country as part of obtaining building approvals for their commercial and money making developments and city beautification is the way it is being implemented.
In Australia for instance, the program is called “percentage for the arts” program, where developers are to spend a certain percentage of their budget in providing art, sculptural public installations or other to help beautify the city.
Many cities around the world have embarked on similar schemes and more and more of them start to include lighting as an integral part of the scheme. The end results are generally win-win for everyone. The city wins as its image is getting a boost, the inhabitants win as they get better facilities and a city they can be proud of!