Deepal Doshi

On 25 November 2022 we held the TRANSCEND Scenario Workshop in Mumbai, co-organized by the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) and Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), and kindly hosted by Mumbai Metropolitan Development Authority (MMRDA). The aim of the workshop was to co-develop socio-economic scenarios for Mumbai 2050 using a participatory approach by engaging with multiple stakeholders.

First, we had a round of introductions by all 27 participants of the workshop, ranging from government, civil society and academia. The workshop was kick-started with a welcome address from Prof. Parthasarathy of IIT-B, followed by Prof. Matthias Garschagen from LMU Munich, who set the frame of the workshop in the larger context of global climate policy and relevance to the IPCC. We had the honour of having Mr. Srinivas, the Additional Chief Secretary and Metropolitan Commissioner of the MMRDA, to address the workshop and engage in a short discussion with the participants. A very engaged discussion focussed on issues such as conflict between environment and infrastructure, migration, housing etc. The Commissioner also shared that MMRDA will prepare a new Climate Action Plan for the metropolitan region of Mumbai that will be complimentary to the existing Mumbai Climate Action Plan (prepared by the Mumbai Municipal Corporation) and will be mainstreamed in the planning and execution of projects by MMRDA.

Moving on to the scenario workshop, Dr. Jan Petzold, co- Project Investigator of TRANSCEND, presented the Shared Socio-Economic Pathways framework and introduced the Zero order draft of the downscaled scenarios for Mumbai 2050 for the workshop. The zero order draft consisted of 10 themes relevant for Mumbai and what trends and changes could be expected in each of these themes across SSP 1, 2 and 3.

After lunch, the participants were divided into 3 groups according to the thematic clusters of their expertise and themes for the scenarios. The first group worked on demography, migration and labour, economic transitions. The second group worked on Social well being, security and protection, health, poverty and inclusion (access). The third group worked on Infrastructure, Land use transitions, disaster adaptability, Overall effects on vulnerability. Participants were given a hand-out and expected to discuss each of their assigned themes and comment on the draft scenarios for revision.

Following more than an hour of enthusiastic discussions across all three groups, we convened jointly to have a short report back of each group’s discussions by their chosen rapporteur. Civil society representatives for eg. pushed for considerations of social vulnerability aspects. Wrapping up the workshop, Mr. Shankar Deshpande, head of Town and Country Planning in MMRDA presented future development plans of Mumbai and emphasized the role of transit-oriented development for Mumbai Metropolitan Region.

The day-long workshop concluded successfully with very valuable inputs from all stakeholders and the enthusiastic discussions showed that we are onto a very relevant topic for Mumbai. The inputs to the scenarios from the stakeholders will now be analyzed in the next weeks and sent for a second round of evaluation. Stay tuned!