The first phase of construction has been completed on “One Green Mile”, a project intended to transform neglected spaces below Mumbai’s Senapati Bapat Marg flyover.
Dutch architect Mvrdv said it would make the “necessary evil” of highways “give something back to the places they cut through”.
Mvrdv worked alongside Indian co-architects StudioPOD on the 800m-long space which will house public “rooms” such as a gym, lounge, shaded seating area, performance space and reading room, with greenery and a colourful, hilly paved landscape.
Paving, bicycle paths and big, bright zebra crossings have been added to improve safety and access.
Stefan de Koning, Mvrdv partner, said: “Perhaps one day we will see the end of noisy, unpleasant highways carving up our cities, but for now they are still unfortunately a necessary evil – one you can see in Mumbai more than most cities.
“One Green Mile asks the question: what if we expected highways to give something back to the places they cut through? A flyover can provide some shade in a hot city, and creates a small area of land that can’t be developed with tall buildings. It’s not such a crazy idea to make that into a public space.”
One Green Mile is the start of a green renovation that will create a further 3km of public space underneath the 11km flyover.