The pitfalls of regional delineations in land use modeling: Implications for Mumbai region and its planners

Arnab Chakraborty, Bev Wilson, Shakil bin Kashem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article we use the SLEUTH model and publicly available datasets to develop a stylized planning application for Mumbai, India. We use two sets of model specifications that reflect the two regional extents at which Mumbai region is planned: (1) the jurisdiction of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM), which is responsible for the central city and surrounding suburbs, and (2) the planning area of Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority (MMRDA), which is a loose collection of a much larger set of municipalities and districts. Using these, we illustrate how urban models can be limiting as a predictive tool but useful as an assessment mechanism, especially when additional considerations of scale and institutional roles are applied. We compare the outcomes for the overlapping geographic area between the two planning agencies and find considerable variations in the location and amount of growth and discuss why and how the differences in the spatial extents affect the model results. Through a discussion on the implications for modelers and planners, especially in light of the ongoing initiatives in India, we highlight the value of consideration of multiple model outcomes and highlight the importance of coordination of planning efforts taking place in spatially overlapping or nested jurisdictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-103
Number of pages13
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015


  • Land use model
  • Megacity
  • Mumbai
  • Regional planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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