#SaferOutdoors: Keep Public Open Spaces Open

#SaferOutdoors: Keep Public Open Spaces Open

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Keep beaches, promenades, parks and gardens in Mumbai open from 7am to 8pm to encourage staggered usage of these spaces, prevent crowding and encourage social distancing. Keeping public open spaces closed during daytime hours is not aligned to public policy and public health objectives.

The last year’s social and civic restrictions in response to the SARS Cov-2 pandemic have had serious physical and mental health implications for residents of Mumbai. Adults as well as children, who have been compelled to stay indoors for months, are in dire need of safe outdoor recreation. Children and seniors are particularly affected by these closures. The denial of open space access has serious developmental repercussions for young children who have been indoors for the better part of 2020. 

International scientific research has shown that the SARS-Cov 2 virus is less likely to be transmitted outdoors as fresh air disperses and dilutes the virus. Here are a few quotes to support this point:

"Indoor spaces are more risky than outdoor spaces where it might be harder to keep people apart and there’s less ventilation."

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/deciding-to-go-out.html

"Researchers say infections can happen outdoors, but the chances are massively reduced. Fresh air disperses and dilutes the virus. It also helps to evaporate the liquid droplets in which it is carried. On top of that, ultraviolet light from the Sun should kill any virus that's out in the open."

https://www.bbc.com › news › explainers-55680305

The city of Mumbai has one of the lowest per capita open space ratios in the world. Reports suggest that:

  • There is only 1.24 sq. metres of open space per capita in the city of Mumbai (Ref: Sayli Udas-Mankikar, “Formulating Open-Space Policies for India’s Cities: The Case of Mumbai,” ORF Occasional Paper No. 241, April 2020, Observer Research Foundation.)
  • Mumbai has public open space of only 14sq.km or 2.5% of the city’s total area. (Per report by Jones Lang LaSalle India, reported in the Economic Times on 29 August 2012)


Mumbai is also the second-most densely populated city in the world, with 20,000 people/sq km according to the 2011 Census, with average residential tenements smaller than is found in most urban areas around the world.

In this background, it is imperative that the city urgently maximizes access to its meagre open spaces. We urge the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to do everything possible to facilitate and encourage the safe use of public open spaces at this difficult time just as many other world-class cities around the world have done. 

Additionally, efforts could be taken to increase available space for residents to cycle and walk for exercise and recreation by closing down some roads to traffic during the week. 

We appreciate the immense task that is upon the MCGM to control the spread of SARS-Cov 2 in Mumbai.

It is #saferoutdoors, please keep our public open spaces open.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!