Contemporary Issues in Architecture and Urbanism

Topics: Urban design, Urban planning, Urban decay Pages: 38 (12461 words) Published: April 25, 2013
part vii


0001312817.INDD 787

7/7/2011 5:54:24 PM

0001312817.INDD 788

7/7/2011 5:54:24 PM

 


There seems to be a prevailing perception that apart from its southernmost colonial quarters, Mumbai is essentially a schizophrenic urbanscape where emergent islands of modernity are surrounded by an endless sea of informal shacks. This image of a city sharply divided between opulence and poverty is used across the political spectrum to justify redevelopment projects in the name of equality. The intuitive but misleading parallels slum = poverty and high-rise = middle-class, coupled with an incapacity to recognize the variety that actually exists in between these extreme categories, has allowed countless acts of injustice to be perpetuated in the name of slum upgrading and redevelopment projects. In the process, the incremental development of many so-called slums in Mumbai has been curtailed, with dramatic consequences for the concerned populations and for the long-term social and urban sustainability of the city. Mainstream conceptions of what a world-class city should look like and a tendency to understand urbanization from the point of view of form rather than process

0001312817.INDD 789

7/7/2011 5:54:24 PM


international settings

have given a free ride to the real estate construction industry. In this chapter, we redefine the conceptual fault line that runs through the typologies of the high-rise building and that of the slum and propose a new planning paradigm based on neighborhood life and local economic activities, including the production of habitats themselves. While this chapter centers on Mumbai, we refer to Tokyo as an example of a city that has blurred many of the categories traditionally used to conceptualize urban space while achieving high levels of urban and economic development. We argue that the potential of many unplanned neighborhoods in Mumbai has been entrapped in oldschool urban planning practices and categories that are increasingly detached from the reality they are supposed to improve. These include conceptual shortcomings, the incapacity of integrating planning interventions to existing patterns of development, as well as a predisposition to segregate spatial uses (working, living, leisuring). A more grounded understanding of Mumbai’s habitats and the socioeconomic processes that generate them may help produce viable alternatives to the perpetual loop of slum demolition and reconstruction that preclude inclusive and sustainable urbanization. We first provide a short overview of the cityscape of Mumbai and its diverse habitats, paying particular attention to the slum and high-rise, seeing them as both actual urban typologies and ideological constructs. We then discuss the relationship between urban form and development processes in the light of relevant urban studies concepts and theories. Subsequently, we describe how a certain narrative of inequality has been used to justify redevelopment projects that feed into the speculative economy. We refer particularly to the case of Dharavi, a large unplanned settlement that is wrongly known as the largest slum in Asia. This leads us to question the hugely problematic label of slum that has been affixed on many of the self-helped neighborhoods of Mumbai, often making it even more difficult for residents and small businesses to improve their conditions. Notions of what constitutes a legitimate type of habitat are central to this argument. We then proceed to analyze the typology, social meaning, and political economy of high-rise apartment blocks, which are systematically presented as the only possible architectural response to slums. This provides the analytical framework necessary to introduce our concepts of the intensive and...

References: Alexander, Christopher. 2001. The Phenomenon of Life: Nature of Order. Book 1, An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe. London: CES Publishing. Alter Chen, Martha. 2006. “Rethinking the Informal Economy: Linkages with the Formal Economy and the Formal Regulatory Environment.” In Linking the Formal and Informal Economy, ed. Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis, Ravi Kanbur and Elinor Ostrom, 75–92. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Anderson, Martin. 1965. Federal Bulldozer: A Critical Analysis of Urban Renewal, 1949–1962. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Appadurai, Arjun. 2000. “Spectral Housing and Urban Cleansing: Notes on Millennial Mumbai.” Public Culture 12:627–651.
0001312817.INDD 812
7/7/2011 5:54:26 PM
speculative urban development in mumbai
Bharucha, Nauzer. 2009. “Move to Postpone Dharavi Bid Opening Raises Eyebrows.” Times of India, July 31. Bhide, Amita. 2008. Resettlement or a Silent Displacement? Mumbai Reader 2008, 302–329. Mumbai: UDRI. Castells, Manuel. 1991. The Informational City. Oxford: Blackwell. Correa, Charles. 1989. The New Landscape. London: Butterworth Architecture. Davis, Mike. 2006. Planet of Slums. Brooklyn: Verso Books. Echanove, Matias, and Rahul Srivastava. 2008. The Tool House in Mumbai Reader 2008, Mumbai: UDRI Publications.,_ Projects,_Designs_%26_Plans_for_Dharavi/H._Essays,_Studies,_Research_on_ Dharavi/The_Tool-House. Epstein, David. 1973. Brasilia, Plan and Reality: A Study of Planned and Spontaneous Urban Development. Berkeley: University of California Press. Gans, H. 1959. “Human Implications of Current Development and Relocation.” Journal of the American Planning Association 25:15–26. Hein, Carola, Jeffrey M. Diefendorf, and Yorifusa Ishida, eds. 2003. Rebuilding Urban Japan after 1945. London: Palgrave Macmillan. Illich, Ivan. 1973 (reissued 1989). Tools for Conviviality. Heyday Books. Khanna, Tarun. 2007. Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India Are Reshaping Their Futures—and Yours. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business Press. Krieger, Alex, and William S. Saunders. 2009. Urban Design. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. Kunstler, Jim. March 2001. “Godmother of the American City.” An interview with Jane Jacobs, Metropolis Magazine. Law, Alex. 2005. “The Ghost of Patrick Geddes: Civics as Applied Sociology.” Sociological Research Online 10. Lynch, Kevin. 1990. City Sense and City Design: Writings and Projects of Kevin Lynch. Edited by Tridib Banerjee and Michael Southworth. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. McKinsey and Co. and Bombay First, 2003. Vision Mumbai: Transforming Mumbai into a World-Class City. Mehotra, Rahul. 2008. “Negotiating the Static and Kinetic Cities: The Emergent Urbanism of Mumbai.” In Other Cities, Other Worlds: Urban Imaginaries in a Globalizing Age, ed. Andreas Huyssen. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. Richie, Donald. 1999. Tokyo: A View of the City. London: Reaktion Books. Sassen, Saskia. 1994. “The Informal Economy: Between New Developments and Old Regulations.” Yale Law Journal 103:2289–2304. Seidensticker, Edward. 1990. Tokyo Rising: The City since the Great Earthquake. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Sharma, Kalpana, 2001. Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories from Asia’s Largest Slum, Australia: Penguin. Smith, Adam. (1759/2010). Theory of Moral Sentiments. Reprinted by London: Penguin Classics. Sorensen, Andre. 2002. The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and Planning from Edo to the Twenty-First Century. London: Routledge. Tanabe, Hiroshi. 1994. Les habitants de Tôkyô et leur territoire. In La Maîtrise de la Ville: Urbanité française, urbanite nippone (Augustin Berque, editor), 377–392. Paris. Editions de l’Ecole de Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales. Weinstein, Liza. 2008. “Mumbai’s Development Mafias: Globalization, Organized Crime and Land Development.” International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32:22–39. http://www.sra
0001312817.INDD 813
7/7/2011 5:54:26 PM
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Contemporary issue Essay
  • Contemporary Issue Essay
  • Contemporary Issues Essay
  • Essay about Contemporary Issues
  • Urbanism Essay
  • Contemporary Management Issues Essay
  • Architecture Essay
  • Essay on Contemporary Issues in Management

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free