[Talk-in] Mumbai Brownfields

Shekhar Krishnan shekhar at mit.edu
Thu Aug 4 07:27:18 BST 2011


 > Shekhar, can you list out the different classes (official and non
 > official) of such dense settlements which look like slums, what they are
 > locally called and their description? These areas are of high interest
 > to urban planners, govt bodies, NGO's etc and having them mapped
 > appropriately will definitely be a lot of help to different parties.

Here is a study I participated in several years ago on Housing 
Typologies in Mumbai:

I was hoping someone like you with better knowledge would
 > bring this up and propose a more meaningful tag. Replacing tags does not
 > require much effort.

It's not about replacing tags, it's the logic of tracing something that 
looks contiguous from the bird's eye but is actually quite a mixed 
environment. These are not even common neighbourhoods where 
"place=locality" would be appropriate.

 > Going by the wikipedia definition of brownfield land
 > <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brownfield_land>, i did not think it was
 > totally inappropriate either.

Yes it is, brownfields are contaminated or former industrial sites which 
are either abandoned or slated for redevelopment. Urban mixed 
settlements in India are entirely unrelated.

My interest is in 'slums' which have
 > unregulated and unplanned developments (and have been marked by the
 > government for rehabilitation, clearing and redevelopment).

Redevelopment is a highly political process, as is the meaning of the 
term "slum", which is often used to indicate a desire to displace poor 
people and demolish their settlements.

I don't believe our cartography should reflect the view of government or 
builders who seeks to clear and rebuild entire areas to favour certain 
classes. "Slums" encompass a wide spectrum and continuum of housing 
practices. Most such settlements require upgradation, better services, 
and in-situ development. That's a different debate.

No settlement in Mumbai is "unregulated or unplanned", informal housing 
comes up in areas which are marked on plans for other purposes and are 
usurped by local officials and landowners/slumlords. They are highly 
regulated as far as water, sanitation, electricity and other services 
are concerned.

Maps have their own ethics. I think we should all be careful that our 
desire for transparency does not end up making some people more 
vulnerable, by putting them on the map in the wrong way. That said, I'm 
very eager to map houses, markets, workshops, schools and temples in the 
wadis, koliwadas, gaothans, chawls of Mumbai.



On 08/03/2011 03:03 PM, Arun Ganesh wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 3, 2011 at 11:56 AM, Shekhar Krishnan <shekhar at mit.edu
> <mailto:shekhar at mit.edu>> wrote:
>     All:
>     I noticed activity in Mumbai recently by Arun Ganesh (PlaneMad)
>     where a lot of "landuse:brownfield" areas are being traced around
>     various villages, koliwadas, wadis, slums and mixed-use and
>     industrial settlements.
>     I know there was some earlier discussion of how to tag so-called
>     "slums" but "brownfield" is certainly not appropriate, see the tag
>     which is "land scheduled for new development"
>     http://wiki.openstreetmap.org/wiki/Tag:landuse%3Dbrownfield
>     It seems that this tag is being used indiscriminately across any
>     cluster in Mumbai which appear dense, this covers a wide spectrum of
>     settlements that all look the same from a satellite image.
> Hi Shekhar, I wanted to do an analysis of how much area such settlements
> cover and was tracing the boundaries of these areas. Since there isn't
> any agreed convention, i just continued what an earlier user had done in
> south mumbai.
> --
> j.mp/ArunGanesh <http://j.mp/ArunGanesh><http://j.mp/ArunGanesh>
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Shekhar Krishnan
58/58A, Anand Bhavan
201, T.H. Kataria Marg (Lady Hardinge Road)
Matunga (West), Mumbai 400016, India


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