[Talk-in] Mumbai Brownfields

Arun Ganesh arun.planemad at gmail.com
Mon Aug 8 21:58:46 BST 2011

On Thu, Aug 4, 2011 at 11:57 AM, Shekhar Krishnan <shekhar at mit.edu> wrote:

> Here is a study I participated in several years ago on Housing Typologies
> in Mumbai:
> http://www.urban-age.net/0_downloads/House_Types_in_Mumbai.pdf
Thanks Shekhar, that was a very useful report in understanding how these
settlements came to be.

 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.

My view of squatter colonies is as a type of urban settlement. As a physical
structure, they exist on the ground, they cover large areas of the city and
are distinctly different in both its physical form and character from a
planned layout. Marking them will help in better understanding the structure
of the city and the relationships these settlements have with geographical
features like water bodies, wetlands, transportation networks, access to
govt services.

> 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.

Maps are a tool to understand the earth, and we should keep it that way.

In any case, my interest in the slums of Mumbai came out of curiosity on how
these settlements have grown, where and why. If no one else sees any use of
such areas on the osm server, i can easily move it to a separate layer for
my personal use.

just for reference, we did go on about this before :)

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