Large-scale government coordinated efforts (led by Mumbai’s Slum Rehabilitation Authority) are taking place in Mumbai to rehouse the vast population of slum inhabitants. The process is largely market-driven with government authorities selling land occupied by slums to developers for private development. Because of density pressures in Mumbai, this land has incredible value to private enterprises. In exchange for he land’s development rights, developers are required to provide new housing to existing inhabitants, while the remainder of the site is open to private market-driven use. Not surprisingly, this process is often plagued by corruption and unfulfilled promises, but the existence of a formal mechanism for addressing slums locally is worth our attention. More after the break…
The Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) was established on December 15th, 1995, to serve as the planning authority for all slum areas in Greater Mumbai and to facilitate the rehabilitation schemes. SRA’s responsibilities are: to survey and review the existing position regarding slum areas in greater Mumbai; to formulate schemes for the rehabilitation of slum areas; to get the slum rehabilitation schemes implemented; to do all other such acts and things as may be necessary for achieving the objective of rehabilitation of slums.
The objective of SRA’s Slum Rehabilitation Scheme is to not only redevelop, but also rehabilitate the slum and its inhabitants. Through the scheme, rehabilitation flats are built free of cost to the slum dweller by cross-subsidisation provided by free-sale flats. Developers are allowed to construct sale flats on slum land, whether it is government or private land, in exchange for the construction of flats for slum dwellers.
This article provides a slum dweller’s perspective on SRA’s initiatives.
And more interestingly, a memo regarding the transition from ‘informal settlements’ to ‘formalized city.’ Post-war Tokyo is seen as a precedent.
“This memo attempts to show that from a slum, Tokyo incrementally developed to become the future city” that we know today. Slum-type urbanism is a legitimate form of urban development characterized by the primacy of “lived” space over “conceived” space.
The memo regards the redevelopment of Dharavi, a slum of 1 million people in Mumbai. Described as a ‘Boomtown’, major efforts are underway to suture the slum land and inhabitants into the formal space and economy of the city.
The site is being sold to private development interests at a price of $2.3 billion dollars. In exchange for reurbanizing the 230 acres (according to specific gov’t guidelines) the developers must rehouse the 57,000 families currently residing in Dharavi. Here is a good introduction, Blueprint for a New Dharavi. Googling it will lead you to hordes of information/articles. I’m writing a follow-up post to think through how we may be able to use Mumbai, the SRA, and Dharavi as part of our research and proposal.