We agree our proposal will be a provocation (what if?) rather than conclusive instructions for practice (this is how it is). When posing the question this way, we seem to agree that the potential for new frameworks involves channeling a diverse set of organizations (of various scales, compositions, funding sources) to maximize effectiveness through cooperation. Additionally, we talked about focusing on a particular geographic area(s) to add depth to our research.
After giving this more thought, I am proposing a slightly modified direction. Taking into account our resources (in terms of time/expertise), I think we should consider how we can be most effective with our work. The prior post about Mumbai highlights the complexity of the issues we are engaging. It is difficult to speculate on how the specifics of slum redevelopment in Mumbai (or any other city) are transferable across cities, nations, continents. Essentially, they may be too specific to be meaningful at the larger scale – nevermind the effort required to do a truly effective case-study or find a novel collaboration between two organizations.
Despite this, there are certain paradigms present in the Mumbai example that are transferable or have value in the fact that they are distinct from practices in other contexts. I propose that we operate more at the level of paradigm rather than nitty gritty. More after the break…
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 root cause of urban slumming seems to lie not in
urban poverty but in urban wealth.”
– Gita Verma, Slumming India: A Chronicle of Slums and Their Saviours
I came across a series of papers addressing the ‘Culture of Open Networks.’ Although the majority of the writing addresses new media, a pair of essays by Mike Davis and Saskia Sassen examine the presence/evolution of slums in the contemporary city. The specific focus is Bangalore, but their analysis of ‘slum production’ is a helpful addition to our general research. As we look further at the opportunities available to us as architects/designers, it is important to remain cognizant of the larger socio/econ/poli structures influencing the physical context we see in front of us.
Here are the Davis/Sassen essays
Here is the full publication entitled In the Shade of the Commons: Towards a Culture of Open Networks
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