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The Complications of Redeveloping an Urban Slum

What ways in particular should the state government act to ensure the publicprivate partnership in Dharavi is properly balanced?

Danny Harris 08107816 Carl O'Coill ARC3001M: Research Proposal University of Lincoln School of Architecture

Contents List of Illustrations




Private-Public Urban Regeneration


The Slum of Dharavi







List of Illustrations Figure 1.

Sharma, K., 2000. People's Map by the National Slum Dwellers'

Federation. [picture] (NSDF) Figure 2.

Mehta, M., 2007. Dharavi: Dharavi Redevelopment Project. The

Urban Age India Conference. London 2-3 November 2007. London: School of Economics Figure 3.

Arnstein, S., 1969. A Ladder of Citizen Participation. Journal of

the American Institure of Planners [e-journal] 35: 4. Available through: Informa World [Accessed 4 December 2010] Figure 4.

Anon., 2009. Compound 13 [online] Available

at: < Dharavi/13_Compound> [Accessed 20 October 2010] Figure 5.

Davis, M., 2007. Planet of Slums. p. 30. London: Verso

Figure 6.

Mehta, M., 2007. Dharavi: Dharavi Redevelopment Project. The

Urban Age India Conference. London 2-3 November 2007. London: School of Economics




The Context of Slums Today's urban population is around 3.2 billion. The rural population has reached a peak and will start to decline after 2020. Therefore, mega-cities will account for nearly all future population up until 2050. It is estimated that by then, the world will have a total population of 10 billion (Davis, 2007, p. 2). In most least-developed countries (LDCs), migration rates from rural to urban areas have increased because the lack of jobs in rural spaces has been counter-acted by industrialisation in cities (Lynch, 2005, p. 1). The jobs created by middle and upper-class citizens in the metropolis include "construction workers, domestic servants, rag pickers, fruit and grocery sellers" (Roy and Roy, 2008, p. 47). These are mainly unskilled jobs that are easy for the migrants to fulfil. However, most of them fail to take into consideration the cost of urban living and end up living illegally in settlements that gradually become squalid environments. Over the past 30 years, governments have looked at regenerating these areas rather than their previous method of demolishing them completely. "Over urbanisation is driven by the reproduction of poverty, not by the supply of jobs" (Davis, 2007, p. 16). This explains how the implication of clearing slums just creates more slums in other areas, a reason to justify the new approach of upgrading the areas to benefit slum-dwellers. The city of Mumbai is a prime example of why slum regeneration needs to be addressed. High density is the key issue in this exploding metropolis, where large concentrations of people inhabit small spaces. Historic Bombay, now Mumbai, was described in Gazetteer of Bombay City and Island (1909) to be six islands formed around the Mahim Creek. One of these islands was Dharavi. When rural-urban migration first became a


phenomenon around the early 1930s, the migrants arriving into Mumbai gradually got pushed towards the Dharavi region. The original inhabitants of Dharavi were the Kolis and their trade was fishing. Since then, boundary walls and territories have been formed by communities of people who originate from the same rural villages and people who share the same religious views. (Sharma, 2000, pp. xxi-xix) Two main suburban railway lines now surround the area. The Mithi River is situated to the North and a recently developed business district called the 'Bandra-Complex' is to the West (see fig. 1). With economy and development increasing simultaneously, higher-classed societies have voiced their frustrations about the eye-sore that is in their city, Dharavi being the prime example (Thompson, 2009).


Figure 1. People's Map by the National Slum Dwellers' Federation Aim and response The aim of the essay is to debate how a balanced partnership can be formed between slum-dwellers and developers in Dharavi from the perspective of the Maharashtra state government. The state government play a role of the 'middle-man' in this debate. They have passed their share of the land to developers to enhance the lives of the slum-dwellers. All negotiations between public and private sectors have to be regulated by the government in order to progress efficiently. However, efficiency is not a word that is heard very regularly when the subject of upgrading slum areas arises. By collating published research on urban studies about how to succeed in projects of regenerating urban poor areas and comparing these theories to the on-going situation in Dharavi, key issues can be highlighted, that may not be apparent


in other publications. All of the subjects introduced in the text are intended to be from a neutral perspective. The first chapter will look at how and why the public-private partnership method of urban development was introduced. It is recognised that there are other methods of upgrading slums that have been used in the past. Two examples include the implementation of services, called site-and-service, and complete demolition which is rarely heard of in the modern day society. Recent phenomenons of slum upgrading are satellite cities and desokotas, which are both fitting for highly-dense areas in China. Charles Correa, head Architect for the 1985 Prime Minister's Grant Project (PMGP) in Dharavi, decided to choose a complex solution of using site-and-service, with the offer of a loan on a new tenement, repaid by a higher rent strategy (Sharma, 2000, p. 164). Mukesh Mehta is the head architect for the current Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP). He has considered the idea of using 'satellite cities' (Sheth, 2008, p. 26) in the on-going regeneration but instead, favoured an approach that uses a public-private partnership (PPP). Therefore the focus of this text is on the public-private scheme. This chapter will also look at how the past neo-liberal approach towards slums has had a damaging affect on how societies view their governments. The second chapter will look at how a PPP will be beneficial or detrimental to slum-dwellers lives. The architect Mukesh Mehta will be referenced throughout because he has a vital role in ensuring the future of Dharavi is successful. Explanations will be given as to why his proposals for the DRP have affected relationships between the various groups involved in the development. The conclusion will collate all of the overlapping evidence from sources that have been used as research, so that the major issues can be emphasised. This will lead to a formulated consensus of what the appropriate and effective methods of progression may be for the DRP.


Methodology and Literature Review The methods used in this essay include the present polemics of how the PPP is working in Dharavi, through the medium of newspaper articles and journals. This also includes the proposals published by the architect Mukesh Mehta for the DRP. His ambitions he says, are to help the urban poor squatter population of Dharavi. "I am nobody. I need to connect with the residents. We want to stay morally correct" (Weinstein, 2009, p. 399). Research about historical polemics in Dharavi will be collected in an attempt to connect and relate to the slum-dwellers. Both primary and secondary research will be carried out through the use of books and sources on the internet from organisation websites and the official DRP website. Historical and cultural research will be of the past 80 years in Dharavi, the intention is to discover the slum-dwellers identities and origins, how they live in Dharavi and how they interact with each other. The two main texts referred to are Planet of Slums by Mike Davis and Rediscovering Dharavi by Kalpana Sharma. Planet of Slums presents various surveys from Intergovernmental Organisations such as UN-HABITAT. These organisations are in place primarily for human welfare, but specifically in this case to aid poverty in LDCs. Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) also feature in the texts because they play a big part in ensuring the slum-dwellers do not get treated unfairly. In most areas, too many NGOs are founded as a result of the large amount of government funding they receive, this can confuse the situation rather than solve it. All of these surveys present a reality of slums that is ignored in the Western World, Davis explains the extent of how quickly the problem is growing. Rediscovering Dharavi shows a more personal viewpoint from inhabitants of Dharavi itself. The stories told by different generations of people in the slum document a place that is portrayed by Sharma not to be one slum, but a variety of communities that have united to fight for survival in the same area.


The majority of research has been collected from academic journals, mainly because the development in Dharavi only started three years ago and many debates that have arisen since then remain unresolved. Jockin Arputham and Sheila Patel who are both representatives of NGOs for the slum-dwellers welfare have presented some of these unresolved issues in Environment and Urbanisation journals. Other forms of less accredited media that has been used as research, include the documentary series Slumming It by Kevin McCloud. McCloud lived in Dharavi for two weeks with local families from the various communities, to discover the 'finer grain' of the life and citizens in the slum.



Public-Private Urban Regeneration

Historic Methods and the 'PPP' Phenomenon A public-private partnership offers a solution to urbanisation that the neoliberal approach of the 1980s did not, a "voice for the people" (Coaffee, Healey, 2003, p. 1980) of the area under development. Previous to this, state governments were solely focused on the economy of the country, which led to society resenting them and revolting when schemes of slum demolition took place. Harris explains how three interrelated processes of gentrification have changed the way society view the State (2008, p. 2409). Now, state governments tend to choose this option because it is a morally-correct exterior they are presenting, even if they do have underhand motives. Weinstein's recording of a meeting between Mehta and the slum-dwellers. This dialogue shows how Mehta represents himself to be have moral motives on behalf of the State and private sector in the current development in Dharavi (2009, p. 399). The partnership involves a lot of negotiating from various groups of people to ensure a profitable solution can be given to all involved. In order to gain a balance in this partnership, a very detailed site analysis needs to be undertaken by developers. Because these urban poor areas are densely populated, the surveys are harder to conduct (Patel et al., 2009, p. 247). Incoming and outgoing traffic is uncontrollable and the number of residents per household varies in each dwelling. These settlements usually have their own cultural heritage and identity with communities of migrants arriving from diverse backgrounds and locations. Lifestyle, including food and trade specialities differ with each community, and with all this in mind, surveyed site analyses are extremely hard to complete in large scale settlements. The 'voice' of the people is harder to hear when the settlements are large because each community is segregated. Giving a presentation at the London School of Economics, Mehta described these fragmented communities and a key agenda to be fixed during the development of the area (2007).


Once the area has been surveyed, a viable plan is proposed by an appointed head architect. This architect will then delegate certain areas for developers to work on, depending on the scale of the project. The government will ensure that this plan is workable for all 'actors' before moving forward. The head architect tries to build a personal relationship with members of the society within the slum throughout this process. These small interactions mean the slum-dwellers put their trust in him/her and the work he/she wants to complete in their area. However, the NGOs are required to voice the opinion of the entire slum-base at meetings with the government. Whilst the planners and architects might have built relations with various inhabitants, upsets always arise from some people who want to remain unmoved and stubborn. This stubbornness is shown later in various examples from the current project in Dharavi. The Viewpoints of the 'Actors' The term 'actor' relates to all of the individual groups or parties involved in a PPP. The slum-dwellers, the developers, the state and NGOs are all groups that are referred to as actors. One method the slum-dwellers use to unsettle matters in the slum, include protest marches and a stubbornness to relocate when asked to. Recently, the most effective form of distressing the state is to cause problems to the economy. This has been demonstrated by blocking key traffic routes to and from the metropolis during rush hours (Arputham and Patel, 2007, p. 505). The slum-dwellers have a fully justified reason for acting the way they do in this partnership. Their method of unsettling matters buys them more time to figure out the best route out of their situation, which is to face eviction in many cases. The only problem with this is that other slum-dwellers who are entitled to a new dwelling have to wait longer before they can achieve this. These people generally share the opinion of the architect because they have the prospect of getting a dwelling in the newly developed area. The issue of


compromising certain things is a bitter pill to take as a slum-dweller but if they revolt in unnecessary circumstances they might face a more severe set of policies after preceding meetings. Representatives in the NGO groups attend at various stages of the development with state officials and developers. The arguments they present are based around the adverse effects the development might have on the complex society within the slum. NGOs choose this debate with careful thought and attention because the public sector (the government) have the power to stop the private sector (the developers) from developing the land, a power which the NGOs (voluntary sector) have not got. Proposed plans are critiqued to highlight the deficiencies they contain; these could either be loss of communal space or social interaction. After each meeting, the people of the slum are consulted before the next action is taken and correspondence is given from the NGO representatives to the developers. This entails in a long drawn-out process. The developers seem to be the most frustrated actor in the partnership. Whilst the slum-dweller incurs the most detrimental affect at the end. The developers own the land that is a potential 'gold mine' for them. The opportunity of a massive pay-out in Dharavi has been reognised by some of the worlds leading development companies, these include Emaar from Dubai and Hutchison Whampoa from Hong Kong (Robinson, 2008). The pace of the development is very slow, so it feels like their investment will not ever pay the dividends they first anticipated. The developers feel anxiety because of the element of risk it carries. This has been shown in the past in Mumbai, when developers built on a housing market that had fallen into decline. The total expense was US$ 2.9 billion after the original estimation was US$ 1.8 billion. (Patel et al., 2009, p. 250) The thought of another decline heightens the anxiety throughout today's current climate, even if Mumbai does seem to be defying a recession that has affected the western world.


The developers also have to deal with construction matters carefully or face a potential revolt from the slum-dwellers. This has happened repeatedly in the past, with the slum-dwellers attacking the things that will affect the economy because they know this will lead to a quick reaction from governing bodies in the state. The process again seems to stop and the developer's plans are put on hold until the slum-dwellers are happy to back down. One example is to block transport routes into the metropolis (Arputham and Patel, 2007, p. 505). Commuter routes are blocked because they know this will put a strain on the workforce in the city for the time period they act upon. Dharavi is situated in a convenient location to do this, the slum-dwellers constantly use this method as a threat to the private sector and state government. Whilst they try to avoid these circumstances as much as possible. The cunning plan the developers have is to eventually evict all of the slumdwellers and create "a middle class neighbourhood who will benefit from all of the basic and luxury services close to home" (Fernando, 2009). The use of politics is a powerful tool in this situation because the land is not officially owned by anyone, even if the original potters and fishermen claim they have rights to their communities. Mehta's presentation in 2007 indicates that the State do not recognise the slum-dwellers as legal inhabitants (see fig. 2). The in-depth surveying of the area is used as an aid to the government so that they can set policies that will evict a sufficient amount of slum-dwellers in order to complete a lucrative development that is less dense, and at the same time, not look inhumane in their approach to doing this. All of this information is 'purposefully obfuscated' as described by Erhard Berner in Defending a Place in the City (1997, pp. 21, 25, 26). Less dense developments are viewed to be of a better quality. High-rise buildings offer two contrasting realities: the huge amount of real-estate that is accumulated by them and the past problems that led to a decline in modernism through social discrepancies. (UN-HABITAT, 2003, p. 100b) The real estate price for a slum in a metropolis like Mumbai is worth hundreds of millions to developers.


Figure 2. Land Ownership in Dharavi The government's role in these projects remains controversial enough to serve as substance for various different research studies. They are the actor of the three, including the slum-dwellers and developers that offer the most polemics in this debate. No mistake can be made that the government want to develop these areas for the benefit of the economy but they insist it is purely for the welfare of the slum-dwellers. The reason they offer this land to developers is because they know that developers will be ruthless towards slum-dwellers in order to gain maximum profits. They do not gain any immediate profits from the sale of the real-estate. However, the economy of the country increases by the real-estate that was previously on land with no value whatsoever (Satterthwaite, 2009, p. 300). Architects that have been in-charge of urban-poor regeneration have always seemed to share the elitist views of the people in the city that have benefited from the rising economies. Mehta describes Dharavi as a "black hole.


Something we should be ashamed of" (Dhariwal, 2007). Wealthy city-dwellers have the radical opinion that these areas are in vital need of development so that they meet the needs of future generations. The blunt opinions they give are downgrading to the slum-dwellers. They claim that these 'eyesores' affect the first impressions of visitors to their cities when they travel either by aeroplane, train or vehicle. Sharma explains this past phenomenon in Dharavi and surrounding Mumbai, to be "pull-down syndrome" (2000, p. 193). All of the arguments seem to cancel one-another out. The government's reasons to develop are as valid as any other 'actor' opposing the development. However, if the regeneration is not done in a successful manner, the problem that currently sits in one slum will only arise in another one somewhere else, at a later date. The policies the government use seem unfair to the slum-dwellers because one could argue that their actions will eventually clear all slum-dwellers out. If they do not qualify for a new dwelling, then they will have to find a new slum to occupy. Similarly, if they do, circumstances can be just as bad in the long run because high-rental prices will drive them out of the area anyway. In Unconventional Urbanism, the example of this process is given in a mirrored slum-community in Rio de Janeiro (Endicott, Gonzalez and Polhemus, 2009, p. 3). The result will be another middle-class neighbourhood in the metropolis. But this argument cannot be used against the government until all of this is proved, by which time it will be too late for the slum-dweller. The only option is to trust that the government are going to be truthful when they say they want to help the slumdwellers first and foremost.


Theories about the Effects of a 'PPP'

Figure 3. Arnstein's Ladder of Citizen Participation A range of theories have been written about political power and morality in social sciences regarding private-public partnerships. One theory presented by Susan Arnstein is called "laddered participation" (see fig. 3). Arnstein explains the range of participation involved in different projects and how it can be unstable if one 'actor' does not have as much input as their counterpart. At one end of the scale is ultimate participation from the slum-dweller communities. Developers offer the help of a labour force but leave all of the decision-making to the slum-dwellers. The other end of this scale is manipulation from the developers. This is used through the political power and can also be called "revanchist urbanism" as described in The Changing State of Gentrification (Hackworth and Smith, 2001). Political power is used to gain


the territory lost by squatters. In the 1980s, 'collective consumption' was a method used in a more developed form from when it had been presented in the 1960s and 1970s. The rise of NGOs meant that "decentralisation" broke down government power, leading them to revise the tactics they used when regenerating the urban poor areas (Das and Takahashi, 2009. p. 213). This example is taken from a slum with a lot of similarities to Dharavi, in the city of Ahmedabad, India. The methods that the stakeholders in government then take relate back to the theories of Arnstein. All of these issues have taken place in Dharavi through the course of history. Most importantly, the motives of the government in the current development need to be discovered before another slum upgrading project fails.



The Slum of Dharavi

A Vibrant Culture and Booming Economy A PPP is extremely hard to manage in a slum that is as complex as Dharavi. When you ask the inhabitants of the slum where they are from, many replies are assertive in telling you that it is not Dharavi, but their own diverse communities. "What is this Dharavi you are talking about?... This is Matunga Labour Camp, not Dharavi" (Sharma, 2000, p. 4) This is because communities have migrated from rural areas all over India and settled into individual settlements. These communities stay strong in times of disruption because their families have built up trusting relationships over generations of time through their shared migration experiences. Many trades are passed down through families and friends and therefore, they end up working with one-another. Kotkin records Mukesh Mehta explaining the reasons why people stay in Dharavi. "Many slum-dwellers earn middle class incomes…  they stay for practical reasons. They stay because the real estate is too expensive in Mumbai" (2010, p. 40). The companies they set-up don't pay tax and remain illegal. The government are fully aware of these businesses but choose not to shut them down. The reason the government keep the areas regulated in business is because they act as an aid to jobs in Mumbai that are not wanted by the rich citizens of the area, as stated in the introduction. All-inall, these small, unwanted jobs, are estimated to account for an annual turnover of between US$650 million and US$1 billion, reported by the World Socialist Web Site (Thompson, 2009). Money is not the most important thing to the people of Dharavi however. Engaging in their environment and surroundings is more important to them. Architecturally, the chawl of dwellings being so dense, the integrated communal spaces and the working relationships give people a sense of respect for each other. This has been lost through the typology of our own communities in Britain and the Western World. In Britain, "our measure of


beauty is from technology, housing, gardens and place,' in comparison to Dharavi where 'they measure beauty through humanity, looking nice and through social aspects" (McCloud, 2010). Dharavi people do not live like other slum-dwellers around the world. You cannot compare them to the people of the favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, nor can you compare them to the refugees in camps in Lagos, Nigeria. They have a better standard of life because they do not have to go about their day scavenging for food and committing crime to achieve this. The hostility isn't apparent as much and much of this is down to the economy being in a stable condition. With all this in mind, one could argue that the PPP or indeed any method of upgrading Dharavi is completely unnecessary. It causes disruption to the array of trades and business that operate around the clock and is harmful to the workers that contribute to this booming economy. It is alarming that if this partnership is not dealt with properly then social interactions will be lost (UNHABITAT, 2003, p. 106b). The plans show a forecast that could be a reflection of how the decline of modernism became apparent in Britain in the 1960s. The high-rise structures mean that families will be "sectioned into boxes" (McCloud, 2010) and communal spaces will no longer be used. This is the most drastic response to answering how the plans could fail. Dharavi is painted to be a beautiful picture of culture on one side of the debate, but there is also a horrific side: the cleanliness of this squalid area. Downfalls in Hygiene and Morality of Lifestyle Ethical concerns are the biggest threat to humanity in Dharavi every year. "The most common illnesses were found to be respiritory diseases, gastrointestinal disorders, skin diseases, fever, worms, ear, nose and throat diseases, tuberculosis and veneral diseases" (Desai, 1988, p. 72). This is down to the lack of treatment and re-exposure to the same illnesses. This reason alone gives the State a good point of argument for why the DRP should be imposed on the slum-dwellers. The slum-dwellers have to urinate


and excrete into the same rivers that they use to hand-wash their clothes in because the site-and-service project of 1985 failed to leave the slum with an adequate amount of sewer systems to accommodate the rapidly increasing population {Sinha, 2006). These actions are performed with very little privacy or self-respect. And to observe such actions dampens the joyous spirits that are experienced when you see how people interact.

Figure 4. Compound 13, The Waste Landfill Site. Compound 13 brings more terrifying accounts of how morally-unacceptable the society is (see fig. 4). This is the waste landfill site for most of Mumbai's hotels and offices that is situated on the corner of 60-feet road. Newly-formed plastic recycling businesses have meant that Dharavi recycles over 80% of plastics (Mehta, 2007), compared to an appalling 22% in Britain (Davis, 2010). Therefore, around five-thousand slum-dwellers scurry through the heaps of rubbish, filling three-thousand bags of assorted items. (Sharma, 2000, p. 107) Needles and other used medical equipment make this job both dangerous and inhumane. Long hours of minimum pay mean that the women working on


these sites have just enough money to live and to build a small fund in order to send their children to school. This is the aspiration of most parents in Dharavi. In contradiction to accounts stating that there is virtually no crime in Dharavi, many reports explain how the frustrated life in slum environments can mean "young boys are carriers of illicit distillation of liquor and young girls practice prostitution openly" (Desai, 1988, pp. 72). It has to be noted that this source was over 20 years ago and improvements have been made since then. However, these forms of activity haven't been completely eradicated. Sharma explains how 'ghettoisation in communities' has become more apparent since the riots of 1992. These riots happened because of destruction of the Babri Masjid mosque in Uttah Pradesh. They affected the people of Dharavi because they were migrants from Uttah Pradesh. This had been "pre-fought in 1962-63 over the fight for land between Hindu and Muslim groups" (2000. p. 151). The religious disharmony is much more relaxed now, but because history has shown repeat disruptive attacks, it leaves the suspicion that repercussions will occur again one day in the near future (Das and Takahashi, 2009, p. 215a). Whether this will happen whilst this current redevelopment is on-going is still unanswered. But this is yet another reason why public-private relations have to be dealt with so cautiously. The government uses poor health, inadequate work conditions and tension in societies as justifications for the need for infrastructure in the area. Many slum-dwellers agree that the conditions they live in need to improve, but they wouldn't be dissatisfied with their lives at present, if the development didn't happen. Many sources state that the government's reasons to regenerate the area are cover-ups for a more unethical reason, the economy. Policies put in place at the start of such a large-scale project can have a detrimental affect on slum-dwellers, depending on where they sit within the hierarchy of the slum. "Project-affected persons" (Arputham and Patel, 2007, p. 502) have to


face the reality of their livelihoods being taken from them when the construction starts on their patch. Hierarchy in Dharavi

Figure 5. Slum Typologies, taken from Davis' Planet of Slums The hierarchy typology in Dharavi is similar to Davis' example of a metro-core slum hierarchy rather than one of a periphery (see fig. 5). The policies requirements set out by Mukesh Mehta to acquire a new dwelling in the current regeneration, include either a 'photopass' identity, which is in-effect a passport, or a place on the electoral roll that was surveyed in 1995. (Anon, 2007) This process becomes corrupt because the 'photopass' identification is


often given to landlords so that rent can be secured on tenements. The landlords take bribes from the poorer people because they are in a higher position of power. Sharma has taken specific consideration to the fraudulent system in slums, focusing one chapter on the subject in Rediscovering Dharavi. The police have been known to take bribes and side with the criminals. This has led to a loss of faith in the policing system in the area. (2000, pp. 127-154). Other large groups facing eviction with no compensation are the sidewalk-dwellers. The reason most of them are living on sidewalks is because the 1985 redevelopment project relocated the leather tanning trade to Deonar, on the outskirts of Mumbai (Desai, 1988, p. 71). These slumdwellers either slept on the factory floors of the tanneries or used their wages to pay rent. In the end, they lost their livelihoods altogether. Their fight for survival meant moving to sidewalks and looking for other jobs or relocating to Deonar. The repercussions of this are being felt 25-years on. These people are going to have to face losing their small patch on the sidewalks as well. The only way the PPP will benefit these people is if it was dealt with on a more personal level, so that the developers could discover people's backgrounds. The people who were innocently evicted in 1985 and have managed to survive in Dharavi ever since, should be more deserving of a new tenement than people who have attained a 'photopass' illegally. Mehta's plans of 2004 Mukesh Mehta, has been working in Dharavi since 2004. The plans he unveiled in 2007 caused a rift between the private and public sectors from the very first day (Endicott, Gonzalez and Polhemus, 2009, p. 2). The policies he has enforced indicate that recreation of poverty in another location is inevitable because not all of the slum-dwellers in Dharavi qualify for housing in the new development. Furthermore, the lack of consultation with the slum communities came under scrutiny when a letter was addressed to him from Jockin Arputham (2007, p. 504). The letter explained how the slum-dwellers planned to block the central and western train lines if they did not get some


feedback on the events that were proposed to take place. Not only did the lack of communication affect the slum-dwellers in 2007, but the quality of the proposed housing also left a lot to be desired.

Figure 6. Distribution of Dharavi to Developers Firstly, Mehta had proposed that the areas under development were going to be split into 5 sections (see fig. 6) with different developers taking control of each one. This is not very fitting for a place like Dharavi because of the small communities and religious groups that occupy different sectors so close to one another. Instead, other ideas of developing Dharavi could be to look at all of the 85 neighbourhoods individually. But this is something Mehta didn't seem to do. Whether it was because he is ignorant about the culture of the place or because he is trying to remain efficient in the plan, the result didn't give a good impression of him throughout the slum. Secondly, the idea of a 'vertical' slum wasn't, and still isn't, appealing to a citizen of Dharavi who has spent his/her whole life living no higher than one floor above ground height.


Simple daily tasks like carry water up several floors to flush the toilet are issues that are going to be the chores of new life in the area. Trade systems and fully operational businesses will be affected by loss of labour force and insufficient work environments. Liza Weinstein records a meeting between Mehta and key members of the community in Kumbharwada. She puts emphasis on how much effort Mehta is putting into the development by considering all of the issues the NGO groups raise as discrepancies in previous meetings between the three sectors. Weinstein goes on to explain how Mehta took the effort to speak in the Kumbhars native language of Gujarati, rather than English or Hindi. As one would expect, the meeting did not go smoothly the whole way though. When quoting the scheme as a "slum scheme" (Weinstein, 2009, p. 399) the local people reacted angrily because they do not view the area as a slum, but as a normal community like any other settlement around the world today. If Mehta or any one of the other private 'actors' in this partnership are quoted in a misleading fashion the repercussions can be very severe. Slum-dwellers seem to be very defensive about their communities because their whole lives are based on the survival skills they have built within Dharavi. "The NGO Concerned Citizens for Dharavi' held a '15,000-strong peaceful Black Flag Day" (Patel et al., 2009, p. 242). The reason was because of the lack of consultation at the time of the announcement of the first plans in 2007. The relentlessness the slum-dwellers is admirable considering the situation they are in. Events that give the people voice or power are alarming for the state government. The threats can easily turn into actions of revolt. Therefore, they tend to give into the slum-dwellers needs so that little or no damage is done to the economy and surrounding societies in Mumbai. Historically, these overhauls in political power to show a public voice have ended in an unstable environment and many years of riots. To keep the balance in the partnership, the government have to intervene and make sure that the developers are less commanding. Historic events can also give a reminder to the government that


slum upgrading projects are very delicate matters that have to be considered in a lot more detail than Mehta's plans show. His role as head architect for the DRP is a powerful role but also very demanding. If the project continues to fail the needs of the slum-dwellers, the development will favour an institutionalist's view and will benefit companies and developers in the private sector. Once again, this will be like projects of the 1980s, when the aim was to benefit the economy, rather than giving empathy and aid to the ethical issues (Endicott, Gonzalez and Polhemus, 2009, p. 3). Mehta's task is huge. Involving existing trade systems and the booming economy the slum creates, through the process of regeneration, so that it can continue in the post-development period, will be the ultimate test to decide whether this project is successful or not. In a wider context of slum upgrading projects around the world, this project seems to be one of the easier ones. Especially when comparing the problems the architects that have to deal with when developing in third-world countries. These areas have significantly higher poverty and crime rates. Public-private partnerships in favelas in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or refugee camps in Lagos, Nigeria, are just two examples of more extreme circumstances than Mumbai, India. In Dharavi, the citizens don't live in an ideal world, but a feeling of satisfaction is sensed in the area, mainly because they are earning a living in a modestly safe environment. Nor do they pay tax or have to pay the high-priced rents of living in a city (UNHABITAT, 2003, p. 99b). This justifies why staying and living in the slum of Dharavi seems like the best option for these people.




Response to Slum Upgrading From the research undertaken in this essay, the conclusion in response to the problems ongoing in the slum of Dharavi still remains unanswered. However, the majority of sources used in this debate all carry similar polemics to one another. These include the issue of density, height to floor ratios, future inhabitants of the area, consultation of issues and the livelihoods of the slumdwellers in a post-development period. Before any of these issues are answered by the developers, the first actions taken have to be to cooperate with the slum-dwellers. Arnstein's Ladder of Citizen Participation (see fig. 3) explains how Mehta is operating around rings one and two on the scale of participation. Events that occur in Dharavi, like the Black Flag Day, put emphasis on how important the area of Dharavi is to the slum dwellers. Instead of reacting to this situation in a positive manner, Mehta has remained committed to his 5 sector plan (see fig. 6). A counter-action that would have seen Mehta's popularity rise would be not to deal with the slum as five pieces of a puzzle, but put in the due care and attention to the 85 neighbourhoods that need to be dealt with individually. The reason this alternate method would work more effectively is echoed in Sharma's introduction to Rediscovering Dharavi. The slum-dwellers origins are not Dharavi, but their own communities. Preceding this more advanced level of interaction, the underlying polemics of the quality of buildings can be assessed. In the UN-HABITAT report of 2003, the ideals of a post-modern world are given as specific examples of how a slum upgrade would fall into decline. Yet, baring this in mind, Mehta's plans to build high-rise still only benefit the economy and not the environment. Both Berner and Harris present notions of how the government do this when


upgrading slums. Hackworth and Smith's description of a revanchist style of urbanisation mimics the methods of how Mehta is acting in the DRP. Not all of the issues can be improved significantly. The complexity of the area has to be taken into consideration. It would be almost impossible for Mehta to complete the DRP to suit everyone, meaning compromises have to be made. The compromise of building vertically to tackle density is potentially one of the most disastrous for the livelihoods of the slum-dwellers. A balance does have to be made in the PPP and the repercussions of high-rise may lead to loss of jobs and businesses. As it stands, the only way the DRP can succeed using a PPP is to take the left over land on offer to the developers to reduce the density further, without building vertically. This will mean that the developers will either lose interest in the quality of the build because the profits they were promised have been diminished or they will pull out altogether. Robert Neuwirth speaking on TED offered a varying solution. He speaks of the most primitive shanty found in Kibera, a "stick in the mud hut." He goes on to explain of developments, the "plastic tarps on the roof" in Bombay. This protects the huts from monsoon season. Then onto Rio where there are "scavenged terra cotta tiles and little pieces of signs, some colour." Further progression is described in Sultanbelyi where a door and a fence have been scavenged. "And then you get Rocinha and you can see that it's getting even better. The buildings here are multi-story." The roofs here are rented for further development on top of the current built. In Turkey, a "higher level of design" is shown through "the crud in the front, which is mattress-stuffing." So on and so forth. The point Neuwirth is trying to prove is that squatters can be developers and given time and resources, an under-developed area of squalor will eventually turn into an urbanised town or city (2005). Drawing comparisons to the case studies in China, Dharavi can be tackled in a very similar manner. Flexibility in the design of a desokotas means that they can be built to accommodate the complex lives of the slum dwellers. This


includes a home environment, a work environment and a social environment. As easy as it is to draw other conclusions to the problem in Dharavi, the DRP has chosen the method of a PPP to solve the current issues. A change in slum upgrading process is highly unlikely and the benefits, or more so, the repercussions of the development will only be there to see once the new environment has been built. This raises the question to World Organisations such as UN-HABITAT of when considering slum upgrading processes: Should a proven and successful method such as a desakota be used homogenously? Or does every project have to be dealt with specifically for the same complex reasons that have arisen in Dharavi.


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