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Kritika Sha MSc Urbanism | Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment | Delft University of Technology





P4 Graduation Report submitted by: Kritika Sha Student no. 4505581 | MSc Urbanism | Delft University of Technology May 2017


P4 Graduation Report submitted by: Kritika Sha Student no. 4505581 MSc-4 Urbanism, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. Email:;

Research Group: Complex Cities & Inclusive Cities - International Planning and Developing Regions

Mentor Team: Roberto Rocco (Spatial Planning and Strategy) Arie Romein (OTB)

May 2017

Image Sources: Cover: Dharavi, India - Opposite Page: A potter sells his wares -

P R O LO G U E Ramjibhai Pithabhai Patel, a 65 year old Kumbhar (potter) lives in Dharavi Mumbai. From early morning, he is at work, pausing rarely for a break. A pail of smoke hangs over the corridor as a worker stamps on a mound of clay, preparing it for Ramjibhai and other potters. “When I was growing up, this was an open space. We could see Mahim station from here� He lives in Kumbharwada, a settlement where kumbhars (potters) who fled from the drought and famine in Saurashtra, Gujarat (a neighbouring state), many decades ago live and work today. - Excerpt from Rediscovering Dharavi by Kalpana Sharma

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT This research is the result of a yearlong graduation project conducted at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at Delft University of Technology. A large share of this research is attributed to the critique and guidance offered by my mentors, Roberto Rocco & Arie Romein. Further guidance by the studio group was provided by relevant workshops and discussions, which provided the necessary tools for conduction the research comprehensively. Fieldwork, essential to the progression and the validation of research would not be possible without the assistance received from UrbZ (based in Mumbai). Jai Bhadgaonkar, Rahul Shrivastava, Matias Echanove, Shyam Kanle and Bhau Korde amongst others of UrbZ (Mumbai) spared no trouble and attempted to answer all my questions. The fieldwork would also not be successful without the cooperation of the residents and workers in 13-compound of Dharavi. Further insight into the planning and policy approach towards informal settlements in India was provided by Ainsley Lewis, George Jerry Jacob and Hussain Z Indorewala, as experts in this field based from Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies (KRVIA) at Mumbai. Personal thanks goes out to my fellow graduates and friends, especially Rahul, who provided critique and support when required.

Image: 13-compound, s ource - Author

SUMMARY OF GRADUATION PROJECT The aim of this research is to investigate to what extent the existing production of space in informal settlements is related to its social ties and economic needs (social and economic values), and how it can be incorporated into a strategic framework for future redevelopment schemes. This stems from the meteoric rise of informal settlements in the global south, despite several redevelopment projects and policy attempts. The selected case study is Dharavi, located in Mumbai, India. The research defines the problem field of urbanisation in the global south and its manifestation as informal settlements and slums in most developing countries. This research confines itself to a test site in India, where the paradox of a low rate of urbanisation is coupled with a persistent nature of informality exists. The aim is to investigate the spatial quality produced in this particular case of Dharavi, its link to social and economic values, in order to develop a strategic spatial framework, which can be incorporated into future redevelopment schemes. This research, through a comprehensive analytical framework in Dharavi reveal strong correlation between the economic livelihoods and networks and the existing social structure. This correlation results in a distinct mode of production of space, to which Dharavi’s resilience and economic success can be attributed to it. What is also revealed is the lack of policy in the current redevelopment that addresses the pre-existing economic networks and thereby its social structure. In order to approach redevelopment of informal settlements such as Dharavi, in a more inclusive and sustainable manner, this project aims to use the hypothesis of ‘economic clustering’ in order to ‘reframe’ and develop a strategic framework for Dharavi. The strategic framework is then texted through a design framework echoing the same elements at a selected site (13-compound) inside Dharavi. The frame of ‘economic clustering’ offers a reframe on the traditional model of redevelopment in informal settlements in India and perhaps extending to the global south. Most informal settlements in the geographical realm of the global south, have distinct economic patterns and social networks which play a vital part in their existence and contributing to their perseverance. The proposed model of redevelopment aims to address and examine the existing economic networks incorporating them into a framework that provides a balanced combination of spatial guidelines and policy recommendations.


01 02 03 04

Overview 1.1 Motivation


1.2 Context


The Issue 2.1 Problem Analysis


2.2 Problem Statement


2.3 Research Question & Sub-research Questions


2.4 Project Relevance


2.5 Aim of Research


2.6 Methodology


2.7 Theoretical Overview


Analysis - Dharavi Layer 1 - History of Dharavi


Layer 2 - Policy review 72

Layer 3 - Landform and Infrastructure 78

Layer 4 - Economical Structure


Layer 5 - Social Structure 98

Hypothesis 4.1 Synthesis & Conclusions at Dharavi


4.2 Design Hypothesis


4.3 Design Approach


05 06

Strategic Framework 5.1 Overview of Strategic Framework


5.2 Element: [RE]Divide


5.3 Element: [RE]Structure


5.4 Element: [RE]Inforce


Design Framework 6.1 Analytical framework at 13-compound


6.2 Exploration of Economic activities at 13-compound


6.3 Design Framework -


Element: [RE]Structure E lement: [ R E ] D iv ide Element: [RE]Structure

6.4 Time-frame

07 08


Reflection 7.1 Economic clustering as a spatial tool


7.2 Reflection on the process


7.3 Abbreviations


7.3 References & notes


Appendix 8.1 Survey Maps - Dharavi


8.2 Dharavi Redevelopment Project - Plans


8.3 Essay - Theorising informal urbanisation

2 11

Source: /sy s-images/E nv ironment/Pix /pictures/2014/ 9/ 18/ 1411055882


part 01 Overview

1.1 Motivation 1.2 Context 1.2.a Informal Urbanisation & its main challenges 1.2.b Definitions 1.2.c Why India 1.2.d Why Dharavi

1.1 MOTIVATION My interest in this rather broad topic of informal

cities like Mumbai (then Bombay) and Kolkata.

settlements stems from both academic and personal.

This journey has defined how Indian cities have

The informal settlement, or the slum as it is often

spatially organised themselves, often giving birth to

called in India has grabbed national headlines for

the “informal settlement”. This research, for me is

the last few decades. This topic is often gives rise

therefore a method to understand the evolution of

to polarising opinions of redevelopment and is

informal settlement, and therefore my own history.

also part of a larger academic discourse. Even with promises of a modern India in the 21st century, there is a constant growth of informal urban settlements with deplorable living conditions in most Indian

Selection of research studio:

cities. Although there are several organisations and policies working for these settlements, there a

The approach, argued by this research needs a

surprising lack of knowledge and discourse about

planning approach and spatial strategy composed

the spatial quality of these settlements in relation

with a combination of spatial design and policy

to their cultural, social and economic standing.

recommendations which have a direct spatial

My academic interest stems from this missing

impact. This approach is offered by the Complex

discourse, especially in the case of my selected case

Cities Research group, which also offers an

study of Dharavi.

additional aspect of governance and its possible collaborative elements.

Personally, I am myself a 3rd generation of migrants arriving to the city of Kolkata (then Calcutta),

Within this broad research group, my research

India at the end of the 19th century, settling in

focusses on the social-economic elements present

the numerous informal settlements sprouting in

in informal settlements and its translation into

and around the city. Along with my family were

inclusive redevelopment projects. I find support for

thousands of people leaving their drought ridden

this in the ‘Inclusive Cities’ research studio (a part

farmlands looking for better opportunities in

of the larger Complex Cities Studio).


“It is our dream that by the time we celebrate the 75th year of independent India, all the slums are replaced by cemented houses.” – Narendra Modi (Current Prime Minister of India)

“A slum is not a chaotic collection of structures; it is a dynamic collection of individuals who have figured out how to survive in the most adverse of circumstances.” - Kalpana Sharma (in her book - Rediscovering Dharavi)


1.2 THE CONTEXT 1.2.a Informal Urbanisation and its main challenges Global urbanization is at an unprecedented rate.


66% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050 (Nations, U., 2014).

The major share of these informal settlements

This has been highlighted by several authors and

(nearly 60%) are currently present in Asia, which is

organisations such as LSE and the United Nations

predicted to see the maximum increase and pressure

and even by popular media, in an increasing number

from urbanisation (figure 1.2). These informal

statements over the last few years. The consensus

settlements, apart from academia, has therefore

of this data and information, is that urbanisation

become the object of interest by several concerned

is mainly seen as both as a solution and problem

governments and organisations. The most prolific

in the countries of the global south, especially in

documents prepared as a result of this interest is

the countries of Latin America, Africa and Central

the UN-Habitat report on slums, published 2004. It

and South Asia. This urgency is highlighted in the

outlines 4 basic types of urban population expansion

map (figure 1.1), which illustrates, where in which

which has contributed significantly towards the

countries this proposed growth can be seen in the

growth of informal settlements (Un-Habitat, 2004)

next 35 years. The countries of the global south,


such as India and Brazil have been foreseen to have

• Rural-urban Migration

unprecedented growth. The rate of urbanisation is

• Natural Growth

also much higher for the developed regions than

• Combination of natural and migratory growth

that of the developing regions, as illustrated by

• Population displacement due to armed conflicts,

figure 1.3.

internal strife or violence

In this era, many parts of the global south have

These types of informal settlement is of particular

seen an increase in informal settlements, often

importance to any city in a developing economy, as

understood as a direct manifestation of this

it houses a large amount of urban poor, who do not

urbanization. Informal urbanisation in developing

have direct access to a formal housing market. UN

countries, first introduced as a mainstream topic

Habitat (2003). This type of informal settlement is

by Turner in the 1960s (Turner, J.C., 1968) has

seen predominantly in India, as a result of natural

since evolved and morphed by several other

and migratory growth. Several reasons have been

urban designers and planners. The discourse on

stated by UN habitat along with other scholars

urban informalisation has crosses boundaries,

(Tunas, D., 2008), mainly:

often delving into ideological overtones (Van Ballegooijen, J. and Rocco, R., 2013) along with

• A long period of laisser-faire attitude, from the

ontological and topological understanding (Roy, A.,

urban authorities towards land occupation and


Figure 1.1: Countries and territories with urban population exceeding 100.000 by 2050; (Circles are scaled in proportion to urban population size); Source: UNICEF Urban Population 2012) Figure 1.2: Proportion of slum in the world - World Urbanization Prospects, UN Habitat, 2014 Figure 1.3 Projected rate of urban population growth in different regions of the world; Source: unpd/wup/CD-ROM/Urban-RuralPopulation.htm

Greater than 75% 50%-75% Less than 50%

F igure 1.3

Countries and territories with urban population exceeding 100.000 by 2050

Latin America & the Carribean

13% S u b- S aharan Af rica



61% F igure 1.2

Proportion of slums in the world

F igure 1.3

Rate of urban population growth between less & more developed regions.


misuse of building regulations

• Tunas (2008) has also argued that in many

• A lack of capability of the housing and land

instances, city officials tend to close their eyes

market to cater to the rapidly increasing urban

to informal settlements because of a lack of

poor population.

financial support and the know-how. Constructing

• Political inertia, which has allowed the expansion

a low-income public housing scheme is often a

of informal settlements to a high magnitude that

difficult process in developing nations, needing

existing infrastructure and formal services could

large investment, motivation and involvement of

not address the requirements.

different stakeholders having their own agendas.

1.2.b Definitions This research also attempts to clarify the

the lack of recognition from the state, the formal

various terms used in this regard to classify such

city embodies the existence of the governing

settlements. The UN habitat uses the term “slum”

body and its resulting regulations. However, they

to refer to inner city areas which were planned as

are irrevocably linked to the informal settlement

per zoning and construction standards laid down

through “informality”.

several decades ago, but now over time have become dilapidated, overcrowded and are now only

“Informality” is not restricted to the urban poor.

exclusive to the urban poor.

Several authors have argues that informality is as much as the purview of the urban rich as it is of

On the other hand “informal settlement” refers to

the poor (Nijman, J., 2010). Informality is often

illegal urbanization or unsanctioned development

summed up as a state of deregulation, one where

at the (then) periphery where land invasion took

the usage and purpose of land cannot be mapped

place by squatters, erecting housing units without

(Roy, A., 2009a). Therefore it can be argues that

permission of the land owner and with materials

informality is a mode of production of space which

and building standards which are not according to

connects the separated geographies of the slum and

the building codes. Although these terms are quite

the suburb (Roy, A., 2011). Therefore the formal

broad, several countries have identified derivatives

city also plays a pivotal part in the nature and

of the definition of the informal settlement as slums.

existence of informal settlements, linked with each

They are often also labelled as shanty or squatter

other through a nature of “informality”.

settlement. This research mainly deals with specifically The “formal city”, on the other hand, is state-

informal settlements, present in inner city areas.

recognised. If the informal settlement arises out of

This phenomena is usually seen in many cities in


Figure 1.4: From left to right Rocinha favela in Sao Paulo - http:// Slums in Philippines - Dharavi in Mumbai - http://mapio. net/s/72187979/?page=6 Figure 1.5 Projected rate of growth of different cities of the global south (2025); Source: Data-LSE, Urban Age Projects



Built environment in some informal settlements across the world

Figure 1.4

Figure 1.5

Projected rate of growth of different cities of the global south (2025)


the Global south, ranging from Dharavi in Mumbai,

Note: Many of these countries classify such

Kampongs in Indonesia, villa (31) in Buenos Aires

settlements as slums. However, in this uses the

to Rocinha favela in Sao Paulo.

broad definition set out by Un-Habitat (2004) and term them as informal settlements.

1.2.c Why India To test and delve into detail of this phenomena, I

and macroscopic scales (Nijman, J., 2015). It

explore this manifestation of informal settlements

has been argued by Nijman that India’s slow

in India. This is because, India presents a unique

manufacturing sector reduces its urbanization rate,

case in the persistence of large informal settlements

while simultaneously feeding small-scale industries

(again labelled as slums by the government of

within urban areas.

India) coupled with a low rate of urbanization (Figure 1.8).

This case of urbanization in India, has led to the formation of informal settlements as well as slums

As mentioned earlier, rapid urbanization is often

in inner-city as well as the periphery of urban areas.

understood as a main cause of the formation of

As per the Government of India (Census, 2011)

informal settlements. However, this situation is more

there are nearly 37.000 of these informal settlements

complex in India, where the rate or urbanization is

(referred by them as slums) present in India with

not that high as compared to the rest of the world.

a minimum size of at least 60 households. This

By 2030, if the Indian government has its way, 40%

figure is set to increase dramatically in the last few

of the India’s population will be urban. A 40% level

years, rising from 52 million people in 2001 to 65

of urbanization in 2030 would still rank India as one

million people in 2011 (Census, 2011). To put this

of the least urbanized countries in the world, and

in perspective, people living in informal settlements

even that would require acceleration of the current

in India has risen by 25% over the last decade.

growth rate (Nijman, J., 2015). They also have been particularly resilient towards However, the persistence of informal settlements in

government and private rehabilitation schemes.

most Indian cities counteracts the above argument.

This can be attributes to several more additional

To understand urbanization process in India and

factors apart from the ones listed by the United

its form in informal settlements, we must look to

Nations (Nations, U., 2014). These factors are:

explore urbanization through both microscopic


Figure 1.6: Urban population and the rate of urbanisation in India; Source Indian Census (2011) Figure 1.7: Mumbai’s population density compared to other Cities of the global south; Source - Derived from LSE urban Age Project, 2011 Figure 1.8: Percentage population of informal settlements in Indian Metropolitan cities; Source - Indian Census (2011)

Figure 1.6

Urban population and the rate of urbanisation in India

Mumbai 32.300

Mumbai Population Peak 121.312

Sao Paulo 7.100

Shanghai 6.200

Hong Kong 25.700

New York 1.800

1 grey square represents 1 Sq. km; 1 coloured square represents 1000 people Figure 1.7

Mumbai’s population density compared to other cities of the global south, highlights the high pressure in urban land

Figure 1.8

Percentage population of informal settlements in Indian Metropolitan cities


• The basic economic argument presented by several authors is these informal settlements serve as a base for cheap labour, especially for developing economies where mode of production are still very flexible and subject to change (Davis, M., 2007). • They are also destinations of unemployed workers from the hinterland (Breman, J., 2006). However, this is a seasonal feature in most informal settlements in India, with many workers heading home to their villages for harvesting season. • A more intricate aspect of the state’s inability to deliver basic housing and services (Un-Habitat, 2004) has been discussed by Ananya Roy (Roy, A., 2009b). She argue that informality present in the Indian planning system and institutions undermines its intention to fix the problem of informal settlements in India (Roy, A., 2009b). This reason is further supported, as these sites are now no longer a base for cheap labour, but also a site for economic production (Nijman, J., 2015). Although it is not possible to equate all informal settlements as the same, as they share different social economic factors as well as spatial

Figure 1.9: Location of informal settlements in the urban fabric of Mumbai; Source -

features. It is thus impossible to find a prototype that embodies the informal settlement typology

Figure 1.10: Mumbai’s iconic skyline at the Nariman point Source: http://

in India. However, this research will explore the phenomena of the informal settlement through one of its most prolific examples: Dharavi.


Figure 1.9



“All they know is that you’re trying to get to the city of gold, and that’s enough. Come on board, they say. We’ll adjust.” -Suketu Mehta (Author of Maximum City)

Figure 1.10


“More dreams are realised and extinguished in Bombay than any other place in India” -Gregory David Roberts (Author of Shantaram)

MUMBAI - 2011 POPULATION: 18.3 MILLION METROPOLITAN AREA: 4355 SQKM ANNUAL ECONOMY GENERATED: $ 238 BILLION Dharavi, highlighted in the urban fabric of Mumbai, India

0 km

5 km



1.2.d Why Dharavi

As one of the most visible informal settlements in

and developers.

India, Dharavi, has been the subject of discussion and debate by academicians, the government, the

In addition to this, Dharavi has hit popular limelight

private sector and the civic institutions. It has had

like no other informal settlement. With international

the notoriety of being labelled as “Asia’s largest

movies (Boyle, D., 2009) - figure 1.14 - and several

slum” (Sharma, K., 2000). Although, this has been

documentaries (figure 1.16) have highlighted the

hotly debated by scholars that this notoriety has

conditions and prevailing situation Dharavi.

been gained without reflecting upon the derogatory implications of using such a term (Arabindoo, P.,

This is put sharply into focus the efforts that the


Indian government has put into slum rehabilitation measures. Dharavi and other informal settlements

What makes Dharavi ia point of interest, is that

in India has seen several governmental measures

its current location in the heart of Mumbai – the

by the Slum Redevelopment Authority of India

financial capital of India. Dharavi cannot represent

over the last few decades. Most of the slum

all slum across the country, as such an example

redevelopment projects in the country aim to reduce

cannot exist. However, it does embody a resilience

the high living density to humane levels, building

and persistence towards external land development

high tower blocks with basic amenities such as

pressures, occurring from being situated in the

toilets. However, it has to be noted that most of

topographical centre of one of the most expensive

these interventions have failed in the larger sense.

cities in the country (Bharuchal, N., 2014). Dharavi

The most common argument presented is that these

is now at the centre of Greater Mumbai, located in

rehabilitation schemes disrupt the social ties and

close proximity to the city’s integral rail connection.

economic needs of the community, which has self-

This prime location has garnered great interest, both

evolved over the last decades.

from the government as well as private investors


Figure 1.11 - Clockwise from top left Book cover - http://www.goodreads. com/book/show/995483.Rediscovering_Dharavi Book cover - https://yourstory. com/2012/11/book-review-poor-littlerich-slum-what-we-saw-in-dharavi-andwhy-it-matters/ Movie Poster 2009- Bollywood song - u7kTOuASZUo/maxresdefault.jpg Documentary - vi/s_0X0wIvqVM/maxresdefault.jpg Figure 2.16: Illustration - http://www.\ Figure 1.12: Fro left to right - Cartoon illustration of the paradox of Dharavi - Source: cartoons/santabanta/203/?page=358 Cartoon illustration of the paradox of Dharavi - Source: http://vikassabnis.

Figure 1.11

The new attention: A variety of Movies, books and Documentaries based on Dharavi

Figure 1.12


F igure 1.13: The spatial characteristics of D harav i; Source: http://dev elopmentw ork p-content/dharav i-mumbai.jpg


F igure 1.14: The spatial characteristics of D harav i; Source:http://metromark 02/ dharav i-panorama.jpg


Source: R edev elopment and the ex isting slums; bx .io/images/users/iqjWHBF df x IU /idV qx I4v 6KF A/v 5/-1x -1.jpg

part 02 The Issue 2.1 Problem Analysis

2.1.a Urbanisation Processes in India 2.1.b Production of Space in Dharavi 2.1.c The paradox of redevelopment schemes in India

2.2 Problem Statement 2.3 Research Question & Sub-research Questions 2.4 Project Relevance 2.4.a Scientific Relevance 2.4.b Societal Relevance

2.5 Objectives of the Project 2.6 Methodology 2.7 Theoretical Overview

2.1 PROBLEM ANALYSIS 2.1.a Urbanisation processes in India Post the liberalisation of the Indian economy in 1991, there has been a decisive shift in its housing

and that’s enough. Come on board, they say. We’ll

policies and its approach towards urbanisation.

adjust.” This nature of urbanisation in Mumbai also

From a mixed-socialist and a highly regulated

runs parallel to its perception in general culture.

economy in till the 1980s, national policies moved towards a free market system. This changed India’s

The combination of the shift in national economic

perspective towards urbanisation, which is now

policy and the attitude towards urbanisation in India

viewed as an opportunity by the Indian government

has highlighted a divisive distribution of space – the

(Express, I., 2016), with the policy makers viewing

persistence and rise of informal settlements (with

it as a method to alleviate poverty. In the current

services, infrastructure quality of shelter), further

era of post-globalisation and the advent off neo-

encouraged by the new format of rehabilitation

liberalism, India’s approach towards informal

and redevelopment policies (Nijman, J., 2008).

settlements have also become increasingly reliant

Policies, specifically targeting informal settlements

on the “market” and the local “self-help” agencies

are now state and municipality led, instead of being

(Nijman, J., 2008). Mumbai, as the financial capital

at the national level, therefore more susceptible to

of India, signifies the epitome of this new model

market forces. A more direct impact on informal

of urbanisation, and also visibly illustrates the

settlements, which is very visible in Mumbai is the

revised approach towards its growing informal

reformation of local politics and cultures focussing

settlements. It has always been a city where land

on local groups and NGOs. This new approach

prices at one point the late 1990’s were high enough

towards informal settlements in India presents a

for it to be labelled as the most expensive city

paradox, with on one hand a dependence on smaller

in the world. It also based on the idea that cities

organisations and NGOs, with on the other hand a

such as Mumbai offer opportunities for people to

political culture that is strongly pro-growth with

develop a better life for themselves and their future

limited tolerance towards informal settlements,

generations. This nature has been romanticised by

particularly salient in urban areas with intense

several authors such as Suketu Mehta, who writes

competition for land (Nijman, J., 2008), bringing

in his prolific book (Maximum City), “All they

us back to Mumbai and the chosen example of

know is that you’re trying to get to the city of gold,



Figure 2.1: Mumbai at its rush hour; Source: http://www.theworldisnotflat. com/files/includes/images/55_371d2d04ee.jpg-v-0.jpg

Figure 2.1


2.1.b Production of Space in Dharavi

Dharavi, as an example, illustrates the perseverance

2016). In Dharavi, one can see a certain dependence

of the informal settlement in the formal city.

on public space as an extension of the private life

Occupying around 432 acres and housing close to

(Figure 2.3), ensuring a high usage of the smallest

a million people, space inside Dharavi is highly

of available outside space. A particular example can

contested and valued. This is further enhanced by

be of the 90ft road, which runs through Dharavi and

its high geographical value by its position in the

it neighbouring area, transforming itself for various

formal city of Mumbai (as mentioned earlier).

social functions and economic enterprises. Informal economy (Figure 2.2), also rampant in informal

The production of space and spatial fabric of the

settlements like Dharavi, plays an important role in

informal settlement is often thus directly linked to

the mode of production of space within and around

the formal city. Informality is often seen as much as

it. Dharavi constitutes of a large cottage industry

the purview of the urban elite and it is of the urban

base, consisting mainly of recycling, pottery and

poor (Roy, A., 2005). The spatial quality of the

leather tanning. This has shaped a large part of the

informal settlements of the urban poor can therefore

spatial quality of Dharavi and its network with the

be directly linked to the production of space in its

formal city of Mumbai. Intrinsic to the livelihood

neighbouring formal fabric. This holds, especially

of the citizens, informal industries, especially

for the case of Dharavi, where the settlement existed

recycling forms a crucial part of the formal city.

before the formal city of Mumbai engulfed it over

These industries have evolved over the last decades

the last decades of the 20th century.

adapting the space to the required functions, finetuning itself to its present day form. This mode of

The formal city of Mumbai, therefore, shares a

production and system of space is often disrupted

much more direct link to the informality of Dharavi,

by the rehabilitation schemes proposed by the state

engaging and evolving its morphology, economy

and National government, with planned enclaves,

and social ties. It is much more than just a passive

which on one hand try to elevate the living

manifestation of surplus humanity (Davis, M.,

conditions but do not take into account the social

2007), but it can saturate to a larger area (Dovey, K.,

ties and economic needs of the pre-existing space.


Figure 2.2: Street life in Dharavi; Source - http://www.maciejdakowicz. com/files/posts/5499/india_mumbai_dharavi_slum_people_street_photography.jpg

F igure 2.2


2.1.c The paradox of redevelopment schemes in India The paradox of redevelopment schemes targeting informal settlements has been argued by Nijman

and local citizens, raising issues over the lack

(Nijman, J., 2015) and Roy (Roy, A., 2009b) in

of participation and the erosion of the social and

detail - although India’s informal urban areas

economic values

present themselves as a nuisance to most traditional urban planning strategies, they form a crucial

For a true inclusive redevelopment project to

part of India’s urban structure. However, this

work in an informal settlement, it is essential to

should not imply that we leave its citizens in the

incorporate its existing social-economic values

appalling and inhospitable conditions. On the one

involved in the production of space into the

hand redevelopment and large scale action from

upgradation scheme. This is so far missing from

the government and private sector is necessary;

the rehabilitation schemes in informal settlements,

but it should not come at the cost of its social

especially in India (some of them have been shown

organisation, social security and its economic

in Figure 2.4 & Figure 2.5). This is based on the

capacity. The research interprets this phenomena of

hypothesis that the social and economic values play

social and community ties and economic needs and

a crucial role in the production of space within the

the social and economic values of the space.

informal settlement and contributes to the resilience and the persistence of the settlement within the






formal city. Argued by Nijman, who states that “the

settlement redevelopment schemes have evolved

slum-dweller’s identity is a communal identity and

from being state-led programs (pre-1980s) a more

its place-based” (Nijman, J., 2015), it thus becomes

market driven and local agency reliant schemes.

necessary to delineate what place-based factors

This is not limited to only India, as the growing

contribute to the resident’s identity and how they

problem of informal settlements now coincides

can be incorporated

with neoliberal policies in most developing countries. However, Dharavi, presents a unique

In conclusion, there is a considerable lack of

situation in its redevelopment history. It has been

knowledge about the social and economic structure

subject to several redevelopment schemes, ranging

of informal settlements in India, and their relation to

from the Slum Clearance Act in 1971 to the current

the production of space within the built environment.

Dharavi Redevelopment Project. There has been a

What is also missing is the linkage of this mode of

substantial amount of debate of with respect to this

production of space with the surrounding fabric of

plan, with arguments from grassroots organisations

the formal city.


Figure 2.3: Executed rehabilitation models -

Figure 2.3



India’s number of informal settlements have seen a meteoric rise of 25% in the last decade (Census, 2011), and the pressing need to rehabilitate its citizens is now a more important issue than ever before. Dharavi, in particular has prevailed and resisted most of the redevelopment and upgradation schemes. Only sporadic attempts by the Indian government have been made at its periphery, with none of them working well enough to be replicated in more numbers. This is accredited mainly to an indifferent attitude of the policy makers, planners and developers towards the existing social and economic mode of space, leading to insensitive and inefficient redevelopment and upgradation projects. This issue needs a deeper understanding of what contributes to the resilience of the space within the informal settlement of Dharavi which roots it deeply within the formal city, in order for redevelopment and upgradation schemes to work in a larger scale in a more inclusive and sustainable manner.

Figure 2.4: A model for sustainable and inclusive redevelopment of informal settlements; Source: Author On Page 43 - Figure 2.5: Executed rehabilitation models - High rise residential buildings are seen behind Dharavi in Mumbai; Source - https://40.










can a strategic spatial framework incorporating the ex isting social-economic production of

space in informal settlements link ing it to the f ormal city , lead to long term inclusive and sustainable redevelopment projects? GOAL

(Case study: Dharavi, Mumbai, India)


Figure 2.5


SUB RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. What are the social ties and economic capacity which contribute to the value of the space in the informal settlement?

2. What are the approaches for inclusive and sustainable redevelopment and upgrading projects in informal settlements?

3. What is the spatial manifestation of these social economic values in Dharavi?


4. What is the current position of Dharavi in the formal city of Mumbai, with respect to its social and economic elements?

5. What role can this mode of production of space play in future redevelopment proposals for Dharavi?

6. How can this framework be translated for other informal settlements in India?


2.4 RELEVANCE 2.4.a Societal Relevance India will surpass China in terms of total population

l ittl e o f it has been trans l ated to the red ev el o p ment

by 2030, thus linking the urban future of the world

and upgradation schemes. Here is, therefore, a

directly with itself (Nijman, J., 2015). Out of this,

disconnection between the scholars who explore and

a large share will be living in informal settlements,

s tu d y the mechanis ms o f the s p ace o f the inf o rmal

with limited access to basic services such as housing,

settlement and the policy-makers and planners, who

s erv ices and inf ras tru ctu re – and hence ad d res s ing

d ev el o p and ex ecu te the u p g rad atio n s trateg ies . T il l

this problem is an urgent and pressing issue which

date, there has been little attempt policy makers and

req u ires a co mp rehens iv e s o l u tio n. Al read y cl o s e

planners make to incorporate how livelihood and

to 65 million people in India are in this category

cu l tu re can be v al u ed and u s ed f o r the co ncep tio n

(Census, 2011), a number which increases with each

of new forms of production of space that are not

passing year. Dharavi’s notoriety, and the troubles

only attached to global (capitalistic and western)

faced by the recent Dharavi Redevelopment Plan

forms, but also work at the local level. This gap

(DRP) have highlighted the problems faced by

has been further highlighted by Schrader in his

mo s t s l u m rehabil itatio n p ro ces s es in I nd ia. E v en

unpublished work, agreeing that the social and

p rev io u s u p g rad atio n p l ans hav e f aced res is tance

eco no mic s tru ctu re o f inf o rmal s ettl ements is s til l

from Dharavi’s citizens citing that their economic

deficient in nature. Calling informal settlements to

capacity becomes threatened with the new schemes,

be p erceiv ed as mo re than j u s t g eo g rap hic s p ace

forcing another way of spatial configuration on

and concentrations of urban poverty, he writes

a centu ry

s y s tem. T his d o es no t mean that

about them as areas “in which a large size of people

u p g rad atio n s chemes are no t req u ired ; in f act the

o ld

is living in inappropriate conditions, and which

ris ing p res s u re o f p eo p l e in areas s u ch as D harav i

city p l anners hav e to cl eans e o r s hif t; it is al s o a

requires urgent attention from policy-makers,

highly complex space of living and working, with

planners as well as developers.

s o cio eco no mic co nnectio ns to f o rmal and inf o rmal economy, the world market, and the place of origin of the migrants. Aspects of ethnicity, religion and

2.4.b. Scientific Relevance

social structure cut across this space” (Schrader, H.). T his res earch aims to bro ad en the u nd ers tand ing

Al tho u g h there has been d ial o g u e and d is co u rs e in

of social-economic space in informal settlements

acad emia and

(taking Dharavi, Mumbai as a case study), in order

g o v ernmental o rg anis atio ns abo u t

inf o rmal s ettl ements and their ro l e in the p ro ces s o f

to bridge the gap between theoretical understanding

urbanisation in the cities of the global south, very

and a planning framework implementation.


F igure 2.6: https://w w w .theguardian. com/w orld/201 1/mar/05/money -pow er-politics-battle-mumbai-slums F igure 2.7: http://economictimes. s/dharav i-slumsdecades-old-inf ormal-economy -turnov er-of -1-bn-plus-now -threatened-by -dev elopment/54796670.c ms F igure 2.8: http://indianex article/mumbai/no-tak ers-f or-dhar or-dharav i-rev amp-project-maharashtra-may -giv e-in-to-dev elopers-demands-recalculate-f si/

F igure 2.6

F igure 2.7

F igure 2.8


2.5 AIM OF THE RESEARCH This research will aim to develop a strategic

networks and its structure needs to be retained,

framework contribute to maintaining the social

thereby encouraging the continuance of the social

and economic dynamics and value of the space


in an urban informal settlement, linking it to its

• Guiding the typology the redevelopment

surrounding formal settlement. This framework

projects in order to ensure future social

would comprise of a combination of spatial

cohesion and a post-occupation success of the

guidelines the enhance and follow the existing

redevelopment project, ensuring social equity of

mode of production of space in Dharavi, along

the rehabilitation projects.

developing policy recommendations that influence

• Continuance of the economic structure aspects

redevelopment projects pf informal settlements in

of the entrepreneurial nature of the inhabitants of


Dharavi, so as not to disrupt livelihoods and an industrial sector upon which there is also a heavy

The research supposes that the redevelopment and

reliance by the formal city of Mumbai.

upgrading projects of informal settlements in India

• Developing a recommendation to the current

need a framework which ensures its adherence

model of financing and policy execution.

to existing economic network and social ties. This is important to the continuance of social structure, ensuring a more successful and ingrained

In order to formulate and implement the strategic

redevelopment project.

framework, a design hypothesis – or a spatial tool, needs to be identified, which would be used as a lens to propose the new redevelopment model.

Objectives of strategic framework:

This hypothesis needs to be context specific, and therefore needs to be derived from a detailed

The main objectives of the strategic framework

analysis of Dharavi. Some of the possible spatial

need to contribute to an inclusive and sustainable

tools, which have relevance in informal settlements

redevelopment project in informal settlements such

in India (such as Dharavi) are:

as Dharavi. Therefore, it must ensure social equity for its inhabitants, offer continuance and an increase

Identification of the economic clusters: Informal

in economic opportunities and be environmentally

settlements, such as Dharavi have their spatial

sensitive and resilient in nature. Some of the main

characteristics based of their economic clusters.

features required for it to fulfil the objectives of the

Industries such as leather tanning, recycling,

framework in Dharavi are:

sewing form an intrinsic part of the structure

• Identification of areas within the informal

of Dharavi, establishing networks within and

settlement of Dharavi, where the economic

around the settlement.


Figure 2.9: Thesis structure and Timeline; Source: Author


N ov .

D ec.




F eb.


M ar.



M ay





Project Definition & Research Questions

Fieldwork Theoretical Framework Analytical Framework

Formulation of spatial strategy and framework

Defining design tools and principles

Strategy formulation

Conclusion & Reflections

Implementation and testing of strategy via design

Development of design at selected site Evaluation of design via fieldwork

F igure 2.9

Timeline of Graduation Project

Mobility as a structuring tool: Movement


within Dharavi and most informal settlements


is intrinsically linked to the social structure

T he need

within the informal settlement. Restructuring

p rime imp o rtance in inf o rmal s ettl ements and

the red ev el o p ment as p er the ex is ting mo bil ity

can be u s ed as a g u id ing f acto r in the s p atial

patterns can offer us a way to retain the social

reconfiguration of the redevelopment process.





f o r f o rmal is ed

Infrastructure with


inf ras tru ctu re is

o f

s tru ctu re. The appropriate spatial tool is identified based Public space structure: Public and common space

on the detailed spatial analysis of Dharavi, which

in Dharavi is often derived off its economic

would form the basis of developing the spatial

cl u s tering . I ts s o cial s tru ctu re is thu s d irectl y

and strategic framework. The selected spatial tool

linked to economic space. The framework needs

would also formulate the design hypothesis of the

to recognize this existing structure and ensure its

p ro j ect.

existence in the new redevelopment plan.





• Research proposal outlining the problem analysis, research question and preliminary outline of thesis plan with intended methodology • Theoretical overview and initial framework

• Finalised Thesis plan and research proposal. • Methodological structure with design objective • Theoretical and analytical framework of Dharavi , based on the above


methodology with preliminary conclusions for further research • Outline of the spatial and strategical framework, with the main components req u ired f o r incl u s iv e and s u s tainabl e red ev el o p ment in D harav i • Identification of the spatial tools required to execute the spatial and strategical framework in a selected area in Dharavi

• Empirical analysis – based on fieldwork – expert interviews, questionnaires,


s eco nd ary s u rv ey d ata and o bs erv atio nal anal y s is • Development of the strategic framework for Dharavi • Initial analysis and testing of strategic framework on the selected cite within D harav i

• Detailed testing of the strategic framework in a test site. • Illustration how a combination of spatial guidelines and policy

P4 / P5

recommendations can be envisioned at the larger scale of Dharavi, along with implementation at a smaller scale within. • Reflection on the design hypothesis formulated and its implication on the l arg er bo d y o f acad emia. • Reflection on the graduation process and its composite elements.

F igure 2.10: D etailed M ethodolody f or the graduation research - by Author


2.6 METHODOLOGY The methodology of in order to conduct this research

incorporation of its inherent complexity. The Dupuy

has been divided into three broad frameworks: The

method of layers (illustrated in figure 3.3) is not

theoretical, analytical and empirical framework. In

taken to represent a superimposed set of territories.

this, the theoretical and the analytical framework

Instead, it view “relations” within the socio-spatial

run parallel to each other, complementing their

system as the main issue. The layers or perspectives

knowledge base.

in the Dupuy method have been broadly clubbed into 3 sections: 1st level operator (infrastructure, road networks and transportation); 2nd level

2.6.a. Theoretical framework:

operator (production-consumption networks) and the 3rd level operator (urban household networks

The theoretical framework forms the rationale for

and territories).

directing and conducting my research. Finding the right discourse about informal settlements

The aspect of governance and the geographical

helps in identifying the limits of generalisation

context was introduces to be able to evaluate spatial

in the research’s scope of interest. An initial

planning principles and policy making (Rocco,

literature overview defines the discourse on

R., 2008). These aspects enrich and provide much

informal settlements in which this research aims

needed context to the Dupuy Network city model.

to contribute. This is classified into 3 categories of “Urbanisation Processes”, “Economic Challenges” and “Policy Framework”, which are explored in

2.6.c. Analytical Framework:

more detail. Each category is further subdivided into smaller sets (as described in figure 3.6). Each

In this research, these two aspects are incorporated

sub-set contributes as a background support to

and in order to reframe the layers (or perspectives)

the layer, testing the spatial manifestations of the

of the Network city model so as to better suit the

theoretical explorations in Dharavi.

context of an informal settlement and its resulting complexities.

2.6.b. Spatial Framework:

These “reframed” layers also incorporate the backing of the theoretical framework, described

This forms the basis of evaluating spatial analysis

earlier, in order to provide more nuances

of Dharavi. The layers of this spatial analysis are

understanding of the socio-economic processes and

based on the network city model (Dupuy, G., 1991).

its spatial manifestation in Dharavi.

The Dupuy method, defines several perspectives to the socio-spatial system in order for a better




Project Methodology


Figure 2.10

design, fieldwork directed by expert interviews,

The layers used in this research are:






• Layer 1 – The historical evolution of Dharavi’s

interviews is an important part of the methodology.

spatial and form with respect to its shared history

The following people have been identified for the

with Mumbai is explored in order to understand

set of expert interviews, based on the experience

base social and economic layers.

and working history within Dharavi:

• Layer 2 – The governance system runs parallel to Dharavi’s historical evolution. It has a shared

• Ainsley Lewis – Senior lecturer at KRIVA

aspect of how national policy approaches towards

and practicing architect in Mumbai, who have

informal settlement have influenced and affected

been involved with several research projects in

Dharavi’s growth.


• Layer 3 – Location and Morphology of Dharavi

• Gerry George Jacob: Asst. Professor at KRIVA,

is formulated on the layers of history and

led the development of the ‘REDharavi’ project.

governance approaches, playing an important

• Hussain Z. Indorewala: Asst. Professor at

factor in its present role in Mumbai

KRIVA, regarding policy towards informal

• Layer 4 – The informal economy is perhaps the


driving factor of Dharavi, resulting in a complex

• Matias Echanove & Rahul Srivastava – Founder

soci0spatial network which extends to Mumbai

at Urbz, Mumbai - an experimental urban research

and sometimes even beyond.

and action collective, who have executed several

• Layer 5 – Intrinsically linked to the informal

workshops and hands-on research projects in

economic production of space, is the social


structure and its resulting social security, which

• Jai Badgaonkar – Architect and urban designer

plays a defining role in the spatial construct of

at Urbz, Mumbai


• Shyam Kanle – Field operator with URBZ. He has run many businesses in Dharavi where he








was born and raised. He has also been involved

understanding of Dharavi, identifying the areas

in conflict resolution and local politics for many

within the area, where the spatial design and


framework can be implemented and tested.

• Bhau Korde – activist and resident of Dharavi • Selected industrial workers and owners along with shop owners are interviewed to develop a

2.6.d. Fieldwork:

better understanding of the social and economic aspirations of the inhabitants








operationalisation of the strategic framework and


Figure 2.11: Dupuy’ network city model; Source: http://www.nordes. org/opj/index.php/n13/article/ viewFile/226/209 Figure 2.12 - Figure 2.13: A further analytical model derived from the Dupuy Network city model; Source: Author

k or rat twor ope old ne l e v eh d le us


ba Ur



5 tur yer uc La ial str oc



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tur r ato truc per infras o l ve rk, t le two

1s ad ne o R


re ctu

3 yer L a d for m an

Figure 2.11

Dupuy Network City Model

Source: Derived from (Dupuy, G., 2008)

ru ast nfr &I


n rna

e er 2 Gov Laylicy &



olu xt nte l ev Co torica

n tio

Hi s


l er 1 l evo Lay torica His

nce ions rna icat ove impl

G icy ol P

Additional layers added

Figure 2.12

Source: Author

Analytical Framework for Dharavi Source: Author



Figure 2.13

2.7 THEORETICAL OVERVIEW Understanding an informal settlement is a complex

concentrations of poverty” and the slum is the

and layered process. There is no single discipline

physical manifestation of this clam (Davis, M.,

which solely address this problem, especially

2007). This theorization takes a more apocalyptic

in the global south. In order to develop a more

turn towards informal settlements and slums,

comprehensive understanding of the discourse, I

although it states that this form has emerged over

categorise the literature into various sub-themes

decades of structural changes and is therefore not

exploring the phenomena of urban informal

passive in nature.

settlements. Another dialogue which arises is the Southern turn Informal settlements have been explored by several

in urban studies and planning theory. The advent of

scholars and organisations such as the United

this discussion (often termed as Subaltern Urbanism)

Nations, in different aspects. One of the most

has been written about by several authors; with

prolific documents on the informal settlements was

informality being a particular interest to Ananya

“The challenge of slums: global report on human

Roy. She argues that “subaltern urbanism” helps

settlements (2003)”. It defined much of the discourse

to provide accounts of the slum as a terrain of

which followed on informal settlements. Within

livelihood, habitation and politics, working against

this literature, one can see an interest in the “South”

the apocalyptic and dystopian narratives of the

in order to reimagine the urban and to analytically

slum (pg. 224) (Roy, A., 2011). Subaltern urbanism

grasp the terrain of the “global” phenomena (Rao,

is also often seen a new geography of theory that

V., 2006). Davies later presented a paper, mainly

can help in the unbounding of the “global slum

an extension of this UN report, focussing on the

(Roy, A., 2011). She has argued how informality

idea of “surplus humanity” – people cut out of

is a mode of production of space which connects

the formal economy and driven into slums. He

the disconnected geographies of slum to the suburb;

termed this phenomena as a result of the decoupling

and that this separation happens in a fractal fashion



within the informalized production of space (pg.

development. The specifically focusses on the cities

223) (Roy, A., 2011). Informality and the slum has

of the global south, calling them as the “dumping

been called to be used as a theory by Chatterjee

ground of this surplus humanity”, instead of being

(Chatterjee, P., 2004) and Rao (Rao, V., 2006). Rao

engines of growth” (Davis, M., 2004). In his further

argues that the slum straddles the conceptual and

writings, he continues to add to his argument that

material forms of city-making that are challenging

slums are the only “fully franchised solution to the

the imaginary of the modern city, and therefore

problem of warehousing the 21st century’s surplus

can be used as an empirical and analytical point of

humanity” (Davis, M., 2007). Global cities of the

departure for understanding the cities of the global

south are therefore often equated with “gigantic

south (Rao, V., 2006). On the other hand, Pushpa





Figure 2.14: Theoretical Framework contributing to the layers used to analyse Dharavi; Source: Author

Figure 2.14

Theoretical Framework


Arabindoo (Arabindoo, P., 2011) questions whether

to benefit the poor (Appadurai, A., 2001). This

a more direct investigation of its application in the

exploration of a changed method of governance

new frontiers of urban development in the global

becomes relevant if we explore the production of

south needs to be explored. She argues that the

space to a mode of governance which works for all

“slums are epistemologically inadequate in terms of

the actors and stakeholders involved.

conceptualising urban poverty”, leading to distorted policy making decisions. She, however concedes

Exploring the phenomena of urban informal

that the term slum still has scholarly appeal, but

settlements through migration and movement

it should be restrained from becoming a “rhetoric

patterns, Doug Saunders argues the role which

linchpin” which can depoliticises the urban poor,

Dharavi (and other areas) play in the urban

i.e., it should not become a short-cut icon to a desk

transformation of the city, leading to a very direct

base research on urban poverty (Arabindoo, P.,

spatial impact. This phenomena of “arrival city” is


tested on the basis of how much social mobility the city offers to its inhabitants, linking migration to







urban development (Saunders, D., 2011). Dharavi,

connection of social and political life of the cities

like most informal settlements in India offers a

of the Global South. Two authors stand out in this

certain degree of social mobility, which links to its

discussion: Arjun Appadurai and Partha Chatterjee.

social space.

The informal settlements of the global south feature in their research as an important site. Both of them

The value informal economy has been debated by

try to track the emergence of governance from

Hernando De Soto in his writings. He explores and

which marginalised sectors seek to state their claim

argues for the importance of informal economy for

from (Appadurai, A., 2001) (Chatterjee, P., 2004).

the developing countries; stating that “the dynamics

Appadurai describes the alliance of three civic

of operating in the informal economy should be

institutions in Mumbai (NGO SPARC, the National

allowed to clear the way for free market, creating

Slum Dwellers Federation and Mahila Milan, a

market oriented reform” (De Soto, H., 1990). This is

cooperative representing women’s savings groups);

explored through the case of Lima, Peru. However,

and how they “individually and collectively, seek

it is not extended to the study of space, which is

to demonstrate to governments (local, regional,

directly produced because of informal economy. In

national) and international agencies that urban

the particular case of Dharavi, Nijman argues that

poor groups provide these agencies with strong

the economic activities are inseparable from the

community-based partners” (Pg. 01(Appadurai,

ethnic identities and the highly localised cultural

A., 2001)). Appadurai coins this phenomena of

milieu of the slum (pg. 10)(Nijman, J., 2010). As

negotiation in Mumbai as an illustration of deep

informal economy, plays an important role both for

democracy, which is rooted in local context and

Dharavi and Mumbai, its spatial organisation needs

is still able to mediate globalizing forces in order

to be explored from the above angle.


Figure 2.15: Analytical Framework applied on Dharavi; Source: Author

k or rat twor ope d ne vel sehol e l u ho 3rd ba Ur


5 tur yer uc La ial str oc



or rat tio ope ump vel -cons e l n 2nd uctio

or k etw nn

etw er 4 cal n Lay nomi

d Pro

s o rk

o Ec


r r ctu rato stru ope , infra l e k lev wor


1st ad net Ro

Dupuy Network City Model


fr r 3 & In a ye m ndf


Source: Derived from (Dupuy, G., 2008)

re ctu

ru ast


ern er 2 Gov Laylicy &

e anc


olu xt nte l ev Co torica

n tio

Hi s

lu er 1 l evo Lay torica

n tio


ns ce nan atio ver plic Go icy im ol P

Additional layers added Source: Author

Analytical Framework for Dharavi

Figure 2.15

Source: Author

The analytical framework composed of the spatial analysis and theoretical framework is tested and applied at Dharavi. It forms an integral part of the research leading to the formulation of the strategic framework. The following sections illustrates the five analytical layers and its spatial manifestation in Dharavi.


Source: R edev elopment project in D harav il; http://w w w ertical-slums/15_M G_3655-as-Smart-O bject-1

part 03 Dharavi - analysis

Layer 1 - History of Dharavi Layer 2 - Policy review Layer 3 - Landform and Infrastructure Layer 4 - Economic Networks Layer 5 - Social Structure

The analytical framework is explored through its 5 layers at the larger scale of Dharavi. Each layer contributes ans strives to reach a comprehensive understanding of the social, economic and political system the has shaped Dharavi to its present status.

3.1 LAYER-1 - HISTORICAL EVOLUTION OF DHARAVI In order to explore the complex relationship of

decision was taken mainly because of unsanitary

Dharavi, with respect to Mumbai, it is important to

conditions and a plague which ran though the

delve into its shared urban history.

city, resulting in the expulsion of industries such as tanneries. The first tannery arrived in 1887 and by 1890, other Muslim tanners from Tamil Nadu

3.1.a. The late 19th century & the early 20th century– Dharavi’s beginnings:

arrived and made Dharavi their base. Another group were potters from the state of Gujarat, who arrived in 1895, receiving a 99 year lease from the then

Dharavi’s beginnings go back longer than Mumbai’s

colonial government (Dossal, M., 1991) (Nijman,

(previously Bombay) roots. Prior to its colonial

J., 2010). This was the birth of Dharavi in its current

history, a small fishing village of the “Kolis” stood


where Dharavi today is. Till the mid to end of the 19th century, Mumbai was classified into 2 main parts: the colonial part (towards the southern edge

3.1.b. Pre-Independence (1947):

of the island) and the native part (located north of the colonial town). Dharavi (in the form of the

The evolution of Dharavi, both in its population

fishing village – “Koliwada”) at this stage occupied

numbers and spatial area increased over time.

the northernmost part of the Native town, having a

The numbers of the migrating families grew

population of only 992 (Dossal, M., 1991, Pg. 197)

steadily over the next few decades, along with

. The Native part of Mumbai was characterized by a

Mumbai’s prominence in the colonial empire. The

high population density living in areas which were

communities, especially the potters from Gujarat

unplanned and not considering the quality of life of

(Western India) and the tanners from Tamil Nadu

its inhabitants.

(Southern India) established themselves in Dharavi,

The first instance of Dharavi’s resemblance to its

setting up community places and services such as

current form started to take shape in the late 19th

temples (the first temple was built in in 1913) and

century, when the polluting industries were expelled

schools - the first school (Tamil) in 1931 (Nijman,

from the colonial and the native town to the then

J., 2010). This helped Dharavi establish itself as

outskirts of Dharavi (Nijman, J., 2010). This

a base for more newcomers arriving in the city


Figure 3.1: Timeline of Mumbai Urban Growth; Source: derived from http:// by Author Figure 3.2: Mumbai historical growth documented; Source: http://www. Figure 3.3: Mumbai’s Urban Growth with its increasing informal settlements; Source: derived from http://www. by Author







Mumbai historical growth documented


1960 F igure 3.1


1969 F igure 3.2

looking for work in Mumbai’s growing industries. Their numbers grew steadily in subsequent years as the original settlers were joined by overflow migrants from the central city as well as new rural


in-migrants. Still, however, Dharavi formed a


mino r s hare ( l es s than 0 . 2 mil l io n) o f p o p u l atio n o f Mumbai in 1950, which stood around 2.9 million (Census of India, 1951).

3.1.c. Post-Independence till 1991:

Mumbai’s Urban Growth

Post-independence, i.e., post 1947, saw a great surge in the p o p u l atio n o f M u mbai and its s u rro u nd ing regions. Greater Mumbai, or the Metropolitan area of Mumbai, grew immensely in the years following the independence, with its population increasing by large numbers along with its living density. As the independence era hit, rural-urban migration peaked, and Dharavi continued to be a place for the new arrivals to Mumbai. The numbers of informal settlements also increased in number, now forming

Total Population Population in Informal Settlements (Population in millions)

large pockets of dense urbanisation in the Greater M u mbai reg io n. The 1970s and 1980s saw Dharavi take a central position in Mumbai’s geography, and some of the leather tanneries were driven further out and were replaced by redevelopment projects as they were no t s een to be s u itabl e f o r a central l o catio n. O nl y the smaller tanneries remained in Dharavi. Some


0.1 0.0 1600


0.0 1800






4.5 1.2 0.5 0.0 1900


Private Development Timeline of Mumbai Urban Growth with its increasing informal settlements

Policy and Govt. Approach (1951 - )

Upgrading & Rehabilitation Demolition & Relocation


F igure 3.3

19091909 1909


19641964 1964


20122012 2012


Urban Form ban Form Urban Form Urban Form Mumbai Mumbai ofof Mumbai of Mumbai

19001900 1900


19501950 1950


Act Act S l u m I mp ro v ement S l u Act mS l I u mpm roS I mp l vu ement mro I v mpement Act ro v ement (1 9 5 6 ) ( 1 9 5 ( 6 1 ) 9 5 6 () 1 9 5 6 )

m D S R l harav ehabil itatio S l u m R ehabil itatioS nl u mS l R u ehabil u m itatio R iehabil n nitatioD nharav D harav i D iharav i cheme 9 5 ) S cheme ) 9 9 5 ( ) 1 9 R 9 ed5 ) evR edel o evp R elment S l u m R ed ev el o p ment S l u mS l R u edm evS R l edu elmo evp S R elment edo p evment el o( 1 p 9 ment R S edcheme ev( 1 Sel9 cheme o 9 ( p 5 1 ment edo p evment el o p ment S cheme ( 1 1 ) 9 9 1 () 1 9 9 1 ) P ro S cheme ( 1 9 9 1 ) S cheme ( 1 S 9 cheme 9 P ro j ect P ro j ect j ect P ro j ect Relocation

Slum Demolition & & Relocation Slum Demolition Slum Demolition & Slum Relocation Demolition & Relocation



P T rime inis s M ter’inis s ter’ s T rohev ement P rime M inis ter’ T hes T P he rime M heinis P M rime ter’ S l u m I mp ro v ement S l u mS l I u mpm roS I mp l vu ement mro I v mpement P rant ro (j ect 8 5 () 1 9 8 5 ) ro g ramme 1 ( ) 1 9 P 7 ro1 ) j ect ( 1 9 8 G 5 rant ) G rant P ro j G ect 1 9 P 8 ro( 5 1 j ) 9ect P ro g ramme ( 1 9 7 1 P ) ro g P ramme P ro ( 1 g 9 ramme 7 ( 1 1 ) 9 G 7 rant

Upgrading & Rehabilitation Upgrading & Upgrading Rehabilitation Upgrading & Rehabilitation & Rehabilitation

1900 19001900 1900


l l u P ting u s tries P o l l u ting ind u P s o tries l P l u o ting o ind l l u ting uinds tries s tries t f s irscho l o l T ind he u f irs t s cho T o he l T f he irs T f tirshe s cho o l t s o cho eD to harav i i mo v e to D harav mo ivmoe tov mo v eD toharav iD harav P o tters : P o tters : P o tters : P o tters : T he f irs t co l o T nyheT f he irs T f tirshe co tl f o coirsnyl to cony l o ny

1950 19501950 1950

2000 20002000 2000


S l u m I mp ro v ement Act (1 9 5 6 )

S l u m R ed ev el o p ment

S l u m R ehabil itatio n S cheme ( 1 9 9 5 )

D harav i R ed ev el o p ment

o takrmal u ind s tries o f f e o f f G ras s ro S o cheme I nternatio 9 9G 1 s ras ) roI nternatio ro j ect I nf o rmal ind Demolition u I s nftries o I nfrmal I nfind eo o rmal uind f f s tries tak u s tries etako f ef tak t G ( 1 ras G o s rotraso st ro o nal t I nternatio I nternatio nal nal P nal Slum & Relocation ado cacy v o Limel cacy Limel ig ht ig ht ad v o cacy ad v ad v o cacy ig ht Limel ig Limel ht Co o p erativ e Co - o p erativ eCo - o p erativ Co - o ep erativ e Private Redevelopment o ciety ho u s ing s o ciety ho u hos ingu s hoing s o u ciety s s ing s o ciety S l u m U p g rad ing Koliwada Koliwada Koliwada Koliwada P ro g ramme ( 1 9 8 5 ) Chambda Chambda Chambda Chambda Chambda T he P rime M Bazaar inis ter’ s mp ro Bazaar v ement Bazaar S l u m I Bazaar Bazaar G rant P ro j ect ( 1 9 8 5 ) P ro g ramme ( 1 9 7 1 )

Koliwada Koliwada Koliwada Koliwada Chambda Chambda Chambda Chambda Bazaar Bazaar Bazaar Bazaar

Policy and Govt. Approach Dharavi haravi Dharavi Dharavi

Private Redevelopment Private Redevelopment Private Private Redevelopment Redevelopment 2012

S l u m U p g rad ing S l u mS l U u m p g S Uradl pu gm ingradU pingg rad ing ro g ramme P ro g ramme ( 1 9 8 5 P ) ro g P ramme P ro ( 1 g 9 ramme 8 ( 5 1 ) 9 8 5 () 1 9 8 5 )

Policy and Govt. olicy and Policy Govt. and Govt. Policy and Govt. Urban Form Approach pproachApproach Approach of Mumbai


20002000 2000


Koliwada Koliwada Koliwada Koliwada Chambda Chambda Chambda Bazaar Bazaar Bazaar

Upgrading & Rehabilitation



P o l l u ting ind u s tries mo v e to D harav i

I nf o rmal ind u s tries 1960s tak 1960s e o f 1960s f 1960s

1930s T he f irs t s cho o l 1930s 1930s 1930s

P o tters : T he f irs t co l o ny


Co respect - o p erativ to e Mumbai Timeline of Dharavi’s growth with ho u s ing s o ciety Chambda Bazaar


Chambda Bazaar


G ras 2012 s ro o t ad v o cacy

I nternatio nal 20122012 2012 F igure 3.4 Limel ig ht

Chambda Bazaar


F igure 3.4: Timeline of D harav i’ s growth with respect to Mumbai; Source: derived by Author from http://www. & UrbZ, M umbai





Figure 3.5 & 3.6: Older images of D harav i f rom the 1960s and 1970s ; 2012 Source:

Figure 3.5

Figure 3.6


o f this v acant l and became s ites f o r red ev el o p ment

becau s e o f g eo g rap hical co ns traints . T he p o p u l atio n

p ro j ects ( d is cu s s ed in d etail the u p co ming s ectio ns )

in Mumbai city stood at close to 9.9 million but also

(Nijman, J., 2010). This was also a time when

had a co ns id erabl e s hare o f its p o p u l atio n ( aro u nd

Dharavi became more visible with 1976 being the

41.3 % - illustrated in Chapter 1 - figure 1.10)

first census to be conducted for the inhabitants of

living in sub-standard housing such as informal

informal settlements in Mumbai (Chatterji, R.,

settlements (General, R., 1992). Dharavi rose in

2005). The establishment of the transit camp in

importance, mainly because of its now central and

Dharavi also occurred in the 1970s, to rehouse

v is ibl e p o s itio n in v ery a v al u abl e p iece o f real

inhabitants affected because of the construction of

es tate.

the Dharavi-Sion Road (north edge of Dharavi). Several documentaries and popular movies made this

3.1.d. Dharavi – post 1991:

p articu l ar inf o rmal

s ettl ement ev en mo re

visible, often being used to embody and illustrate the poor living conditions within such areas. It

P ost 1991, saw a major change in the spatial form

has to

o f u rban meg acities s u ch as M u mbai. T he f reeing

projects were attempted in this phase (discussed

up of economy and the onset of liberalization saw

in detail in the following section of Policies), none

a l arg er p ro p o rtio n o f inf o rmal s ettl ements to the

o f them co u l d be imp l emented at a req u ired l arg e

population of Mumbai (Census of India, 1991).

scale of Dharavi. Because of the city’s expansion

This was also a time when the land prices of

to the north-east and its geographical constraints,

Mumbai saw a steep increase. Mumbai had a steep

the land prices have increased significantly within

gradient in land values from the South to the North;

the inner core of Mumbai, making it one of the

this coupled with an influx of foreign corporation

most expensive cities in the world. Dharavi, now

creating a sudden escalation of land prices (Nijman,

occupies a prime slice of this very expensive land,

J., 2000). The Greater Mumbai region also saw

in close proximity to two railway lines, the airport

growth towards the North and North-East, mainly

and the s ev eral central ities o f M u mbai.

be no ted


al tho u g h s ev eral red ev el o p ment

DHARAVI - 2011 POPULATION: 1 MILLION (APPROX) METROPOLITAN AREA: 2.39 SQKM ECONOMY GENERATED: $ 1 BILLION Dharavi, in present day highlighted in the urban fabric of Mumbai, India Source: Derived from Google Maps

0 km

500 m



LAYER 2 - POLICY OVERVIEW AND ITS IMPLICATION 3.2.a Policy approach in India Dharavi has always shared a complex relationship

the evicted dwellers in peripheral areas of the city.

with Mumbai, with Mumbai needing it more for

This was, unfortunately, only restricted to “slums”

its labour and cheap industry, than the other way

and “informal settlements” present in government-

around. Often seen as a slum or squatter settlement,

owned land. It also increased the growth of informal

against the global image Mumbai wants to portray,

settlements in the periphery, as the resettlement

the state and national government has drafted several

would still take place in an informal manner.

plans to redevelop this area. The start of these policies have emerged soon after independence of India in 1947, and have since shaped the existence

ii) Upgradation and Redevelopment:

of informal settlements such as Dharavi, including their persistence.

The second phase was characterized by policies pertaining to upgradation and the improvement of

They can be categorised into three broad themes

the living condition of the inhabitants of informal

(Figure 4.4) as per their main ideologies and


approaches. They have been discussed below:

collaboration with the World Bank). The impact of





this scheme was quite restricted as it did not apply to informal settlements on private and the central i) Clearance and Eviction:

government land, and was limited to land owned by the state government. Dharavi, in particular,

This phase was characterised by the first major

received a large grant via The Prime Minister’s

policy against informal settlements and slums.

Grant Project (1985), in order to relocate close

The Slum Area and Improvement and Clearance

to 20,000 families outside Dharavi (Bardhan, R.

Act (1956) made provisions for the clearance and

et al., 2015). It suffered from bureaucratic and

development of areas identified as a “slum” by the

construction delays coupled with the creation of

Indian government. However, it did not clarify any

a high-priced housing stock, which limited its

resettlement plan for the evicted population, leading

application scale.

to the evicted population to settle in other informal settlements or create new informal settlements (Bardhan, R. et al., 2015). Realising this basic gap,

iii) Privatization and Redevelopment:

the next policy of “The Slum Areas - Improvement, Clearance and Redevelopment - Act (1971) took

The liberalization and the advent of globalization

a more humanitarian approach, aiming to resettle

to India in 1991, brought in large scale foreign


Figure 3.7: National Policy towards informal settlements; Source: Author derived from Bardhan, R., et al. (2015)






S l u m I mp ro v ement Act (1 9 5 6 )

S l u m R ehabil itatio n S cheme ( 1 9 9 5 )

S l u m R ed ev el o p ment S cheme ( 1 9 9 1 )

Slum Demolition & Relocation

D harav i R ed ev el o p ment P ro j ect

Private Redevelopment S l u m U p g rad ing P ro g ramme ( 1 9 8 5 ) T he P rime M inis ter’ s G rant P ro j ect ( 1 9 8 5 )

S l u m I mp ro v ement P ro g ramme ( 1 9 7 1 )

Upgrading & Rehabilitation


F igure 3.7


I nf o rmal ind u s tries takNational e o f f Policy towards informal settlements G ras s ro o t ad v o cacy Co - o p erativ e ho u s ing s o ciety Chambda Bazaar


I nternatio nal Limel ig ht

Chambda Bazaar



investment into the housing sector, with a scheme

increased the area allotted to the inhabitants, it still

of Slum Redevelopment Scheme (1991). The

catered mainly to the private developers, providing

incentive of an increased FSI (Floor Space Index)

them with an even higher FSI.

was provided to private developers, in order to rehouse the “eligible: inhabitants in-situ and free

This bent of redevelopment and rehabilitation relies

up space for profit-based development. However,

heavily on market forces, decreasing the focus on

the houses for the inhabitants came at a cost and

the actual inhabitants of these informal settlements.

the criteria for its eligibility also cut off a large

Dharavi, in recent history has been heavily

population (as they had to prove that they were

influenced by the Slum Rehabilitation Scheme

residents of the area before 1985). A modified

(1995), which protected the eviction of people who

version of the above policy came in the form of the

could prove that they were residents of Mumbai

Slum Rehabilitation Scheme (1995), which tried

before January 1995. This formed the basis of other

to rearticulate the terms of rehabilitation related

redevelopment schemes for Dharavi, including the

to informal settlements exclusively. Although, it

current Dharavi Redevelopment Project.

3.2.b The current project: The Dharavi Redevelopment Project In order to better understand the composition of

residents of Dharavi and enable them to integrate to

the Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) - Figure

mainstream development.

4.4, it is explored though 5 aspects, derived from European Cohesion Policy:

The Dharavi Redevelopment Plan (DRP) envisages the division of Dharavi into five sectors. Bids were invited from a consortium of international

i) Structure:

and national developers to provide free housing and infrastructure for the residents of Dharavi.

The Dharavi redevelopment project was the

The Developers had to pay a premium to the

brainchild of an Indian architect based in the USA,

Government and in return get as incentive ‘Floor

Mukesh Mehta. He saw an opportunity to develop

Space Index’ (FSI) on which they could build

a new more comprehensive plan for the whole of

more commercial and other structures and sell in

Dharavi instead of piecemeal projects. The DRP

the open market. The FSI offered till now is 4. In

proposes the intensive utilisation of land in Dharavi

this way, it was to be a win- win situation for all

for rehabilitation of slum dwellers and commercial

the parties concerned. The Government would earn

development. The argument is that this will lead

substantial revenues, the Developer would make

to more integrated development and benefits for

windfall profits and the residents of Dharavi would


Figure 3.8: Governance division in Mumbai, with Dharavi placed in the G (North) ward in Zone 2; Source Author, derived from www.mumbaidata. in

F igure 3.8


have more living space and better amenities than

has been highlighted by several parties.

before(Rao, S.G.B., 2012). It should be noted that the redevelopment projects by the developer, have been stated to be conceived based on participation

d) Performance

with the local residents of Dharavi. There has been no attempt or plan in the DRP to evaluate the project post its construction and b) Simplification:

occupation. It also does not incorporate lessons from other redevelopment schemes in order to

The DRP has a very top-down mechanism for

learn, how the post-occupancy works in similar

redevelopment, with the sector divisions formed

attempts. This is a major gap, where the DRP and

by the Slum Redevelopment Authority of India, in

the state government need to revise its approach.

consultation with Mukesh Mehta. Although citizen participation from Dharavi is encouraged, it plays a limited role in the initial stages. Once the sectors

e) Financial Instruments used:

have been allotted its private developers, it is up to them, how to redevelop it in order to generate profit

There has been no attempt or plan in the DRP

for rehabilitation schemes. Therefore, although

to evaluate the project post its construction and

the decision making process of the DRP is simple,

occupation. It also does not incorporate lessons

it largely ignores discourses from other actors,

from other redevelopment schemes in order to learn,

especially the inhabitants. What is also missing

how the post-occupancy works in similar attempts.

is a sense of transparency in the decision making

This is a major gap, where the DRP and the state

process, which is illustrated in the grey area of

government need to revise its approach, as only a

eligibility conditions for the low income housing

post-occupancy evaluation can ensure a inclusive


and socially sustainable redevelopment project. Note: The future of the DRP in its limbo, with no

c) Differentiation:

bids being received from the private developers for any of the 5 sectors of Dharavi (Bardhan, R. et

A large portion of Dharavi’s inhabitants along with

al., 2015). The main factors contributing to it were

several academicians have raised several arguments

tough eligibility conditions for the developers,

against the DRP. The most visible missing element

concerns over protests from the inhabitants and

is the consideration of current livelihoods and socio-

height restrictions by the state. This led to the

economic networks and whether these livelihoods

allotment of one sector to the state to develop

can be sustained in a post-redevelopment scenario.

(which is contradictory to the original plan), in

Along with that, a lack of consideration of existing

order to jump-start the project and attract other

social structure and economic system in the DRP

fresh investors.


Figure 3.9: The current system of the Dharavi Redevelopment Project, illustrating the relationship between the different stakeholders and the project.; Source: Interpretation by author

Figure 3.9

The system behind Dharavi Redevelopment Plan



Scattered Slum Islands Category

Central Category

F igure 3.10

Categorisation of informal settlements as per UN Habitat’s report, “The challenge of the slums” (2004)

3.3.a Location: I nf o rmal s ettl ements are o f ten reg ard ed as p ro d u cts

• Central:

often regarded as products of failed policies, bad

“Central city slums tend to have been formed by the

governance, corruption, inappropriate regulations,

classic process where central, prosperous residential

dysfunctional land markets, unresponsive financial

areas o f cities u nd erg o d eterio ratio n as their o rig inal

systems and a fundamental lack of political will

owners move out to newer, more salubrious and

(Un-Habitat, 2004). The UN Habitat report also

more fashionable residential areas. Residents of

states that there is some correlation between the

slums that are located close to such zones are able to

l o catio n and

the inf o rmal s ettl ements .

benefit from the high concentrations of employment

Although, this may not always be applicable, the

opportunities, especially those related to unskilled

UN habitat report states with an example that in

and casual jobs. They are also likely to be better

a fast growing but young city, the location of the

off in terms of transportation. This makes centrally

older “informal settlements” would be outside the

located slums much more suitable for unskilled

centre o f the city . T he l o catio n o f the s l u ms hav e

workers” (Un-habitat, 2010).

ag e o f

been classified into three main categories (Figure 4.7) as per the UN Habitat’s report:


F igure 3.10: C ategorisation of inf ormal settlements as per UN Habitat’s report, “ The challenge of the slums” , 2004 F igure 3.11: C ategorisation of the inf ormal settlements in M umbai; Source - Author, Derived from www.

Figure 3.11


• Scattered Slum Islands:

3.3.b. Landform:

“These islands may have been intended as open or green spaces, as the land was thought to be

Dharavi, shares certain characteristics with the

unsuitable for future housing, or locations that are

“Central” and “Scattered slum island” category, but

physically or environmentally unsafe. Slum islands

is diverts from UN habitat’s definition resembling

are typically small, as few as eight to ten dwellings.

characteristics of “Scattered slum islands”. Although

They cannot support their own social infrastructure

Dharavi now occupies a central location in Mumbai,

(school, clinic, etc); but use the facilities of the

historically it was once the outskirts of the city (as

neighbourhoods in which they are located – unless

illustrated in figure 4.8). It was also not formed

they are denied access through social discrimination,

the manner the UN habitat expects the “Central”

which is quite common. Slum islands that are

settlements to be formed. It shares its formation

closer to the centre share many of the advantages

in the manner of a “Scattered Slum Island”, along

and attributes of the central slums described above.

with being placed in an environmentally sensitive

However, they are often physically isolated from the

area (Figure 4.12) of the Mahim Creek (which has

surrounding areas by barriers such as canals, storm

contaminated soil and flooding). Dharavi’s location

drains, railway tracks or motorways, and, though

in an area susceptible to natural hazards, such as

close to urban facilities and opportunities, may not

frequent flooding. Along with the a high density,

actually be able to benefit from them. Some islands

services such as the main potable water supply

may have started as rural communities that became

line to Mumbai cross the northern edge of Dharavi

engulfed by urban expansion; but this is rare, except

(Figure 4.10 & 4.11). Tidal fluctuations along the

towards the periphery” (Un-habitat, 2010).

Mithi River, especially during the monsoon period adversely affect this northern of Dharavi, making

• Peripheral:

it a major problem not only for its citizens but also

“Slums on the city fringes are either squatter

for the rest of the city. This edge is protected by a

settlements in which households have invaded

stretch of mangroves with tidal swamps, which are

(usually public) land, or they occupy land that

unfortunately under pressure from Dharavi’s growth

has been subdivided and for which they have paid

and a lack of maintenance from the city authority.

or entered a rent purchase arrangement with the

This environmentally vulnerable nature is reflected

developer or landowner. The urban periphery has

in most informal settlements, especially in the

distinct advantages over more central and urbanized

‘scattered slum island’ typology, who inhabit areas,

areas as there is less competition for the use or

where formalised settlements are hesitant to occupy.

control of land, especially if it is located outside of

Although it is in an environmentally susceptible

the municipal boundaries.” (Un-habitat, 2010).

area, it enjoys the advantages of a central location, one of the main ones being proximity to Mumbai’s railway lines (Figure 4.9). This proximity, enables its residents to access employment in other parts


Figure 3.12: Dharavi’s viable real estate location is mainly due to its proximity to Mumbai’s railway lines and the airport; Source - Author, Derived from

F igure 3.12


F igure 3.13

o f the city . I t is al s o l o cated in cl o s e p ro x imity to

one source (Risbud, N., 2003). Only 5 per cent of

the business hubs of Andheri and Dadar, along with

slums have individual taps whereas 17 slums with

being a short distance away from both the domestic

approximately 0.1 million inhabitants (0.87 per

and the internatio nal airp o rts . T his co nnectio n and

cent of the total) have no water supply and have

proximity to Mumbai’s mobility network, on one

to depend on adjoining settlements. Sanitation in

hand has attracted mo re and mo re p eo p l e o v er the

slums is very poor as 73 per cent of slums depend

l as t d ecad e and o n the o ther hand as attracted the

on community toilets provided by the government,

private developers’ interests.

28 per cent defecate in the open, 0.7 per cent slums have pay to use toilets managed by NGOs and only 1 per cent of slums have individual toilets. Dharavi

3.3.c. Infrastructure:

perhaps shares the worst ratio with only 1 toilet per 1440 people. This is in spite some toilet blocks were

About 49 per cent of slums, including Dharavi have

constructed after 1995. Thus, Dharavi illustrates

access to water supply from shared standpipes,

the gaping hole left by the absence of water and

while 38.3 per cent have a supply from more than

s anitatio n inf ras tru ctu re.


Figure 3.13: Stakeholder relationship of w ater and sanitation serv ices in Dharavi; Source: Author F igure 3.14: D harav i’ s soil ty pology ; Source - Author, Derived from www. F igure 3.15: M ain w ater supply line to M umbai, w hich passes through Mumbai; Source - http://blog. jpgWbbHCG86BX.jpg F igure 3.16: The northern edge of mumbai has a stretch of mangrov e and tidal plains; Source - orest.jpg F igure 3.17: The queue to access w ater services outside in Dharavi; Source: U rbz, M umbai F igure 3.18: The ex isting main w ater infrastructure circling Dharavi; Source: Author; deriv ed f rom w w w

Figure 3.14


F igure 3.15

F igure 3.16

F igure 3.17


F igure 3.18


LAYER 4 -INFORMAL ECONOMIC CLUSTERING AND NETWORKS: 3.4.a Informal Economy & the Informal Settlement The entrepreneurial nature of the “informal” has

of informal economy. He calls for the recognition

been lauded by several planners, economists and

of “System D” (a phrase used in former French

journalists. Hernando De Soto lauds the importance

colonies to describe self-starting merchants),

of informal economy, basing the case in his Native

which translates as the ingenuity economy and the

Peru, which was created as a direct response to the

economy of improvisation (Neuwirth, R., 2011,

rigid regulations by the state forcing entrepreneurs

Pg 17). This builds on Turner’s emphasis in the

to find a way around the system (De Soto, H.,

importance of self-help and autonomy, portraying

1990). He applauded this initiative, deeming it as

the urban poor and inhabitants of informal

a basic necessity in developing countries, required

settlements as pioneers. Also, Turner was heavily

for a large amount of the population to survive

against government help and intervention, citing

and thrive. Although he was challenged on his

a better result by involving outside agencies who

methodology and results by many academicians,

are free from legislative restrictions (Turner, J.C.,

one cannot overlook the ingenuity behind his ideas.

1968). On the other hand James Holston, vies this

Till recently popular authors such as Neuwirth have

phenomena as a form of “insurgent citizenship”.

claimed about the importance and the large scale

He view this form of informality as a movement,


Figure 3.19: Industrial production sites in Dharavi, which are almost often busy sites - Source: http://www.dnaindia. com/big-picture/photo-pongal-inmumbai-1951046 Figure 3.20: Industrial production sites in Dharavi; Source: Urbz, Mumbai’ Figure 3.21: Connection of other informal centres to the rest of the city Source: Urbz, Mumbai

Figure 3.19

where the marginalised in city regions contest their exclusion. He states that this insurgence begins

informal, whereas the “upward” link refers to the

with the struggle for the right to have a daily life

opposite direction (Gruber, D. et al., 2005). It can

in the city worthy of a citizen’s dignity (Holston,

be therefore argued that the informal sector cannot

J., 1998). Although Holston lauds the creativity

exist independently of the formal sector. There

of this informal economy and its practice, he cites

are arguments present that show that the informal

the need to produce critical research, which is

sector is often exploited by the formal. For example

not reductive and complacent in nature. The idea

by sub-contracting cheap and flexible labour to the

that the informal economy is linked directly with

informal sector, leads to a lack of social security of

the formal is not new. Gruber describes a link

the employees and therefore a price-cut of the goods

derived from Madhu Singh’s (Singh, M., 1996)

produced (Gruber, D. et al., 2005). It is within this

discourse on connections between the informal

conflicting discourse of informal economy that this

sector and the formal sector. These connections

research intends to place Dharavi in. What role does

can be described as “upward” and “downward”

the informal economy play in Dharavi? How does

linkages. The “downward” vertical link refers to the

it shape its urban form, and does it transcend and

flow of goods and services from the formal to the

connect to the formal city of Mumbai?


Figure 3.20


The map will be redrawn


Figure 3.21

3.4.b Working as a nature in Dharavi

location of Dharavi in Mumbai. This is highlighted in the map in Figure 4.16, which illustrates spatially

The idea of a “working” or entrepreneurial nature

the linkage of the industries in Dharavi to Mumbai.

of Dharavi has been ingrained in its history. With a

A detailed examination of the leather production

wide mosaic of migrants flocking to it from different

and finishing, also shows its outreach into a national

parts of the country seeking better opportunities,

and international market (illustrated in Figure

came a variety of professions and industries such as

4.24). Other industries which are irrevocably links

leather tanning, pottery, textile, which gave Dharavi

Dharavi to the “formal city” (Mumbai) are the

its unique identity of self-sufficiency and a high

readymade food industry, the bulk of services such

employment rate of almost 80% (Nijman, J., 2015).

as house maids, laundering, ironing, milk supply, vegetable vending to neighbouring localities like

However, estimates regarding Dharavi’s turnover

Sion, Matunga, etc (Ranede, S. and Doongerwala,

and the scale of its enterprise is limited due to


the informal nature of these enterprises. An older survey in 1986 by the National Slum Dweller’s

To develop a more comprehensive understanding

federation estimated around 1044 manufacturing

of how industries and informal economies are

units which included 722 scrap and recycling units,

organised and located, the most visible of them are

152 units making food items, 111restaurants, and

described and illustrated below:

85 units entirely working for export, 50 printing presses and 25 bakeries, along with 244 small scale units and 43 medium scale enterprises (Ranede, S.

(i) Recycling:

and Doongerwala, Q.). A recent publication, “Re-

The 1986 survey by the National Slum Dwellers

Dharavi”, puts the average estimate of the daily

Federation Survey estimated that the recycling

turnover of Rs.500 million a day (nearly 7 million

section in Dharavi is one of the largest in the

euros per day). The report highlights the vibrancy

country. It estimated around 700 units (both large

of Dharavi, noting that almost every third house

and small), employing around 5000 people existed

seems to have some sort of economic activity

in 1986. This has increased in the last two decades,

within it (Patel, S. et al., 2010). It also counts 1700

however it is difficult to get an exact estimate. The

enterprises of various sizes, excluding home based

system of recycling is integrated into the system of


the larger city of Mumbai. Workers from Dharavi collect garbage from the rest of the city, some by

These industries and enterprises are implicitly linked

garbage pickers, and others by garbage containers.

to the rest of Mumbai city, establishing a mutual

This is sorted in the 700 odd units of the recycling

relationship of dependence between the “formal

enterprises (Figure 4.19). They are mainly located

city” and the “informal settlement”. Core industries

in the 13th compound, where the Mahim Sion Link

of Dharavi, such as leather production and finishing

road meets Dharavi’s 60 ft road (Patel, S. et al.,

and recycling rely heavily on the connections and

2010). Everything, from plastic drums, oil cans,


Figure 3.22: Connections of Dharavi to the rest of Mumbai via industry; Source: Author, derived from “Dharavi Ground up” by Mumbai commission for Development Studies

Towards Palghar

Towards Bhiwandi


D eliv ery / collection

D ho bi / Lau nd ry

D eliv ery / collection

R ecy cl ing

D eliv ery / collection

B ro o mak ers

D eliv ery / collection

M ap deriv ed f rom: “ D harav i - Ground U p: A D w ellers-F ocused D esign Tool f or U pgrading L iv ing Space in D harav i” ; M umbai C ommission f or dev elopment Studies at the Austrian Academy of Sciences; 2 013 0 k m

3 k m

6 k m

F igure 3.22


H ind u I mmig rants

M u s l im

Lo cal o rig in

O ther

Inhabitants’ Origin

Religious Composition

chemical containers, metal scraps, empty bottles, p l as tic co ntainers and p ap er – al l g et s o rted ( mainl y manu al l y ) and are recy cl ed . M o s t o f the p ro d u cts which don’t get recycled are cleaned and reused

S el f E mp l o y ed

(Patel, S. et al., 2010).

H ind u

W ag e E mp l o y ed I mmig rants T H emp ind o u rary J o bs

O w ners bo rn in D h

Lo cal W o o rkrig O inu ts id e M u s l im

O I mmig w ners rants bo rn o u ts id e

M u s l im

(ii) Textile:

The textile industry in Dharavi grew toO ther its current s tag e o f p ro minence d u ring the cl o s u re o f the co tto n

Employment ratios Inhabitants’ Origin

Religious Composition

mills in Mumbai in the 1960s. This spurred an

Business Ownership

O ther

Inhabitants’ Origin

Religious Composition

informal industry of weaving, printing and tailoring based within Dharavi, dispersed throughout its

Rs 32500

urban fabric. It also deals with a lot of S outsourced el f E mp l o y ed manufacturing and finishing work from outside

10 hrs/day

W ag e E mp l o y ed

manu f actu rers .

S el f E mp l o y ed O w ners bo rn in D harav i

T emp o rary J o bs H ind u W o rk O u ts id e

(iii) Earthen Pottery:

Working hours

M u s l im

Employment ratios Kumbharwada, is perhaps one of the most districtO


W ag e E mp l o y ed O w ners bo rnI mmig o u ts idrants e T emp o rary J o bs

occupies around 12.5 acres of land at the intersection

Rs 32500

Working hours

ag e E mp l o y ed


Average Working Salary per monhth

O w ners bo rn o u ts id e

M u mbai

Rs 32500

D harav i

10 hrs/day

Average Working Salary per monhth e Working hours


T emp o rary J o bs

O w ners bo rn in D harav i 8000

W o rk O u ts id

O w ners bo rn o u ts id e

S. et al., 2010). Working as a shared community, the furnaces and kilns are shared, shaping the urban Employment fabric of the community (Figure 4.20) ratios

O w ners bo rn in D h

Business Ownership

of the 90 ft road and the 60 ft road. As per the last

and work in this neighbourhood of Dharavi (Patel, W

D harav i

W o rk O u ts id e

Inhabitants’ Origin Employment ratios

el f E mp l o y ed Rs

Rs 8000

M u mbai

Lo cal o rig in

Business Ownership

areas in Dharavi, with aReligious pottery community which Composition can be traced back to the origins of Dharavi. It

10 hrs/day estimates made, around 250 potters’ families live S

Lo cal o rig in

Business Ownership

M u mbai

D harav i

Average Working Salary per monhth

(iv) Leather making: Rs 32500

Leather tanning was the first industries to be set up in Dharavi. They were mainly from the south 10 hrs/day

of India (from the state of Tamil Nadu) and the profession was traditionally for Muslims. This Working hours business grew quite rapidly, attracting more workers

Rs 8000

Figure 3.23: Facts and figures for industry in Dharavi; Source: REDharavi by KRIVA

M u mbai

D harav i

F igure 3.24: C oncentration of Economic Activities in Dharavi; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom analy sis

Average Working Salary per monhth

F igure 3.25: Industries in D harav i; Source: Urbz, Mumbai

f ro m o ther p arts o f the co u ntry . As it is no t a v ery F igure 3.23

clean industry, i.e., it would cause a lot of pollution, most of the 39 major tanneries were moved to the


F igure 3.26: C oncentration of Economic Activities in Dharavi; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom analy sis

Figure 3.24


Figure 3.25


Figure 3.26


Figure 3.27

outskirts in 1996 by the city government (Patel, S. et al., 2010). After that, finishing of leather goods

in Dharavi (Patel, S. et al., 2010), the nature of

took over the business, locating themselves (the

informality makes the diverse livelihood if its

network is illustrated in Figure 4.24). Several

citizens vulnerable to larger interest groups. The

additional workshops have popped up, mainly due

vision of the larger interest groups are quite different

to the demand. However, they remain in cramped

from those who are at the lower end at the spectrum

lofts and squalid conditions, desperately needing an

(discussed in detailed in the review of the Dharavi

upgrade along with recognition.

Redevelopment Project). Dharavi is defined and characterised by its diverse economies, contributing to the vibrancy if its streets and a resilience which

3.4.c Preliminary conclusions

is characterised by the reliance of the formal city (Mumbai) on the informal economy generated by

Although, there is an impression of a “rich slum�



Figure 3.27: Flow of recources in industries in Dharavi; Source: Author, derived from analysis Figure 3.28: Industry concentration and typology in Dharavi; Source: Author

Figure 3.28


LAYER 5 -SOCIAL STRUCTURE AND TIES 3.5.a The role of social capital and its spatial implications

Economic activities are often inseparable from

This social capital plays a very important role in

ethnic identities and from the highly localised

the spatial organisation of an informal settlement.

cultural milieu of the slum (Nijman, J., 2010).

They are highlighted in a clear spatial divide and

This is also highlighted by other researchers, and

a social class which are present in most informal

is especially true in the case of Dharavi. It is also

settlements in the Global South. It also plays a very

irrevocably linked to the migration patterns which

important role in providing a social security in an

create different social clusters within informal

informal settlement.

settlements, especially in the global south. This clustering can be mainly attributed to a need for

Does Dharavi display the above signs demarcating

social security, which is provided “social capital”

spatially its notion of “social security”? How has is

derived from the temporary nature of the existence

notion manifested in the perception of urban space

with the informal sector (Gruber, D. et al., 2005).

within Dharavi?

Social Capital, has been theorised by several

Dharavi is sharply divided on the basis of ethnic

researchers, such as James Coleman and Francis

lines. Its economic activities, ranging from textile

Fukuyama. Both of them define social capital

to recycling are divided as per the ethnicity of its

based on its functionality. Coleman writes “It is

workers. This relates back to the notion of achieving

not a single entity but a variety of different entities,

“social security” through “social capital”. Gruber

with two elements in common: they all consist

describes this division based on ethnicity and

of some aspects of social structures, and they

religion also creates as homogeneous structure and

facilitate certain actions of actors, whether persons

network, contributing to a “self-created security”

or corporate” (Coleman, J.S., 1988). Both of them

(Gruber, D. et al., 2005). This is also supported

also emphasize the role of “trust” in the creation

by Nijman’s observations in Dharavi, who writes

of social capital. Fukuyama describes social capital

that the majority of Dharavi’s residents are of

as “informal values and norms which share all

the lower caste group of Dalits, cluster together

members of the group and which make possible the

in tight knit communities within Dharavi. This is

cooperation between the members of the group. If

predominantly because of social stigma faced by

the members of the group assume that the ‘others’

them, which has lead to the formation of the above

behave honestly and dependably, then they will

mentioned clusters (further sub-divided based

trust in each other” (Fukuyama, F., 2000).

on regional origin and professional status). The


Figure 3.29: Commercial activity in te main street of Dharavi; Source:http:// Design_Museum_Dharavi/why.html Figure 3.30: Namaz prayers on Id at the main street in Dharavi; Source: http:// Figure 3.31: Festival activities in the main street of Dharavi; Source: http:// Figure 3.32-3.33: Pongal Celebrations in Dharavi; Source: http://1080. plus/Pongal_Celebration_in_SIWS_ College_2014/ Figure 3.34:Major divisions in Dharavi; Source: Urbz, Mumbai

Figure 3.29

Figure 3.30

Figure 3.31


Figure 3.32

Figure 3.33


Figure 3.34


H ind u I mmig rants

M u s l im

Lo cal o rig in

O ther

Inhabitants’ Origin

Religious Composition

Demographic and community data in Dharavi

F igure 3.35

majority of Dharavi’s inhabitants, about 70%, are S el f E mp l o y ed

Hindus (mainly Dalit). Most of the Muslims (about W ag e E mp l o y ed 20%) originally migrated from Tamil Nadu, and

O w ners bo rn in D harav i

o rary 10% J o bs particularly from Tirunelvelli district.T emp About

of Dharavians are Christian and many W o rk O ofu ts them id e come from the southern state of Kerala. One third

ratios of theEmployment people in Dharavi are Maharashtrians, and

O w ners bo rn o u ts id e

Business Ownership

others originate from Gujarat, Karnataka, and Uttar Pradesh (Nijman, J., 2015).. Nijman describes this as a “social and cultural residential mosaic”, in which people are identifies 10 hrs/day on the terms of where they belong, illustrated in Figure 3.36. Moving outside this defined social

hours space creates Working feelings stress, apprehension and the absence of “social security” (Nijman, J., 2015).

Rs 32500 Rs 8000

M u mbai

D harav i

Average Working Salary per monhth

The main streets (for example the 60 ft road and the 90 ft road), are accessible easily by people who are not inhabitants of Dharavi. It is just off these main roads, that the nature of social space changes drastically. The width of the streets do

F igure 3.35: D emographic and community data in Dharavi; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom deriv ed f rom Nijman (2015)

not encourage vehicular navigation. Social space changes dramatically within these areas, with social control becoming apparent (Nijman, J., 2010).

Figure 3.36: Spatial location of the most dominant religious communities; Source: Author, derived from UrbZ M umbai project

These major roads also guide the classification of various nagars (figure 3.34) in Dharavi.



rk to r era netw o p o d ol el l ev useh 3 rd an ho

e 5 tur y er struc a L i al

b U r


w r net ato ption r e o p um v el -cons e l n 2 nd ductio

or k

tw r 4 cal ne e y i La nom


o rk


o E c



tur r ato astruc r e r l o p , inf ev e tw ork l t 1 s ad ne

re ctu

R o

3 y er orm & a L f

City Model

nd L a

upuy , G., 2 008 )


tr u ras Inf

er 2 Lay licy &

nan vo er G



uti ex t l ev ol t n Co torica


Hi s

uti 1 v ol r e e l Lay torica His

ns ce nan licatio r e p v G o icy im l Po

Analytical Framework for Dharavi Source: Author



The analytical framework is explored through its 5 layers at the larger scale of Dharavi. Each layer contributes ans strives to reach a comprehensive understanding of the social, economic and political system the has shaped Dharavi to its present status. They form the basis of formulating the strategic and design framework through the lens of a design hypothesis.


Source: L if e in D harav i; http://w w w .jonasbendik ational-Geographic/D harav i/1/thumbs

part 04 Hypothesis

4.1 Synthesis & Conclusions at Dharavi 4.2 Design Hypothesis 4.3 Design Approach


Economic Concentration of Dharavi is mainly concentrated around the industrial 13th Compound, which combines the living - working relationships. The predominant of Dharavi, such as leather finishing and recycling are located in areas which have on one hand a high value in terms of mobility, but on the other hand a high susceptibility to environmental hazards.

Dharavi is composed of a fine social grain consisting of migrants from various parts of the country. Its social strata is composed mainly of lower caste migrant communities that co-habit, sharing a common notion of social security and capital, brought on by Dharavi’s prime location. Utilising this notion is paramount to the redevelopment of Dharavi.

Infrastructure services remain largely absent within Dharavi, highlighted especially by the lack of potable water and sanitation services. This strikes out starkly in contrast to the surrounding fabric of Mumbai, creating a challenge for redevelopment.

Figure 4.1: Synthesis of exixting features in Dharavi; Source Author, derived from previous analysis


Intensity of Economic Production

Fine Social Grain

Lack of water infrastructure

Figure 4.1


4.1 CONCLUSIONS AT DHARAVI The five analytical layers used in this project help develop a clear understanding of the spatial

to Dharavi. Professions such as leather tanning,

production in Dharavi - in the past and well as in

sewing and garment dyeing have evolved

the present. The element that dominates the spatial

depending on the historical communities that

quality produced in Dharavi is the economic activity

have been associated with it. Employment

it generates, which is explored in the analytical

opportunities are mainly by word of mouth,

layer 4 in this research. Spatial qualities, such as

ensuring that employees share the same social

mobility within the settlement are shaped around

structure and networks.

the dominant layer of ‘economic networks’. Social ties and community networks are also dependant on

•Social aspects, explored in layer 5 of the

the primary layers of economic networks. The main

analysis, such as social security and social

conclusions reached from the desk spatial analysis

capital are also connected to the economic

are explored below:

structure and networks present in Dharavi. A person’s occupation is often determined by their social standing in Indian society, which is still






analytical layers:

present in Dharavi’s socio-economic system, thus connecting the analysis layers 4 and 5 intrinsically. For example the earlier profession

•The influence of historical socio-economic

of leather tanning and now leather finishing was

evolution of Dharavi (explored in analytical

started by a Muslim community from Tamil

layer 1), is present and visible in all other

Nadu in Dharavi, who still form the dominant

analytical layers, so more so than others. Clear

community in this profession. Similar elements

relationships between the historical traces are

are visible in other professions, such as

found I the economic networks (layer 4) and the

recycling, laundering broom-making amongst

social ties (layer 5). Its influence is also seen

others (Ranede, S. and Doongerwala, Q.).

directly on the policy and governance model (layer 2), which is almost directly shaped by

•Historic influence is also extended to the social

the changes in socio-economic dynamics in

structure in Dharavi. Specific communities

areas such as Dharavi and the larger context of

occupy and maintain hierarchy within Dharavi,


with recognizable clusters being formed. These social clusters are also linked to the economic

•Economic networks and professions are

functions (Gruber, D. et al., 2005) and are thus

mostly determined by the familial networks

directly linked to the concept of social mobility

which are transferred from the ancestral village

and social capital.


Figure 4.2: Established connections in the analytical framework in Dharavi; Source Author, derived from previous analysis Figure 4.3: Missing links in the analytical framework in Dharavi; Source Author, derived from analysis

Historical influence on the social structure

Historical connections influence the present economic networks

Policy approach towards informal settlements is derived from historical influence

The governance model influences the present infrastructure

Economic networks strongly influences the social structure

F igure 4.2

Established connections in the analytical framework in Dharavi


4.1 CONCLUSIONS AT DHARAVI Along with the established links and connections

current position offers close to 25-30 square

between the analytical layers of Dharavi, certain

metres of housing area to a single family unit

crucial links are missing and disconnected.

(Mukhija, V., 2003), based off the 1995 Slum Redevelopment Scheme (1995). It does not

•The most evident of this is the lack of

provide any section or provision of retaining or

policy response to the existing economic

even relocating the existing commercial shops

livelihoods. India’s informal settlement and

and manufacturing or industrial units, resulting

slum redevelopment program at its policy core

in a standstill between negotiations between

addresses only the housing requirement. The

policy makers and the inhabitants

Existing policy does not incorporate community structure and social capital

The current infrastructure does not support the growth of economic networks

Economic networks is not incorporated in the existing policy structure


•The existing policy based off the SRS scheme, al s o d o es no t inco rp o rate the ex is ting s o cial and co mmu nity s u ch as

s tru ctu re in inf o rmal s ettl ements D harav i.

T he intricate co mmu nity

networks are crucial to the continuance of the economic networks and form an essential part o f the no tio n o f s o cial s ecu rity in D harav i. T he current housing policy, which focusses solely on providing eligible candidate with low-income ap artments d o es no t co ns id er the ex iting s p atial manifestations of socio-cultural relationships. T his res u l ts in p o o r maintenance o f the ho u s ing blocks post-construction, as is evident from complexes such as Kalaghar in Dharavi. •What also emerges from the spatial analysis is the lack of basic infrastructure (such as water supply and sewage services) that should penetrate the urban fabric of Dharavi. The current man water infrastructure, as illustrated in analytical layer 3, skirts the boundaries of Dharavi, barely delving into its inner fabric. This illustrates a clear lack of an essential relationship between layer 4 and layer 3 of the analytical layers. For an inclusive, sustainable redevelopment project to work at the larger scale, the existing policy needs to incorporate and address the missing links, es p ecial l y

targ eting

the el ements

o f

eco no mic

l iv el iho o d s . T al s o need s to be s u p p o rted by o ther elements of housing and accessible public space, incorporated with basic infrastructure. This project aims to provide a strategic framework (comprising o f a co mbinatio n o f s p atial g u id el ines and p o l icy recommendations) for Dharavi, addressed through a design hypothesis of ‘Economic Clustering’. F igure 4.3



Economic Clustering and its spatial manifestation & organisation can act as a shorthand for the cultural and material spatial aspects in Dharavi.

In order to ensure a framework for sustainable redevelopment project in Dharavi, that encourages

eco no mic activ ity and cl u s tering p res ent as a p art

social equity, economic opportunities and is

o f the red ev el o p ment meas u res . T his is o ne o f

environmentally responsive in nature, a spatial

its critical flaw, as Dharavi is illustrates a vibrant

strategy which uses “economic clustering” as a

economic buzz at every corner, which should be

s p atial to o l is co ns id ered . T his s p atial to o l is u s ed

harnes s ed and u til is ed ins tead o f being ig no red .


res tru ctu re f u tu re red ev el o p ment p ro j ects


Dharavi (Figure 4.4).

Therefore, this project presents a ‘design hypothesis’ that inco rp o rates the d o minant characteris tics and

T he p res ence o f eco no mic activ ity to

a s cal e il l u s trated

in D harav i

in the anal y s is l end s to


requirements of Dharavi, forming a baseline for f u tu re red ev el o p ment p ro j ects .

perception that Dharavi can no longer be viewed ex cl u s iv el y as an inf o rmal s ettl ement. I t acts as a

Economic Clustering and its spatial manifestation

site where simultaneously both residential activity

& organisation can act as a shorthand for the


cultural and material spatial aspects in Dharavi.

eco no mic p ro d u ctio n o ccu rs . E nv iro nments

such as Dharavi cater to mainly small scale, labour intens iv e that p ro v id e rel ativ el y s tabl e l iv el iho o d s .

The hypothesis is the lens through which the larger

On the other hand, the current model of the Dharavi

strategic framework for Dharavi is formulated. This

Redevelopment Project (explored in analytical

framework is then is tested on a selected area in

layer 2), in its current form does not recognise the

Dharavi, via a design framework (Figure 4.4).


F igure 4.4: Project and design approach; Source Author


F igure 4.4


116 Source: L if e in D harav i; http://w w w .jonasbendik ational-Geographic/D harav i/1/thumbs

part 05 Strategic Framework

5.1 Overview of Strategic Framework 5.2 Element: [RE]Divide 5.3 Element: [RE]Structure 5.4 Element: [RE]inforce 5.5. Strategic Framework - conclusions


5.1 STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK FOR DHARAVI The strategic framework at Dharavi aims to propose

addresses the missing links and connections in the

a combination of spatial guidelines and policy

5 analytical layers are addressed, framed through

recommendation in order to provide a structure

the design hypothesis of ‘economic clustering’.

for future redevelopment projects. This structure

The three elements complement each other in

is divided into three main elements, each of which

their objectives working in synchronisation. Each

Existing policy does not incorporate community structure and social capital

The current infrastructure does not support the growth of economic networks

Economic networks is not incorporated in the existing policy structure


element also attempts to renegotiate and reformulate

along with policy recommendations which enable

existing stakeholder relationships in order to ensure

the execution of the project.

implementation at a larger scale. Each element comprises of a balance of spatial guidelines that

The three elements are – [Re]Divide, [Re]Structure

directs the spatial quality of the redevelopment,

and [Re]inforce.



[RE] D I V I D E

Overview The element of strategic framework aims to address

viable private developer showing any interest.

the p arcel l atio n o f D harav i at the at city p o l icy

This has lead the MHADA to start on a section

l ev el . T he cu rrent red ev el o p ment mo d el o f D harav i

of Dharavi (Sector 1 of the DRP) without private

Redevelopment Project devised by MM Consultants

investment, in order to kick-start the project.

divides Dharavi into 5 large sectors. Each sector is to be opened for public bidding, staggered over

What the Dharavi Redevelopment Project failed to

the next few years, would be allotted to private

recognize is the finer social grain and social structure

d ev el o p ers as p er the al l o tment p ro ces s es .

present within Dharavi. Research and fieldwork recognises that there are easily 85 smaller divisions,

However, this process has been plagued by several

or nagars, present within the urban fabric. Each of

challenges. Because of the large size or area of the

these nagars display a distinct social composition,

sectors, the requirements for the private developers

il l u s trated by rel ig io n o r cas te categ o ris atio n. As the

hav e been s et at hig her s tand ard . T he bid d ing

social composition of the nagars reflect on the type

co nd itio ns req u ire d ev el o p ers to f o rm a co ns o rtiu m

of employment, these nagars have a direct reflection

with a maximum of three partners. The financial

o f the s p atial co mp o s itio n o f D harav i.

co nd itio ns req u ired


this co ns o rtiu m are that

any o f the three p artners s ho u l d hav e co mp l eted a 4,460 crores project in the last seven years. It is

Proposed model:

also expected to provide a bank guarantee of 280 crore. Other conditions such as the consortium’s

An analogy of the nagars could be linked to that

minimum net worth (1450 crore) and their

of a checkerboard, with different alternating

cumulative turnover over the last three years (1680

p atterns d is tinct f ro m o ne ano ther. I n o rd er to

cro res ) . T hes e res trictio ns hav e p u s hed the D harav i

truly understand how the nagars could be mapped,

Redevelopment Project to a standstill, without any

d emarcating them in the p hy s ical s p ace is es s ential .


F igure 5.1: D iv ision and sectors of the D harav i R edev elopment Project; Source Author, de riv ed f rom the M ASHAL surv ey f or M M C onsultants F igure 5.2: Analogy of the N agar div isions to a chequerboard ; Source Author F igure 5.3: M ark ing of the nagars on the ground in D harav i ; Source Author F igure 5.4: Proposed stak eholder relationship in the new strategic f ramew ork of nagar div isions; Source Author F igure 5.5: Spatial mark ings of the 85 nagars in D harav i ; Source Author

Figure 5.1


An independent research committee along with the n Slum Redevelopment authority needs to be formulated. The nagar divisions are currently only derived from the inhabitants of Dharavi. Therefore to make these divisions more tangible, cooperatives comprising of long term inhabitants and local community leaders needs to be formed in order to work with the independent research community. The proposed model aims to mark out the nagar divisions on the physical space of Dharavi (figure_____). The residents of Dharavi, in





organisations and members of the alliance, re-draw the boundary lines to align with their physical and social reality on the ground. The act of drawing new boundary lines, based on the communities’ needs and livelihoods, shifts the balance of power to give the residents of Dharavi a voice in the process of the development of their part of the city. The new nagar divisions and cooperatives form then aim to formulate the redevelopment model customised to recognize the finer social and economic grain of Dharavi, with a more active citizen participation. Cooperatives could be formed based on these nagar division, who could act as representatives for the local interest of its citizens, and therefore increasing the participation of the inhabitants, not only in the formulation process, but also in the postdevelopment maintenance process.


Figure 5.2

DRP-5 sectors

85 nagars

Figure 5.3

Demarcating of the nagars on the streets of Dharavi


Figure 5.4

Stakeholder model for [RE]dividing Dharavi


Figure 5.5



[RE] STRUCTURE Overview: The most striking infrastructure, or rather the lack

supply and sewer lines as they would cause the

of infrastructure, is the absence of basic water and

l eas t d is tu rbance to

s anitatio n s erv ices f ro m the inner u rban f abric o f

T he p ro p o s ed mo d el al s o aims to inv o l v e the l o cal

D harav i. B ecau s e o f its ex tremel y

co o p erativ es f o rm as p er the nag ar d iv is io ns to be

hig h d ens ity

the res t o f the bu il t f abric.

compared to the surround urban fabric of Mumbai,

more involved in the maintenance and upkeep of

imp l ementing

the s erv ices . T his ens u res that s erv ices s u ch as the

a s tru ctu red

s y s tem ad d res s ing

water and sanitation services has provided to be

common toilets and community wells are used and

chal l eng ing

maintained as p er their f u l l cap acity .

f o r the inhabitants . I n the cu rrent

situation, he main water supply and sewer lines skirt the boundaries of Dharavi without entering

In addition the network of open spaces in Dharavi are


connected to a proposed water run-off system. This

u rban f abric. O nl y

l imited

co mmo n to il ets

and water outlets provide this basic service to

runoff is implemented as a smaller grain, ensuring

the large number of Dharavi’s residents. Water

the d is p o s al o f heav y rain f ro m the cl ay ey p ed iment

Infrastructure, including the supply of potable

soil below. The aim of this model is to remove the

water, sanitation services and run-off channels are

chal l eng es f aced

es s ential s erv ices that are req u ired as a bas e f o r

co mmercial u nits d u ring the mo ns o o n s eas o n. A

f u rthering red ev el o p ment p ro j ects in D harav i.

reworking of stakeholder model is also proposed,


the ex is ting

ind u s tries and

where the inhabitants of Dharavi take a more active ro l e in the imp l ementatio n and maintenance o f the

Proposed model: T he p ro p o s ed

ntrire s y s tem.

mo d el cal l s f o r the res tru ctu ring

of water infrastructure in Dharavi. This is a fundamental service which needs to be present

F igure 5.6: N etw ork of w ater supply lines in the urban f abric of D harav i; Source: Author

within the inner urban fabric. In order to implement water supply lines and sewage sewer lines, the main

F igure 5.7 & 5.8: Stak eholder relationship in the new proposed model; Source Author

avenues are identified. The model recommends that these avenues act as the main routes for water

F igure 5.9: Proposed sy stem of w ater run-off in Dharavi; Source Author


Figure 5.6


Figure 5.7

Stakeholder model for [RE]structuring water infrastructure in Dharavi

Figure 5.8


Figure 5.9



[RE] INFORCE Overview T he co re o f the red ev el o p ment p ro j ect aims to

as well as to Dharavi. In order to do so, a revised

reco g nis e and

policy proposed, where further working space for

reinf o rce the ex is ting

eco no mic

concentration and avenues. Dharavi, as explored

entrep reneu rs and s p ace f o r the ex is ting ind u s tries

previously, is known in general media for its

to grow is generated with investment from external

‘working nature’. This working nature ranges out

enterprises (figure______).

to a v ariety o f ind u s tries and co mmercial u nits s u ch

a greater flexibility and involvement from the

as recycling, garment, leather finishing, processed

inhabitants o f D harav i ad d res s ing their as p iratio ns

food packaging, pottery, amongst others. The

as a priority. Along with the above, these economic

cu rrent red ev el o p ment p l an d o es

no t reco g nis e

avenues also aim to enhance Dharavi’s connections

or make any provision for incorporating them

to the surrounding business hubs, such as the


Bandra Kurla Complex on its northern side.

the red ev el o p ment p ro ces s . T his

s trateg ic

This model enables

framework supposes that it is these industries and co mmercial u nits that need to f o rm the bas e o f the

T he p ro p o s ed

red ev el o p ment p ro ces s .

model of stakeholder relationship, which has an

mo d el al s o

p res ents

an intricate

additional number of actors, compared to the p rev io u s red ev el o p ment mo d el . T he l o cal ind u s trial

Proposed Model

and commercial shop owners are the stakeholders leading the discussion, and the cooperatives formed

This element of the strategic framework aims

by them are res p o ns ibl e f o r the maintenance and


upkeep of the system

id entif y

the d o minant eco no mic cl u s ters and

F igure 5.11: R einf orcing economic clusters; Source Author

av enu es and treating them as trig g er cl u s ters f o r redevelopment. The identification of these areas

F igure 5.12: Proposed policy and financial model for economic clusters; Source Author

s tem f ro m the s p atial anal y s is o f the area. T he strategic framework aims to increase collaboration

F igure 5.13 : Stak eholder model f or [ R E ] inf orcing the economic clusters and av enues in D harav i; Source Author

between the economic clusters present in Dharavi and ex ternal enterp ris es and entrep reneu rs in the f o rmal eco no my

F igure 5.10: R einf orcing economic av enues; Source: Author

o f M u mbai. T his el ement aims

F igure 5.14 : R einf orcement of economic activ ity in D harav i; Source Author

to strengthen the economic networks both within


Figure 5.11

Figure 5.10

Reinforcing economic avenues

Reinforcing economic clusters

Figure 5.12

Proposed policy and financial model for economic clusters


Figure 5.13

Stakeholder model for [RE]inforcing the economic clusters and avenues in Dharavi


Figure 5.14



The elements of [re]divide, [re]structure and [re]inforce work together to provide a strategic framework that aims to structure future redevelopment projects in Dharavi. It outlines a combination of spatial guidelines and policy recommendations that aim to retain the existing socio-economic production of space in the area along with reinforcing it connections with the formal city. In order to test this strategic framework, a design framework is formulated based on the elements of [re] divide, [re]structure and [re]inforce. These elements are applied on a site which exhibits a high intensity of industrial and economic production, therefore acting as an emblematic illustration of the larger strategic framework.



Source: L if e in D harav i; http://w w w .jonasbendik ational-Geographic/D harav i/1/thumbs

part 06 Design Framework

6.1 Analytical framework at 13-compound 6.2 Exploration of Economic activities at 13-compound 6.3 Design Framework Element: [RE]Structure Element: [RE]Divide Element: [RE]Structure

6.4 Time-frame

6.1 TESTING OF STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK - 13-C0MPOUND D harav i can be res hap ed s p atial l y u s ing the no tio n of economic clustering, combining both long term and s ho rt term s trateg ies and p o l icies . The above strategic framework is tested on a selected site in Dharavi. The selected site is 13-compound. T he s ite ex hibits the hig hes t co ncentratio n o f the economic and industrial production with industries such as recycling, garment and leather finishing d o minating the l and s cap e. The following section explored how a design framework can be implemented in 13-compund so as to ensure a long-term , inclusive and sustainable model of redevelopment. The analytical framework used for Dharavi is echoed in the 13-compound in o rd er to g et a co mp rehens iv e anal y s is o f the area.

F igure 6.1: 13 compound highlighted in D harav i; Source Google E arth



Figure 6.1





6.1 ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK AT 13-C0MPOUND The analy tical f ramew ork is at the scale of D harav i through its 5 lay ers is echoed through to the smaler scale of 13-compound.

Overview 13th compound in Dharavi occupies an area of

fisherman allotted a parcel of land to the arriving

0.042 sq. km, in its North-west corner. Sandwiched

Muslim immigrants from Tamil Nadu. This land

between the junction of the Sion-link road and 60

was located in the downstream area of the Mithi

ft road and the Western line railway in Mumbai.

River, so as not to interfere with the Hindu fishermen

This prized position in Dharavi has been the

village (Koliwada in Dharavi). Although most

co ncentratio n o f eco no mic and ind u s trial activ ity

leather tanning has moved away to the outskirts of

since its formation at the turn of the 19th century.

Mumbai today, what remains is an extensive leather

T he d o minant ind u s tries o f recy cl ing hav e f o u nd

finishing industry. Amongst other ruminants is the

their first foothold in this area, with its first plant

o l d es t mo s q u e in D harav i – the M as j id U mar in

setting up their business in the 1960s . Leather

Navrang compound within the 13-compound area.

industry too, features prominently in the 13 compound





industries of garment finishing, garment dyeing,

Layer 2 – Policy and Governance

snack food packaging, etc . To systematically understand the position of 13-compound and

13 compound is not a homogeneous area, as

the role it plays in Dharavi, this research project

understood by the current Dharavi Redevelopment

explores 13-compound using the same analytical

plan, but is an amalgamation of several heterogeneous

layers derived from the combination of Dupuy’s

districts or Nagars. Four distinct nagars can be

network city model and the theoretical framework.

identified within its area: Navrang, Sanaullah and Babban Compound. Each Nagar display a distinct socio-economic history and current composition of

Layer 1 – Historical Context:

its inhabitants . T his is no t cu rrentl y reco g nis ed in the redevelopment plan, which clubs 13 compound

13 Compound forms one of the oldest industrial

into a larger area of Sector 1 . The overall vison of


the s ev eral

Sector-1 does not recognise the intensive industrial

expeditions into the area, Shyam reveals that the

production of 13 compound along with its social-

o l d es t l eather tanning u nit f o r s et in this area at the

economic heterogeneity, which needs a rework at

turn of the century (early 1900s), when the local

the s tate p o l icy l ev el .

in D harav i. D u ring

o ne o f


F igure 6.2: Water Inf rastructure and landf orm at the 13-compound; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom Surv ey maps by M ASHAL , P une


Dharavi to the rest of Mumbai. The major western railway line of Mumbai, borders the 13 compound

Layer 3 – Landforms, Infrastructure and location

on its western edge. One of its major stations, Mahim Junction, is its nearest stoppage directly acro s s f ro m D harav i. O ne o f the maj o r ro ad s in

13 compound is located at the critical junction

the vicinity, the Mahim-Sion Link road borders its

between two of the major avenues connecting

Northern Edge, providing the industries present



within 13 compound its transport links. Another

mo s t internal areas o f D harav i. T he main M u mbai

arterial road within Dharavi, the 60 feet road, runs

Municipality Water supply lines cross Dharavi in

along its eastern front. 13-compound, therefore,

the 13th compound, but do not provide for the area

p ro v id es its ind u s tries the mu ch cru cial s u p p o rt o f

itself. Only intermittent taps that are shared between

mobility, connecting it to the rest of Mumbai.

s ev eral neig hbo u rho o d s are p res ent al o ng the main edges of 13th compound. Sewage pipelines also

What is absent in terms of essential infrastructure

exclude Dharavi’s inner workings. 13-compound

is - water. Water supply remains absent through


F igure 6.3: Industrial and commercial buildings in 13-compound; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom Surv ey maps by M ASHAL , P une F igure 6.4: M ajor mobility av enues and mov ement in 13-compound; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom Surv ey maps by M ASHAL , P une


is no different. Only a few community toilets are

Perhaps the most defining feature of 13-compound

l o cated

l o ng


ind u s try



eas tern ed g e l eav ing

res id ents

d ev o id

o f



a bas ic and

neces s ary rig ht.


intens ity

o f ind u s trial p ro d u ctio n. E v ery

corner of 13-compound is a mix of Dharavi’s dominant industries, such as recycling, leather finishing, Garment sewing and dyeing, snack food packaging amongst others. High intensity industrial

Layer 4 – Economic Networks

pockets are visible, with often distinct industries dominating certain areas. The economic networks



in 13-compund are comprised of mainly industrial

manner arriv e f ro m ind u s tries

and manufacturing sections, with the commercial

and its outskirts with timed precision. The majors

often taking a backseat. Commercial units are found

industries in 13-compound, such as leather

sparingly in the outskirts, along the peripheral roads

finishing, recycling and garment finishing – all

of Mahim-Sion Link road and 60 ft road.

show evident traces of this link to the formal city

acro s s

M u mbai

of Mumbai. Dharavi, and especially 13-compound What also emerges is 13-compound’s connection

acts as almost an ‘in-between’ space – a ‘middle

to the formal city. The arrival of raw good, which

man’ that contributes to the industrial process.

are either to be processed or packaged in some


F igure 6.5:Gov ernance and nagar div ision in 13-compound; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom Surv ey maps by M ASHAL , P une

Another spatial quality – shared mobility between different industrial units - emerges due to the

by Fukuyama, F. (2000). The clustering of social

limited space allotted to common services. With

cl as s es and in tu rn their d is tinct eco no mic activ ities

limited space at their disposal, different and at times

illustrate a form of ‘social capital’ leading to a

conflicting industries form a shared system in terms

form of ‘social security’, creating a self-made

of transport of raw goods and finished products.

structure and network. Due to spatial constraints

T his s hared s p ace is at time ex tend ed to the u s ag e

in 13-compound (and Dharavi), although the social

of any common space outside the industrial unit,

classes occupy distinct areas and professions, the

which often act as temporary storage spaces.

no tio n o f s hared s p ace is ex tend ed to s o cial and public realm. Conflicting social and religious functions co-exist in the limited space available, which results in the blurring of the public space of

Layer 5 – Social Structure

the s o cial cl u s ters .

13-compound can be divided into four distinct identifiable neighbourhoods (or Nagars) – as


explained in layer 2. The socio-ethnic mix in 13-compund can be explored through these nagars.

13-compound illustrates a strong linkage in certain

Navrang compound today is a predominantly

analytical layers. They are:

Hindu community comprised of migrants from

•A strong co-relation between the economic

the s tate o f B ihar and U ttar P rad es h. B abban and

networks (Layer 4) and the social structure (Layer

Sanaullah compound are comprised of mainly


M u s l im mig rants f ro m U ttar P rad es h and

T amil

•Economic networks (Layer 4) and Social structure

Nadu. This distinction also plays an important role

(Layer 5) have evolved from the historic context

in the economic networks generated in the present

under which Dharavi was formed (Layer 1).

day (Layer 5). For example, the older Muslim community from Tamil Nadu were the forerunners

The exploration into 13-compound also brings

of leather finishing, which has continued till this

to the forefront the absent or weak relationships

date . This model of social structure is therefore,

between certain analytical layers:

intrinsically linked to the inhabitant or the

•The current policy and redevelopment plan (layer

community’s historic profession, leading to a

2 ) d o es

cl u s tering o f a certain g ro u p o ccu rring in p articu l ar

networks (Layer 4) and social structure (layer 5).

areas .

•The infrastructural services required are absent in

no t res p o nd


the ex is ting

eco no mic

the internal urban fabric of 13-compund, thereby Social structure in Dharavi and 13-compound in

limiting its growth and development of its economic

turn reflects the notion of social capital elaborated

p o tential .




I d entif y ing


u nd ers tand ing


ind u s trial

units at 13-compund comprises of mapping the main mo rp ho l o g ical ro u tes and

cl u s ters p res ent.

Industries such as recycling, leather finishing and garment dominate the urban fabric in 13-compund. The shared space between them are analysed in o rd er to

retain the in the p ro p o s ed


d es ig n

F igure 6.6: Industrial cluster in 13-compound; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom Surv ey maps by M ASHAL , P une F igure 6.7: C ommercial cluster in 13-compound; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom Surv ey maps by M ASHAL , P une


framework. The same process is carried out for the commercial units which co-exist with the industrial and manu f actu ring u nits . E ach o f thes e d o minant ind u s tries are then ex p l o red in d etail in o rd er to understand the specific spatial requirements for each.


ra nd a sB rd

wa To

Tow ard s

Ma him





ion L

ink R oad



d oa r t


Industrial units Commercial units Residential units


Main economic typologies in 13-compound In order to f ully ex plore the f easibility and applicability of the hy pothesis of ‘ economic clustering’ and the elements of the strategic f ramew ork , the dominant industrial units and commercial units present in the selected site are ex plored in detail. The industries of leather finishing, recycling and garment finishing are explored in terms of their spatial arrangement, their surrounding built env ironment,


conditions and f uture aspirations. This study , mainly conducted by field observations and interv iew s, contributes to the implementation of the larger strategic f ramew ork on the smaller site of 13-compound.






6.2.A - RECYCLING Overview at 13-compound D harav i p res ents

recy cl ing .

owners reveal that these kabaddi shops originally

According to the NSDF survey, the plastic recycling


s cal es

o f

started in the 1980s, propagated by the need to

industry in Dharavi is one of the largest in India,

survive after the economic freeze triggered by

employing about 5000 people in a concentrated

the emergency period of the 1970s. They also

area. Its turnover in 1986 was estimated to be about

have a distinct profile with regards to the social

Rs 60.00.000 per year (86.000 euros approx. in

composition, even though they are a diverse

cu rrent ex chang e rate) . I t al s o es timates that ev ery

g ro u p in terms o f cas te and rel ig io n. Amo ng the

day about 3000 sacks of plastic leave the area. The

participants in the study conducted by (Ranede,

multiple scales of the trade include the rag-pickers

S. and Doongerwala, Q.), the social composition

who collect assorted waste and bring it to the kabadi


(colloquial term for ‘rubbish’) shops. At the these

(trader-caste) and Muslims and Nadars. They

shops, present in 13-compound, the second stage

range from the upper castes to the Other Backward

of segregation begins, where the sorted waste is

Classes (OBCs) in their respective regions. Most of

collected by larger recyclers of specialised waste

the Hindu migrants working in recycling are mainly

such as iron, paper, plastic, glass etc. These large

first generation migrants, with the workers staying

recyclers are based mainly in the 13th Compound

in Dharavi on rent. The Muslim participants, on the

in Dharavi (Ranede, S. and Doongerwala, Q.). It is

other hand, have been based in 13-compound have

this waste which then reaches the factories, present

been in 13-compound longer, and have been in this

in the outskirts of Mumbai, for the final stage of

business for two generations, and are engaged in it

recy cl ing . D harav i theref o re p l ay s the ro l e o f the

as a joint family (Ranede, S. and Doongerwala)





“middle-man” acting as a meeting point between the lower rung (i.e., rag-pickers) and the upper rung (i.e., factories) of the production ladder.

Recycling Process The people working in the kabadi shops play the role

Kabadi-shops in 13-compound

of classic middle men. They are the link between the individual waste pickers and the large dealers

There are several kabaddi (or rubbish collecting)

who deal in specialised waste. Most of them deal

shops present in 13-compound, dotting the

in plastic, newspapers, glass and iron. The waste

entire ind u s trial l and s cap e in the neig hbo u rho o d .

pickers who are affiliated to particular shops roam

Additionally the kabaddi shops also use particular

around and collect assorted waste. This is deposited

and continued connections for sourcing the raw

at the shop and separated into items that are wanted

waste material. Conversations with a few shop

and tho s e that are o f l ittl e v al u e. T hes e s ep arated


F igure 6.8: L ay out of R ecy cling unit in 13-compound; Source: Author

F igure 6.8


items are then s o l d to d eal ers . M o s t o f the s ho p

this has meant s tabl e inco mes f o r al l the s crap s ho p

owners who are doing well; deal with iron. Paper,

owners who all reported monthly incomes of more

on the other hand fetches the least profit. The other

than Rs10.000 (140 euros approx.), the capacity

key to profit in the recycling business, as explained

to tap into the growing opportunities differs

by some shop owners, is volume. Being able to

considerably. In spite of this growth in business

store larger volumes of waste requires greater

opportunity, studies and research reveal that no one

space, which is one of the main spatial challenges in

amo ng the s tu d y p articip ants p erceiv es this as a

13-compound. The average earnings made from the

desirable occupation for their children, and view

recycling business, broadly amounts to Rs 750- 800

the recycling business as a no-alternative form of

(10-13 euros) per day and at least Rs 10,000 (140

income (Ranede, S. and Doongerwala, Q.). The

euros) per month (Ranede, S. and Doongerwala,

p ro s p ect o f red ev el o p ment bring s abo u t certain

Q.). There is some variation in the actual handling

elements of apprehension. Several residents and

of waste. One section of the shops lend a hand with

workers, by the virtue of their tenancy face eviction

the actual sorting of the waste, whereas the other

in the cas e o f red ev el o p ment. T here is no t g u arantee

s ectio n are no t inv o l v ed in this p ro ces s g et it d o ne

of a commercial space in the redevelopment model,

through the rag-pickers (or waste pickers). This

l et al o ne an ind u s trial o r manu f actu ring u nit. Al s o

d iv is io n has been attribu ted by res earchers to the

there is a p o s s ibil ity that the s p ace p ro v id ed by the

caste identity, linking the stage of employment to

redevelopment is insufficient, or more importantly

the s o cial s tru ctu re. T he s co p e o f recy cl ing has o nl y

does not respect the pre-existing economic and

increased in the last few years. There is an increase

morphological networks.

in card board, plastic and now e -waste. The number of kabadi shops has thus increased over the years.

For the recycling industry to find a firm base in

Some of the shop owners who participated in the

Dharavi, it is essential for it to transcend from

s tu d y hav e ex p and ed the s cal e o f o p eratio ns bu t

the middle stage. A possible potential would be

no ne to a s cal e that they hav e been abl e to match

to harnes s the al read y ex is ting creativ e natu re o f

the big o p erato rs .

work in Dharavi. A select group of entrepreneurs have already seized to opportunity to be involved in the finishing process of the recycling business,

Future Direction

directly getting involved at the final stage. External collaborations





The recycling business is a growing business.

also benefit the existing industry, which would

E ach o f the o p erato rs is s ens ing

require changes to the spatial configuration. This

the s ame. T he

shop keepers observe that the number of big dealer

enabl es them to

shops have increased, in the sense there are more


shops buying iron waste, big cardboard etc. While

req u irements .

red ev el o p ment


be mo re res il ient and mo d el


res p ects

d emand their

F igure 6.9: Images f rom recy cling cluster; Source: U R BZ M umbai

Figure 6.9


6.2.B - - GARMENT UNITS Spatial Arrangement The garment industry has several different types

floor. All labourers are Muslims originating from West

in the 13th compound. Most of them work in the

Bengal. They have no fixed contracts but are recruited

finishing of the product, working as the in-between

ev ery day anew . The w ork ing time cov ers ten hours a day .

s tag e o f p ro ces s ing bef o re co mmercial s al e. T his

The w ork ers are using sew ing machines, but beside this,

research explored a few units in the area, focussing

they do not use any higher technology . There is a radio

on the sewing units of jeans.

and neon lights on the ceiling, as w ell as v entilation under the roof. One of the workers tells us that he has been

One of the units had around 10 men and 2 women,

working for A. for five years. He originally comes from

all of them in their 20s, producing almost 100 jeans

C alcutta and now aday s liv es in the neighbourhood. In an

per day. A quick conversation with the owner and

adjoining room, A. employ s another six boy s at the age

supervisor of the unit revealed that the workds

f rom 15 to 16 y ears. E v ery day they hav e to w ork f rom 9

belong to mixed castes and religions. Some of them

a.m. until 10 p.m. w ith a lunch break of tw o hours. The

also lived outside Dharavi, coming into the unit in

room look s sparse and less comf ortable but at least there

the mo rning ev ery d ay f ro m o ther p arts o f M u mbai.

is drinking water offered and ventilation available. As in

T he p ro d u ctio n p ro ces s incl u d es ev ery s tep f ro m

the other units, we do not find permanent staff over here.

the purchase of the raw material from Mumbai

The labourers merely hav e the status of daily labourers.

markets to the final packed product, which is sold

There is a high uncertainty concerning the daily orders.

in the Indian market. The main production unit is

There are usually no continuous orders, since they are

a large room, which is well lit and ventilated and

depending on the demand in the local mark et.”

is almost 40 square metres in size. This particular bu s ines s amo ng s t many o thers d ep end s l arg el y o n

Future direction:

an intermediary or ‘middleman’. The middleman,

The garment industry is more flexible in terms of

with whom the business has a form of contract

s o cial s tru ctu re in D harav i and emp l o y s a l arg er

p ro v id es o rd ers to p ro d u ce a certain amo u nt o f j eans

proportion of new migrant labourers. It is also an

d ep end ing o n the l o cal d emand . T his p articu l ar u nit

industry that employs workers from outside Dharavi.

did not function associated with a commercial unit

T he co mmercial u nits ins id e D harav i are no t o f hig h

d irectl y .

q u al ity and are no t co nnected to the manu f actu ring

Ranede and Doongerwala describe another garment

unit present. A more direct connection between

unit in their report, Dharavi: Ground up -

the co mmerce and manu f actu ring s ectio ns o f the

“The sewing unit of S. A. was founded in 1990. In the

garment industry offers Dharavi a more marketable

main building, he employ s ten men at the age of 2 6 up

industry. It would also enable them to branch out

to 40 y ears and three y oungsters ranging f rom 11 to 16.

into more varied products, thereby cementing their

The house is w ith the main w ork ing space in the ground

p res ence in the red ev el o p ment p ro ces s .


F igure 6.10: L ay out of Garment unit in 13-compound; Source: Author F igure 6.11: Sew ing unit, Sour ce: Author

Figure 6.10

Figure 6.11


6.2.C - LEATHER UNITS Social Linkage in the industry: Leather industrial and manufacturing units dot the

current competition between tanneries in Madras

landscape in 13-compound. It is also representative

who are said to produce finished leather with higher

of the social structure and familial networks found

q u al ity and D harav i tanneries g o ing o n. T he l eather

in the inf o rmal s ecto r. O ne o f the p ro d u ctio n u nits

that they take is goat, sheep, buffalo, elephant and

documented for the site was co-owned with a

cow as well as pig but the reputation of this caste

commercial unit. What also emerges is the strong

is no t v ery hig h s o there are ru mo u rs that no D ho r

ho mo g eneo u s

could effort other leather than the cheapest of the

s o cial

s tru ctu re.

Ano ther s tu d y

observed the same, commenting on one of their

cheap .

examples which was founded around 15 years ago, having almost all its workers from the Chamarkar caste family (Ranede, S. and Doongerwala, Q.).

Spatial requirement of the industry:

The Chamarkar caste in this case, are among the top three l arg e cas tes in terms o f p o p u l atio n in the s tate

The working process contains the processing of the

of Maharashtra, and form large sections in other

raw material bought from the tanneries that were

states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar etc. Due to cultural

f o rmerl y al s o l o cated in M u mbai and then s hif ted

heritage the passing of knowledge from one family

to Chennai, up to the final products like leather

member to another, land a policy of monopolisation

wallets, belts or hand bags. Dharavi illustrates

of the traditional caste occupation, leatherwork

the entire range of leather finishing, ranging from

s til l s eems to

washing sutting of leather pieces to the formation of

be attached


the cas te. Ano ther

reason could simply be that leatherwork guarantees

the finished product for commercial sale.

minimu m s u bs is tence in the abs ence o f any o ther

Ranede and Doongerwala describe a leather

source of livelihood (Gruber, D. et al., 2005). The

finishing unit in their report, Dharavi: Ground up-

work with leather is, based on the belief of physical and spiritual purity, looked down upon as dirty

“ It is a big dark look ing dirty hall in w hich a pungent

work. The bags are sold at high prices and the work

stench is permanent, many cats running around probably

with leather as such as in production is left to some

because of the rotten meat on the floor. Five men are

d is tinct cas tes . T hes e d o the tanning o f the l eather

w ork ing in the hall each of them separately . A big cutting

as well as a cutting and colouring of the material

machine is standing nex t to the entrance. A room w hich is

(Ranede, S. and Doongerwala, Q.).

half closed on the lef t side w ith some dirty tables and chairs in f ront of it, is probably used f or storing the chemicals,

So the work of the Dhor is explained as a semi-

one can see canisters of chemicals f or bleaching and

finished leather with low quality and there is a

tanning the leather. In the rear f ront of the hall, one


F igure 6.12: L ay out of L eather unit in 13-compound; Source: Author

F igure 6.10

F igure 6.12


can see pools of round about 2 x 2 meters this is used f or

room of 2 5-30 square meters. The room is alighted by a

soak ing the leather in a chemical compound, w hich has

tube light and one w indow , w hich is half closed.”

substituted the three-day lasting w ater bath. Three cutting machines are ex isting in the hall in almost ev ery corner one. During a demonstration, three layers of fine leather


are cut out of the 4mm thick buffalo leather piece. One w ork er tells us that ev en f our lay ers are possible w ith

Leather is perhaps one of the few industry

elephant leather. In the centre of the hall, w hich is alighted

in Dharavi which works in tandem with its

only by one tube light, one can see a small stall, w hich is

corresponding commercial unit. However, the

standing v ery near to a k ind of gigantic w ashing drum. In

co mmercial u nits bas ed in the area hav e a certain

this machine, the leather gets coloured. Af ter the colour

negative image associated with it. The shops

is on it the leather is printed sometimes w ith natural

present in Dharavi are looked upon as keeping

looking finish in a separate machine. The stall shall

‘low-quality’ products. The prices of the products

help prev enting accidents because f or the printing, an

available here, are although under the influence

electrical heater is used and the electricity is dangerous.

of inflation are often called as the ‘cheapest in the

Theref ore, the leather comes as a raw

material into the

city’ (Ranede, S. and Doongerwala, Q.). The wages

tannery . The leather has still old meat on it and hairs.

offered to the workers, as a result is also one of the

Theref ore, they tak e it and at a machine w ith a teethed

lowest. Although the leather industry in Dharavi is

waltz, the rest meat is being scratched off. Then the leather

more rooted via all its production stages, it is also

goes into the chemical compound-bath f or round about

v u l nerabl e to chang es cau s ed by the red ev el o p ment

nine hours af ter this the leather is tak en out and w altzed

model. Leather industry in Dharavi is already

again then it is dried. Af ter that, the leather is cut either

making inroads to revamp itself, marketing it more

length-wise or breadth-wise and diametric. Sometimes

d irectl y to co ns u mers and chang ing the p rev al ent

one w ork er cuts 4-5 lay ers out of one raw piece. Then it

perception from a low-quality to a higher quality

is coloured and af ter this is done, the lay ers, w hich hav e

commercial product. However, the spatial consition

no natural surf ace, are printed one on it. Again, a w altz is

d o es no t res p inf to this mo v ement f ro m the l eather

used to imitate the natural finish. Then this is sold on the

industry, and needs to be upgraded. Opportunities

mark et… …

to train ind u s trial u nits to better their p ro d u ct is

It tak es about 14-15 min f rom the raw material

to the final product. There are always 40 to 50 pieces in

required, along with a more direct connection to the

one w ork ing step being processed.4-5 people w ork in a

formal industry in Mumbai and its outskirts.


F igure 6.13: Images of L eather unit in 13-compound; Source: U R BZ , M umbai

Figure 6.13


6.2.D - CONCLUSIONS OF ECONOMIC CLUSTERING IN 13 COMPOUND The exploration of the three dominant industries and manufacturing units in 13-compound illustrates

persistence of the current economic clusters are - a)

the challenges, current position and the potential of

Shared social structure and resulting social space; b)

each industry or economic cluster. The strongest

the proximity to railway nodes; c) the proximity to

aspect which makes the industries more rooted

middle class localities; d) Coexistence of multiple

in Dharavi is the interconnections between the

communities; e) Will to survive and improve; f)

livelihoods. Each livelihood does not exist in

Proximity to planned services; g) possibility of and

isolation but is bound by the nature of shared space

co-existence of varied norms.

in Dharavi. Perhaps the clearest example of this is the recycling industry, which has mainly prospered

Factors that have inhibited development include

in Dharavi due to the presence of other industries.

– a) Absence of critical infrastructure; b) Absence

Besides the involvement of thousands of workers

of policy framework that recognises the social

at multiple levels in the industry; it is also able to

structure even within a smaller area; c) Lack of

generate several ancillaries such as transport (small

recognition of the manufacturing and commercial

tempos, hand cart pullers, trucks) and reprocessing

capability of its inhabitants

(shoe repair, clothes repair, processing of oil from coconuts etc).Other industries such as garments

In order to truly develop as an economic cluster, and

and leather that are prominent also have several

target redevelopment models through it, each type

interconnections within Dharavi. Similarly there

needs to become more integrated into the formal

are plumbers, electricians, building contractors,

market. This would ensure their continuance in

caterers etc. These interconnections make Dharavi

the redevelopment scheme and would also act as a

an economically strategic location, a place where

viable attractor for future developers. 13-compound

kabadi walas like refuse to leave, even when they

is at the forefront of industrial intensity, but it

have a choice. The analysis of the different modes of

still needs to harness and direct its manufacturing

livelihoods also reveals that they operate at multiple

creativity and capability. Reinforcement of the

scales. The large scale of operations makes it at

already existing industries would also contribute

once easy to set up business (knowledge available,

to the resilience of redevelopment scheme.

presence of other supportive firms) as well as more

Therefore, the strategic framework and its elements

competitive which need to be reinforced by trade

of ‘re-divide’, ‘restructure’ and ‘reinforce’ need

associations in order to negotiate and improve

to be applied through the hypothesis of economic


clustering for ensuring a more long term, and inclusive redevelopment scheme in Dharavi. This project uses the 13-compound to illustrate the

Spatial requirements:

strategic framework and its elements through a

The major factors that have contributed to the

detailed design framework


Leather unit

Garment unit

Recycling unit

Residence unit





I n o rd er to reinf o rce the ex is ting eco no mic l ines

connect to work on real and personally meaningful

and clusters, such as recycling, leather and garment,

projects, informed by helpful mentors and expertise,

the concept of ‘maker-space’ is used to propagate

using new technologies and traditional tools.

them into the formalised market. Makerspace in 13-compound cannot exist in isolation but needs to work in tandem with a

Makerspace in 13-compound

combination of other “work” industrial spaces, that integrate with the formal economy. This

Maker-space concept is not new, and is perhaps

model, although driven by economic clusters

best known by the “DIY” culture of the electronics

needs to incorporate the “live-work” culture that is

markets in Shezhen . Broadly speaking, a

synonymous with Dharavi.

‘makerspace’ is a physical location where people

Therefore, along with the maker-spaces to integrate

gather to share resources and knowledge, work on

the existing units, other complementary units

projects, network, and build. Makerspaces provide

become essential, especially for 13-compound.

to o l s and s p ace in a co mmu nity env iro nment—


Incubator hubs, business centres, co-working space

library, community centre, private organization,

and ho u s ing f o r the inhabitants al l p l ay an eq u al

o r camp u s . E x p ert ad v is o rs may be av ail abl e s o me

s p atial s hare in the red ev el o p ment mo d el d es ig n

of the time, but often novices get help from other

framework for the area.

users. A key element in the maker movement is the growth in makerspaces. These community-oriented

The implementation of the maker-space units

workshops are equipped with freely-accessible

is to the benefit of the inhabitants of Dharavi,

tools, traditional and digital, such that people can get

enco u rag ing

involved, meet and share resources and knowledge

in the urban fabric along with linking them to

and to build and make things. There is an ethos of

the formal economy. Maker-space concept also

sharing designs, instructions and ideas, and making

aims to respect the live-work dynamics existing

them available to the ‘commons’ through open

in 13-compound. Therefore the requirement of

source principles. Learning environments rich with

affordable housing cannot be ignored and needs to

possibilities, makerspaces serve as gathering points

be incorporated in the design framework.

where communities of new and experienced makers

Along with affordable housing, identifying and

them to


ro o t the ex is ting

ind u s tries F igure 6.14: Ty pical ex isting built f abric in 13 compound; Source: Author F igure 6.15 : Implementation of M ak er Space in an unit in 13 C ompound; Source Author F igure 6.16 : D esign f ramew ork reinf orcing economic clustering through M ak er Space; Source Author


Gathering points w here communities of new and ex perienced mak ers connect to w ork on projects



Shared w ork ing space betw een f ormal and inf ormal creativ e industries

Supporting sy stems and space f or entrepreneurs, non-gov ernmental organisations

Priv ate enterprises, local industry

L ocal E ntrepreneurs, priv ate industry , N GO s, C ooperativ es

L ocal Industry , cooperativ es, industry ex perts




Business space f or outside enterprises on lease w ith cheaper rental of f ered


F acility space f or art & cutural activ ities w ith f lex ible leases, shared use of common space

Priv ate industry , N GO s, C ooperativ es

N GO s, C ooperativ es


R ebranding of 13-compound, as

A Special E conomic Z one in

E -commerce play s an important role

O ccupancy rights could tak e v arious

an innov ation hub, w hich prov ides

13-compound, offering tax benefits

in integrating the inf ormal industry .

f orms such as long term leaseholds,

recognition to the inf ormal industries

for informal industries, that formalise

Already a grow ing trend, 13-compound

rentals, transf erable leases on

and also helps attract other

themselves in the same location

could encourage it amongst its ex isting

indiv idual, plots etc.

industries as a means to operate.




Water Management Water Supply Sewer Lines Storage Tanks Filtration Tanks Rainwater Collection Common Toilets F igure 6.15

Market Space Local Commerce Housing Local Industry Coworking Space Incubator Space Maker Space Coworking Space F igure 6.15

Existing Situation

F igure 6.14



d emarcating p u bl ic s p ace is a cru cial req u irement f o r the maker-space to take a foothold in 13-compound. The open area along the North-South axis of 13-compound, is identified to be developed as a multi-purpose space for activities such as an open fair, local markets and festival grounds. Therefore, maker-space in 3-compound targets not only the ind u s tries bu t o ther es s ential s s u ch as acces s to public space and affordable housing for its workers and inhabitants .




F igure 6.17

13 compound is also highly devoid of basic services

there is no d irect s u p p l y to the inhabitants o f the

that would be essential for it to redevelop as a viable

area. This issue is not exclusive to 13-compound,

economic cluster, and attract investment from

but is reflected throughout the urban fabric of

ex ternal enterp ris es . T he mo s t es s ential amo ng s t

D harav i.

these services, are the same as the rest of Dharavi water supply and sanitation.

Therefore the strategic framework at the larger scale targ ets acces s ibil ity to this bas ic s erv ice res p ecting the existing morphology of the urban fabric. Sewer

Design Framework:

and sanitation lines run across the main routes, so as to no t to d is ru p t the u rban f abric. I n the s mal l er

The main water supply of the BMC cuts across in

scale of 13-compound, the concept of “re-structure�

the western quadrant adjacent to the North-South

manifests itself in a finer urban grain. Common

railway track. Because of the maintenance required

areas and pockets are identified where interim

for this supply, a large tract of the land was cleared

bas ic s erv ices

cutting 13-compound transversely. Despite of the

areas co u l d be d ev el o p ed to be s hared by a s ing l e

water supply line cutting through 13-compound,

economic cluster and thereby maintained by citizen

are es tabl is hed . T hes e co mmo n


F igure 6.17: Prov ision of w ater inf rastructure in an unit in 13 compound; Source: Author F igure 6.18 : D esign f ramew ork restructuring the w ater sy stem; Source Author


co o p erativ es . E l ements s u ch as co mmo n to il ets and

collection points fitted with a basic filtration system.

common water wells could be considered in these

In a similar manner, sanitation services, such as

areas .

co mmo n to il ets co u l d al s o echo the s ame p ro ces s as the community wells, providing services to the

The concept of community wells is not new in most

eco no mic cl u s ters . I ncreas ed p res ence o f co mmo n

Indian communities, where shared services is a

to il ets is al s o enco u rag ed in the area. D u e to its

common sight. Community wells could provide as

high density, individual access to sanitation in the

an addition support, required because of the high

immediate future is challenging, however, common

intensity of population. A network of the community

sanitation services, that are maintained by the local

wells could also be supported by rainwater

cooperative of 13-compound is a feasible option.




F igure 6.19

Economic clusters in 13-compound need also to

d ebate and d is cu s s io n amo ng s t the inhabitants and

respond to the social structure, pre-existing in the

co mmu nity l ead ers . T he s tag e o f the f o rmu l atio n

area. What has emerged from the spatial analysis

of the nagars plays a crucial role, as it leads to the

are the different community clusters that exhibit a

formulation of cooperatives at the ‘nagar’ scale.

d is tinct eco no my and g ro u p o f p eo p l e.

T hes e co o p erativ es

are co mp o s ed

o f the l o cal

community leaders, industry and commercial The strategic framework at the larger scale aims to

owners and would be responsible for leading

id entif y the s mal l er nag ars in D harav i and to inv o l v e

negotiations between the inhabitants and the

them d irectl y into the red ev el o p ment p ro ces s . T his

ex ternal enterp ris es and g o v ernment o rg anis atio ns .

increas ed s y s tem o f acto rs al s o manif es ts its el f into the scale of 13-compound. At least 3 distinct nagars

Formation of further sub-sections is determined

are identified, each of them exhibiting a dominant

morphological explorations. These sub-sections

eco no mic and

ty p o l o g y . T he d es ig n

would make the implementation of the economic

framework proposed that all three of these nagars

clusters or ‘maker-space’ logistically possible, by

need to be demarcated on ground, encouraging

dividing the nagars into feasible sizes.

ind u s trial


F igure 6.19: D emarcating the N agar and the subdiv ison; Source: D eriv e f rom contested urbanism by U C L F igure 6.20 : D esign f ramew ork div iding the morphology ; Source Author





F igure 6.21: D esign F ramew ork f or 13 C ompound; Source: Author














Lo w - inco me ho u s ing to the inhabitants w ith l o ng - term l eas e rig hts

E co no mic cl u s ters f o rmu l ated as mak ers p ace, as the d riv ing red ev el o p ment p o rces s

Acces s to bas ic w ater inf ras tru ctu re al o ng w ith aces s ibl e p u bl ic s p ace







part 07 Reflection

7.1 Economic clustering as a spatial tool 7.2 Reflection on the process


red ev el o p ment o f inf o rmal s ettl ements

existing socio-economic production of space could

Dharavi, in a more inclusive and sustainable

be inco rp o rated into the red ev el o p ment p ro j ects in

manner, this project aims to use the hypothesis of

informal settlements. The urgency to deal with the

‘economic clustering’ in order to ‘reframe’ and

inf o rmal s ettl ements ris es f ro m their p ers is tence

develop a strategic framework for Dharavi.

s u ch as

and increase over the last few decades especially in the global south. However, redevelopment

The frame of ‘economic clustering’ offers a reframe

p ro j ects ad d res s ing the inf o rmal s ettl ements hav e

o n the trad itio nal mo d el o f

been far from successful have not reached a long-

inf o rmal s ettl ements in I nd ia and p erhap s ex tend ing

term viable solution. In the selected case-site of

to the g l o bal s o u th. M o s t inf o rmal s ettl ements in the

Dharavi, explored in this research, also illustrates

geographical realm of the global south, have distinct

s ev eral f ail ed

economic patterns and social networks which play

attemp ts


u rban p l anners


red ev el o p ment in

policy makers. The research attributes this failure

a v ital p art in their ex is tence and

to the indifferent attitude of the policy makers,


planners and developers towards existing social

red ev el o p ment aims to ad d res s and ex amine the

and economic mode of production of space with

existing economic networks incorporating them into

its associated values, leading to highly insensitive,

a framework that provides a balanced combination

u ns u s tainabl e and

o f s p atial g u id el ines and p o l icy reco mmend atio ns

u neq u al

red ev el o p ment &

co ntribu ting

their p ers ev erance. T he p ro p o s ed

mo d el o f

u p g rad ing p ro j ects . This research, through a comprehensive analytical framework in Dharavi reveal strong correlation between the economic livelihoods and networks

The feasibility clustering




and the ex is ting s o cial s tru ctu re. T his co rrel atio n results in a distinct mode of production of space,

T he hy p o thes is

to which Dharavi’s resilience and economic success

usage as a spatial tool, bears of particular relevance

can be attributed to it. What is also revealed is the

in D harav i. D harav i has

lack of policy in the current redevelopment that

over the past decade, especially regarding its high

addresses the pre-existing economic networks and

eco no mic intens ity that ex is t in s q u al id co nd itio ns .

thereby its s o cial s tru ctu re. I n o rd er to ap p ro ach

It’s current model of redevelopment, i.e., Dharavi


o f eco no mic cl u s tering



been in the l imel ig ht F igure 7.1: C onclusions deriv ed f rom the analy tical f ramew ork f or D harav i; Source: Author

E x isting policy does not incorporate community structure and social capital

The current inf rastructure does not support the grow th of economic netw ork s

E conomic netw ork s is not incorporated in the ex isting policy structure

F igure 7.1

Conclusions from Analytical Framework


Redevelopment Project currently only addresses the

p ro v is io ns f o r meeting the ho u s ing need s o f the

housing need of its inhabitants, without responding

slum dwellers. This research proposes an integrated


its intens e eco no mic p ro d u ctio n. T he cu rrent

model where interested private enterprises can

mo d el p erceiv es inf o rmal s ettl ements and the area

collaborate with the industrial units of Dharavi,

it occupies as a potential source of high-end real

f o r their mu tu al interes ts o f g enerating a hig her

estate, ignoring the existing economic potential

eco no my . T his

of the area. Unsurprisingly, this model has faced

workers in Dharavi to enter into a direct dialogue

criticism from its residents, with regards to its

regarding redevelopment, and thus ensuring a more

ignorance towards their means of livelihood. The

viable and long-term solution.

chang e enabl es



model has also faced difficulties in finding suitable investors and private developers, notably because o f the el ig ibil ity co nd itio ns imp o s ed o n them al o ng with the perceived difficulty in getting cooperation

Limitations and future direction of the research

from the inhabitants. This would also limit the long-term viability of redevelopment attempts in

The proposed model is not without its challenges.

D harav i.

T he s el ected cas e s ite o f D harav i is embl ematic at best and cannot represent or be equated with other

T his p ro j ect p ro p o s es that ins tead o f ap p ro aching

informal settlements, even in India. The proposed

the red ev el o p ment p ro j ects o f inf o rmal s ettl ements

mo d el

such as Dharavi through the lens of generating low-

clustering can incorporate the economic networks

income housing along with the high-end real estate,

and social structure in Dharavi, but would require to

redevelopment could proceed with reinforcing the

be catered and modified to redevelopment models

ex is ting

eco no mic p ro d u ctio n and

in o ther l o catio ns . T he res earch has p res ented j u s t

them to

j o in the f o rmal eco no my . T his

enco u rag ing

o f

red ev el o p ment

thro u g h

eco no mic

mo d el

one example of how a strategic framework can be

caters d irectl y to the need s and as p iratio ns o f the

formulated, viewed through the lens of economic

local inhabitants, especially aiming to retain the

clustering. What remains to be tested are its

l iv el iho o d and s o cial s tru ctu re o f the area as its

imp l icatio ns as a l arg e s cal e d ev el o p ment mo d el f o r

primary objective. In order to make this model

o ther inf o rmal s ettl ements and its inev itabl e imp act

implementable, the finer social structure and grain of

on the larger urban system. The long-term viability

D harav i is ex p l o red in o rd er to inco rp o rate them into

and success is currently difficult to perceive

the strategic framework. The strategic framework

empirically within the given parameters.

al s o aims to ad d res s p o l icy at the natio nal l ev el o f the Slum Redevelopment Authority. The current

A f u rther chal l eng e is p res ented in the ap p l icatio n

policy offers a more top-down mechanism making

o f

eco no mic cl u s tering



the g eneral l y

hig h

F igure 7.2: E x isting policy model tow ards inf ormal settlements in India; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom policy analy sis of SR A F igure 7.3: Proposed policy model of economic clustering to address redev elopment in inf ormal settlements in India; Source: Author

Existing policy model

Proposed Policy Model


F igure 7.2

F igure 7.3

a dr

an sB d r

wa To

d ens ity o f habitatio n in inf o rmal s ettl ements s u ch as Dharavi. Although, there is an intrinsic socioeconomic system present, which manages to operate even within the high densities, any implementation Ma him


o f a red ev el o p ment p ro j ect o f a l arg e s cal e p ro p o s es

Tow ard s

a logistical challenge. Although, the framework p res ented in this res earch p res ents a mo re inv o l v ed system with Dharavi’s inhabitants and workers (i.e., stakeholders), ensuring long-term validity, it also p res ents f u rther l o g is tical chal l eng es to imp l ement the u rg entl y req u ired red ev el o p ment. The ‘economic clustering’ model also aims to ad d res s

the u rg ency

reg ard ing

red ev el o p ment

in informal settlements. Lack of basic services such as water and sanitation are hurdled to any redevelopment project as they require a significant inv es tment and a l o ng time f rame to ex ecu te. T he use of the analytical framework in the project highlights this missing service, noting that for any redevelopment model to work in an inclusive and sustainable manner, this investment into the p ro v is io n o f bas ic s erv ices


ines cap abl e and

cru cial . Despite the challenges presented, the exploration in this res earch hig hl ig hts the p o tential s o f ref raming red ev el o p ment o f the l ens

inf o rmal s ettl ements

thro u g h

o f eco no mic cl u s tering . T he p ro p o s ed

mo d el aims to thu s p ro v id e f o r an incl u s iv e and

F igure 7.4: U rban f abric and composition of D harav i; Source: Author, de riv ed f rom w w w .mumbaidata. in, Google Earth and fieldwork

sustainable redevelopment while retaining the existing production of socio-economic space.




ion L

ink R oad



d oa tf r

Industrial units

F igure 7.4

Commercial units Residential units


REFLECTION ON GRADUATION PROJECT & PROCESS The graduation project originated with the aim

each other. The theoretical framework provides

of understanding the model of socio-economic

the overview of the socio-economic dynamic

p ro d u ctio n o f s p ace in inf o rmal s ettl ements . T he

and production of space within the informal

objective was to explore how to incorporate and

settlements, focussing in the global south. Split

ad ap t the cu rrent mo d e o f p ro d u ctio n o f s p ace into


redevelopment projects, so as to ensure a more

processes, the economic challenges and the policy

long-term, sustainable and inclusive development

implications - the project explores the dominant

of its inhabitants. For this reflection, five crucial

theo retical themes p ertaining to inf o rmal s ettl ement

as p ects o f the g rad u atio n p ro ces s are ex p l o red and

in the g l o bal s o u th. T his is s u p p o rted by s p atial

reflected in this section - on the thesis’s process,

analysis of Dharavi, using Dupuy’s Network

the relationship between research and design, the


l imitatio ns and the d irectio n f o r f u tu re res earch.

thro u g h three l ev el s o f o p erato rs – inf ras tru ctu re

three s ectio ns

mo d el p ro v id ing

thematical l y

u rbanis atio n

an ex p l o ratio n o f D harav i

networks, production-consumption networks and urban household networks. Both the theoretical

Aspect 1: The relationship between research and design

and spatial analysis is combined to create a final analytical model for Dharavi, which comprises of a total of 5 layers. The layers of historical context,

Since the topic of socio-economic production of

policy and governance, landform and infrastructure,

s p ace in inf o rmal s ettl ements is q u ite bro ad and can

economic networks and social structure is used

be explored through various facets, an emblematic

to ex p l o re D harav i thro u g h a mu l titu d e o f l ay ers

and prolific case study is selected which would

in order to develop a strategic framework for the

provide a backdrop to test and explore the research.

whole of Dharavi illustrating it through a detailed

Dharavi, in Mumbai, India provided as the ideal

design at the selected site of 13-compound. This

site, where its production of space has been of

anal y tical mo d el f o rms a co re co mp o nent o f the

s o me interes t to s ev eral acad emicians and s cho l ars .

thesis, echoed and reflected in both in the analysis

The selection of the case-site was also heavily

as well as the design section, tying the narratives of

influenced by my participation in the honours

research and design. The strategic framework and

programme (2016-2017), which used Dharavi as an

design framework proposed is derived directly from

empirical site for testing dominant western theory

the conclusions of the analytical model, addressing

on self-made or informal settlements.

absent or weak links within the layers of the anal y tical mo d el . T he res earch and d es ig n s ectio ns

The main research splits into two sections – the

are therefore, irrevocably linked through the layer

spatial framework and the theoretical framework

model which reflects in both research and design.

in o rd er to d ev el o p bo th p arts co mp l ementary to


F igure 7.5: Analy tical F ramew ork as a combination of spatial f ramew ork and theoretical f ramew ork ; Source: Author

k o r rat tw or o p e old ne l e l ev useh 3 rd an ho rato r w ork b U r l o p e ld net o e l ev ouseh d 3 r an h


b U r

w net o r rat tion o p e nsump l e rk l ev n-co tw o 2 nd ductio rato r tion ne o e p r P l o p m e nsu l ev n-co 2 nd ductio Pro

Dupuy Network

5 tur y er uc La ial str Soc e 5 tur y er uc La l str

or k

i Soc

o rk

etw er 4 cal n Lay nomi o rk s E c w o 4 net r l e a c Lay nomi



ur to r uct era nf rastr p o i el tc k, l ev w or re e 1 s t ad net ato r tructu R o o p er nf ras l , i ev e ork City 1 Model s t l netw


o E c

e tur ruc ast r f 3 & In re y er ctu L a df or m tr u n a L ras f n 3 & I y er L a df or m n L a

Source: D eriv ed f rom ( D upuy , R G., oad 2 008 )

Dupuy Network City Model

Source: D eriv ed f rom ( D upuy , G., 2 008 )

nce rna ov e G & licy nce Po rna 2 ov e r e G Lay licy & Po


ti olu x t nte l ev Co torica n Hi s tio olu x t nte ical ev o C tor


Source: Author

n tio

ns ce nan atio v er plic G o icy im l Po nce ons i rna plicat o v e

Source: Author


G y im added Polic

Spatial Additional layersFramework added

er 2

lu er 1 l ev o Lay torica on His uti r 1 l ev ol e y a La ric

Hi s

Additional layers



Analytical Framework for Dharavi Source: Author

Theoretical Analytical Framework for Framework Dharavi Source: Author

Analytical Framework


F igure 7.5

reg ard ing inf o rmal s ettl ements o f g l o bal s o u th in

Aspect 2: The relationship between the graduation lab theme and the subject/ case study chosen:

g eneral and

D harav i in p articu l ar–

u rbanis atio n

processes in India, production of economic space in informal settlements, and the paradox o f red ev el o p ment s chemes in I nd ia. E ach as p ect

In this thesis, the overall objective is to develop a

is explored in-depth, writing critically on the

strategic framework illustrated through a design

processes involved in each aspect, contributing

framework, i.e., deriving a set of spatial guidelines

to defining the composition of sustainable and

in combination with policy recommendations

incl u s iv e red ev el o p ment p ro j ects

for Dharavi. In this connection, the graduation

s ettl ements

lab offered by the Complex Cities research group

o f

p ro v id es the neces s ary to o l s and techniq u es req u ired

s ettl ements s u ch as D harav i is ex p l o red thro u g h

to prepare a comprehensive project. Within the

the shift in India’s national economic and housing

larger research group, the challenges of developing

policy from its independence era (post 1947) to

inclusive and sustainable redevelopment projects,

post economic-liberalisation era (post 19911) . T he

p articu l arl y in inf o rmal s ettl ements o f the g l o bal

l ates t s hif t in the natio nal p o l icy are d o minated by

south is addressed particularly by the ‘Inclusive

market forces, which ignores the existing mode of

Cities’ sub-research group, where design is

production of space in informal settlements, that

proposed through a ‘research-based’ studio. Design

have resulted in non-inclusive, and unsustainable

and spatial planning is viewed as a cyclic process,

redevelopment projects. Redevelopment attempts

involving the formulation of strategic framework


along with spatial design and policy to achieve that

evident in Dharavi, where the presence of a large

framework. The testing of this strategic framework

economic industrial base is largely overlooked by

co ntribu tes

policy makers and planners, which is presented by


the bo d y

o f

acad emic res earch

challenging and revising the existing knowledge

mo re in g eneral .

f o r inf o rmal

T he imp l icatio n

cu rrent u rbanis atio n p ro ces s es

their f ail u re are es p ecial l y

o n inf o rmal

hig hl ig hted


the p ro bl em anal y s is in the g rad u atio n rep o rt.

base. The theme offered by the Inclusive City subresearch group also explores issues of urbanisation,

The project aims to propose a ‘reframe’ on the

environmental sustainability and socio-economic


integration under conditions of rapid urban growth,

informal settlements, approaching it through the

often coupled with inadequate governance and

lens of ‘economic clustering’. The proposed model

weak institutional capacity. Therefore, the selection


of the research group and the sub-research group

redevelopment that incorporates the existing socio-

played a crucial part in developing an in-depth

economic production of space, ensuring a more

p ro bl em anal y s is .

inclusive and sustainable result. What emerges





achiev e an imp l ementabl e s y s tem f o r

f ro m this res earch is the need The problem analysis is divided into 3 themes



ref rame and

rethink the redevelopment models, especially in


F igure 7.6: Project M ethodology ; Source: Author

Project Methodology


F igure 7.6

the u rbanis ing g l o bal s o u th. Acad emic ex p l o ratio ns

g ro u p

need to reco g nis e the s hif t in u rbanis atio n centre to

fieldwork played a critical role in structuring the

the g l o bal and theref o re need s to d ev el o p a d eep er

interviews and providing a framework for the

u nd ers tand ing o f its d is tinct natu re o f p ro d u ctio n

observational analysis. Stakeholder analysis also

o f s p ace. T his res earch aims to s hed l ig ht o n o ne

formulates an essential part of the research which

such emblematic case-site of Dharavi, thereby

was guided by additional support from the research

contributing to the current body of work on informal

group. With the structure provided by the Complex

settlement in the global South.

cities graduation lab, fieldwork was assisted by

reg ard ing

metho d o l o g ical

ap p ro aches


URBZ (a research collective, working in Dharavi) who provided the much needed support at site level.

Aspect 3: The relationship between the methodical line of approach of the graduation lab and the method chosen by the student in this framework

Interviews and site visits were conducted with the logistical support from URBZ, who also provided historical insight into the socio-economic dynamics o f D harav i.

The methodology used in the project was guided predominantly by the research group’s (Complex Cities – Inclusive Cities) approach of combining a

Aspect 4: The project and the larger social context

theoretical model with a detailed spatial analysis, resulting in a final analytical framework for a

Research regarding redevelopment projects in

selected site. This analytical framework also includes

informal settlements is not new – they have been

a d etail ed

part of a polarizing discourse in academia and

ex p l o ratio n o f p o l icy

mo d el s and


imp l icatio n o n the s p atial q u al ity o f red ev el o p ment

policy makers. Informal settlements have proved

projects. The combination of theoretical, spatial

their persistence and resilience even with promises


the res earch

of a modern India in the 21st century, however with

studio’s methodological approach. Other aspects

d ep l o rabl e l iv ing co nd itio ns in mo s t I nd ian cities .

of the research was supported by fieldwork – site

Al tho u g h there are s ev eral o rg anis atio ns and p o l icies

observations and interviews, which forms an

working for the rights of these settlements, there is

important part of the methodology, filling the gap

a surprising lack of knowledge and discourse about

imposed by the lack of data in informal settlements

the s p atial q u al ity o f thes e s ettl ements in rel atio n

(such as Dharavi). Conducting interviews (both

to their cultural, social and economic standing. It

structured and non-structured) in Dharavi, proved

is this mis s ing d is co u rs e that this res earch p l aces

p articu l arl y chal l eng ing as the g iv en natu re o f is

its el f in – ex p l o ring the g ap p res ent in the p o l icy

d iv ers ity in terms o f eco no mic activ ity and s o cial

discourse and the pre-existing socio-economic

structure. The workshops organised by the research

d y namics p res ent in inf o rmal s ettl ements s u ch as

p o l icy

anal y s is


g u id ed



F igure 7.7: Project & Source: Author

D esign approach;

Project Design Approach


F igure 7.7

the selected site of Dharavi. As a comparatively established and older informal settlement, Dharavi has been a prominent part of the academic discourse

restricting the accuracy of the spatial study in this

in India, especially in the last decade. Its socio-

thesis. The current data and survey set used is based

economic dynamics with economic and industrial

off a survey commissioned by MM Consultants

production has also received attention from popular

in 2008 and conducted by ‘Mashal (Maharashtra

media. However, despite this attention, policy

Social Housing and Action League), at the

makers and planners in India have been unable to

commencement of the latest redevelopment scheme

formulate long term redevelopment plans, resulting

proposal for Dharavi. The survey data set is not

in deplorable and unsustainable living conditions

comprehensive along with certain areas not being

that lack basic services and infrastructure in

commissioned for survey work. Hence it is difficult

most informal settlements including Dharavi.

for this project to truly present a complete picture of

Dharavi’s notoriety, and the troubles faced by the

Dharavi. However, the project still make attempts

recent attempt at redevelopment by the Dharavi

to fill in this missing information of the database,

Redevelopment Plan (DRP) have highlighted

particularly in the economic clustering present with

the problems faced by most slum rehabilitation

Dharavi in general and 13-compund in particular.

processes in India, where the existing economic

What would also provide a better contextual

livelihoods and social networks are not considered.

reference, would be a comparison with another

This does not mean that upgradation schemes are

informal settlement in Mumbai would validate

not required and that the pre-existing economic

some of the assumptions regarding the socio-

and social networks need to be preserved, rather,

economic space produced. It would also help map

policy makers and planners need a rethink as to

the impact of the redevelopment model presented in

how to reformulate projects so as to ensure a long

this research on the larger scale of Mumbai.

term inclusive and sustainable redevelopment. It is within the dual dialogue is required to be addressed


by academia and policy makers, which this research

1. The economic liberalisation in India refers to the economic

aims to address and highlight.

liberalisation, initiated in 1991, of the country’s economic policies, with the goal of making the economy more market and service-

Aspect 5: Project Limitations

oriented and expanding the role of private and foreign investment. Specific changes include a reduction in import tariffs, deregulation

Any research or graduation project is not without

of markets, reduction of taxes, and greater foreign investment.

limitations. The biggest restriction faced in this

Liberalisation has been credited by its proponents for the high

project were the constraints of limited empirical

economic growth recorded by the country in the 1990s and 2000s.

fieldwork. Survey data and precise mapping is

Its opponents have blamed it for increased poverty, inequality and

limited in informal settlements such as Dharavi,

economic degradation




BMC: BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation DRP: Dharavi Redevelopment Project MASHAL: Maharashtra Social Housing and Action League MHADA: Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority MMRDA: Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority MM: Mahila Milan MM Consultants: Mukesh Mehta Consultants NSDF: National Slum Development Federation PGMP: Prime Minister’s Grant Project PUKAR: Patterns for Urban Knowledge, Action and Research SPARC: Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centres SRA: Slum Rehabilitation Authority SRS: Slum Redevelopment Scheme


REFERENCES APPADURAI, ARJUN 2001. Deep democracy: urban governmentality and the horizon of politics. Environment and Urbanization, 13, 23-43. ARABINDOO, PUSHPA 2011. Rhetoric of the ‘slum’ Rethinking urban poverty. City, 15, 636-646. BARDHAN, RONITA, SARKAR, SAYANTANI, JANA, ARNAB & VELAGA, NAGENDRA R 2015. Mumbai slums since independence: Evaluating the policy outcomes. Habitat International, 50, 1-11. BHARUCHAL, NAUZER. 2014. Land prices in Mumbai touch new high. Times of India, 25 March 2014. Slumdog Millionaire, 2009. Directed by BOYLE, DANNY. London. BREMAN, JC 2006. ‘Slumlands’. New Left Review, 40, 141-148. CENSUS 1992. Census of India, 1991. Various Tables. CENSUS 2011. Census of India 2011: provisional population totals-India data sheet. New Delhi: Census of India. CHATTERJEE, PARTHA 2004. The politics of the governed: reflections on popular politics in most of the world, Columbia University Press. CHATTERJI, ROMA 2005. Voice, Event and Narrative: Towards an Understanding of Everyday Life in Dharavi. Sociological Bulletin, 54, 428-435. COLEMAN, JAMES S 1988. Social capital in the creation of human capital. American journal of sociology, S95-S120. DAVIS, MIKE 2004. The urbanization of empire: Megacities and the laws of chaos. Social Text, 22, 9-15. DAVIS, MIKE 2007. Planet of slums. 2006. London & New York: Verso Google Scholar. DE SOTO, HERNANDO 1990. The other path: The invisible revolution in the third world. DOSSAL, MARIAM 1991. Imperial designs and Indian realities: the planning of Bombay City, 1845-1875, Oxford University Press, USA. DOVEY, KIM 2016. Urban design thinking. Planning News, 42, 20. DUPUY, GABRIEL 1991. L’urbanisme des réseaux, théories et méthodes. EXPRESS, INDIAN. 2016. Urbanisation can mitigate poverty [Online]. Available: article/india/india-news-india/urbanisation-can-mitigate-poverty-says-pm-modi-at-smart-city-launch-2875814/ [Accessed 17 December 2016]. FUKUYAMA, FRANCIS 2000. The social virtues and the creation of prosperity, KYNE-TV. GRUBER, DENIS, KIRSCHNER, ANDREA, MILL, SANDRA, SCHACH, MANUELA, SCHMEKEL, STEFFEN & SELIGMAN, HARDO 2005. Living and working in slums of Mumbai. Otto-von-GuerickeUniversität Magdeburg.


HOLSTON, JAMES 1998. Spaces of insurgent citizenship. Making the invisible visible: A multicultural planning history, 2, 37-56. MUKHIJA, VINIT 2003. Squatters as developers?: slum redevelopment in Mumbai, Ashgate Aldershot, Hants. NATIONS, UNITED 2014. World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, Highlights (ST/ESA/SER. A/352). New York, United. NEUWIRTH, ROBERT 2011. Stealth of Nations. Anchor Books, New York. NIJMAN, JAN 2000. Mumbai’s real estate market in 1990s: De-regulation, global money and casino capitalism. Economic and Political Weekly, 575-582. NIJMAN, JAN 2008. Against the odds: Slum rehabilitation in neoliberal Mumbai. Cities, 25, 73-85. NIJMAN, JAN 2010. A study of space in Mumbai’s slums. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 101, 4-17. NIJMAN, JAN 2015. India’s Urban Future Views From the Slum. American Behavioral Scientist, 59, 406-423. PATEL, SHEELA, PAUL, ANEERUDHA, BURRA, SUNDAR, VASACADA, BINDI, KUMARJI, SUJAY & DUA, KAIRAVI 2010. RE DHARAVI. Mumbai, India: SPARC and KRVIA. RANEDE, SHILPA & DOONGERWALA, QUAID “Dharavi-Ground Up”: A Dwellers-Focused Design Tool for Upgrading Living Space in Dharavi, Mumbai. RAO, S.G.B. 2012. Dharavi – Asia’s largest Slum or Mumbai’s Hottest Property [Online]. Life Science World. Available: [Accessed 27 October 2016]. RAO, VYJAYANTHI 2006. Slum as theory: the South/Asian city and globalization. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 30, 225-232. ROCCO, R. 2008. An urban geography of globalisation: new urban structures in the age of hyper-connectivity. TU Delft, Delft University of Technology. ROY, ANANYA 2005. Urban informality: toward an epistemology of planning. Journal of the American Planning Association, 71, 147-158. ROY, ANANYA 2009a. The 21st-century metropolis: new geographies of theory. Regional Studies, 43, 819-830. ROY, ANANYA 2009b. Why India cannot plan its cities: Informality, insurgence and the idiom of urbanization. Planning theory, 8, 76-87. ROY, ANANYA 2011. Slumdog cities: rethinking subaltern urbanism. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35, 223-238. SAUNDERS, DOUG 2011. Arrival city: How the largest migration in history is reshaping our world, Vintage. SCHRADER, HEIKO Land Tenure and Empowerment. SHARMA, KALPANA 2000. Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories from Asia’s largest slum, Penguin Books India.


SINGH, MADHU 1996. Überlebenssicherung und Kompetenzerwerb im städtischen informellen Sektor in Indien: untersucht am Beispiel von Kleinproduzenten in Neu-Delhi, IKO-Verlag für Interkulturelle Kommunikation. TUNAS, DEVISARI. 2008. The spatial economy in the urban informal settlement. TU Delft, Delft University of Technology. TURNER, JOHN C 1968. Housing priorities, settlement patterns, and urban development in modernizing countries. Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 34, 354-363. UN-HABITAT 2004. The challenge of slums: global report on human settlements 2003. Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal. UN-HABITAT 2010. State of the world’s cities 2010/2011: bridging the urban divide, Earthscan. VAN BALLEGOOIJEN, JAN & ROCCO, ROBERTO 2013. The Ideologies of Informality: informal urbanisation in the architectural and planning discourses. Third World Quarterly, 34, 1794-1810. VAN SCHAICK, JEROEN 2009. Shift towards networks: integrating social and physical subsystems of the city through stratified models. Nordes.

Notes: 1 Based on interview at Sanaullah Compound on 05 February 2017 2 Based on Author’s fieldwork and site interviews with industry owners. 3 Shyam Kanle works as a researcher and field operator with URBZ. He has run many businesses in Dharavi where he was born and raised. He has also been involved in conflict resolution and local politics for many years. He is a well-respected and influential person in his community and is fluent in Marathi, Hindi and English. 4 See Dharavi Redevelopment Project - Appendix 5 Based on interview of Shyam Kanle, Urbz 6 Based on Survey carried out by the National Slum Development Federation in 1986


part 08 Appendix 8.1 Survey Maps - Dharavi 8.2 Dharavi Redevelopment Project - Plans 8.3 Essay - Theorising informal urbanisation










Theorizing informal urbanization Viewing the Global South through the lens of the informal urbanisation: An exploration via narratives

Abstract In the last few years, several academicians and scholars have attempted to theorise informal urbanisation in order to develop an analytical framework which explores the larger field urbanisation processes in the global south. This stems from a decisive shift from the Euro-American centred theoretical production to theory being produced in the Global South itself, which offers a wider imaginary of epistemological narratives generated. Within the context of global south, where urbanisation is viewed as an inevitable phenomenon, the ‘megacity’ acts as a metonym for the urbanisation processes and the theories it generates. The narratives discussed in this paper focus on informal urbanisation, as it is often the most recognisable form of urbanisation in the global south. This paper explores the different epistemological narratives and their understanding of informal urbanisation processes, debating on their contrasting approaches. The ideologies of these narratives lead to the recent method of exploring urban theory through subaltern urbanism, which explores the role of local political agencies. A reworking of the subaltern is provided by Roy (2011) wherein she aims to separate the notions of informal urbanisation and urban poverty making inroads into the development of a normative base for understanding urbanisation processes in the global south. Although there are advantages of developing a theoretical construct through the frame of informal urbanisation, this paper highlights its future challenges, especially in the lack of empirical grounding as well as the negative connotations associated with its terminology. The paper concludes with recommendations for the applicability for the future of viewing urbanisation processes in the global south through the frame of the informal.

Key words: informal urbanisation, epistemological narratives, global south, subaltern urbanism


1 Introduction

The last few years have seen a return to


the theorisation of ‘informal urbanisation’ from several academicians and even popular authors. Popular writers such as Davies (2004, 2007) along with scholars such as Rao (2006) and Roy (2011) have lauded the need to theorize the ‘informal’

2 The premise of the Global South, its megacity and informal urbanisation

aspect of urbanisation. This need is supported by an argument that this model of theorisation could

offer a normative base for developing an analytical

the global south has been used to test emerging

framework to better understand urbanisation

geographies of urban theory. This is a distinctive

processes in the cities of the Global South. Two

shift from the ‘global North’ to the ‘global South’,

diverse and dominant narratives have emerged from

resulting in a realignment of ideas and theoretical

attempts at theorising informal urbanisation, which

notions of urban design and studies. Several

have been termed and elaborated upon in this paper

authors have seen this shift as long overdue and an

as the ‘dystopian city’ and the ‘entrepreneurial

inevitable phenomenon (Robinson, J., 2002). This

city’. As a response to these narratives, a third

new geography of urbanisation theory dislocates

position arose from the inhabitants of this mode

itself from the previous ‘Euro-American centre’ of

of urbanisation within the global south – subaltern

theoretical production, moving towards the ‘global



south’ and studying its megacities as empirical

different popular agencies that work with informal

cases (Roy, A., 2009). This shift was also furthered


by the ontological limitations of ‘Euro-American





Since the latter half of the 20th century,

centre’ sites of theoretical production, resulting The aim of this paper is to explore the value of

in a restricted imagination of the epistemological

these different dominant narratives in deriving a

narratives generated.

normative base to understand the phenomenon of urbanisation in the global south. In order to

Illustrating this shift, Rao (2006) cites the example

investigate this, the ideologies of the two dominant

of the modern South Asian City, where the recent

narratives are briefly explored, delving into a more

‘southern turn’ in a steady stream of literature

detailed exploration of the subaltern approach. The

has changed the perspective of viewing cities of

paper concludes with an assessment and possible

global south by the academicians. This perspective,

recommendations for the future of theorising

she argues, has lifted much of the theoretical

informal urbanisation in order to apply them to the

uncertainty and ambiguity previously associated

larger field of urbanisation processes in the global

with this context (Rao, V., 2006). In this context of


Note: 1. The authors and their arguments presented here focus mainly on South Asia and in some cases Africa. This does not represent the entire dialogue of the southern turn, only focusses a body of work, which I find more relevant to the larger graduation project.

the global south, the megacity becomes an object of

and violence. The second narrative, in contrast,

enquiry, with urbanisation viewed as an inevitable

lauds the entrepreneurial nature of the informal

phenomenon (Prakash, G., 2002). Therefore, it

opposing state interventions and interference in

is the megacity of the global south which acts as

its working system. The following two sections

a metonym for urbanisation and the theories it

investigate¬ the arguments of each narrative along


with its supporting authors.

Within the framework of the megacities of the global south, the narratives discussed in this paper focus on the theories related to informal urbanisation.

3 The dystopian city

Informal urbanisation, or to use a more colloquial term - slums are often seen as a recognisable form

The dystopian narrative is marked by

of urbanisation in the global south. It is also often

one of the most prolific documents produced

seen as the recognizable frame through which the

regarding informal urbanisation by the UN habitat,

megacities of the global south are perceived and

titled ‘The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on

understood (Nuttall, S. and Mbembe, A., 2005).

Human Settlements’ (Un-Habitat, 2004). The report

This lens on the informal urban settlement is also

highlights the urgency and the extent of problems

supported by other authors such as Rao (2006)

faced by the inhabitants as a result of informal

who states that these settlements often ‘acquires

urbanisation, highlighting the need for increased

ideological overtones as a theoretical construct’,

state intervention and policy level actions. Informal

thereby ‘straddling the conceptual and material

urbanisation and slums are, as the report argues,

forms of city-making’ in the global south, which

a manifestation of rapid urbanisation and the

challenges the current method of imagining the

urbanisation of poverty, extending to 32 % of the

modern city.

world’s total urban population reaching up to 78.2% of the urban population of the least developed

The dominant narratives emerging in the discourse

countries (Un-Habitat, 2004).

over informal urbanisation can be categorised into two distinct epistemological positions. Each

This report spurred other authors such as Mike

position is supported by a set of authors who take

Davies (2004, 2007), who continued in the same

a ‘southern turn’ in their process of reimagining

vein describing the dystopian nature of the slums in

the ‘urban’ (Rao, V., 2006). The first dominant

his book, ‘Planet of the Slums’, published in 2007.

narrative takes an apocalyptic vision of informal

In Planet of the Slums, informal urbanisation is

urbanisation contained within the megacities of the

seen as a result of ‘surplus of humanity’ (Davis, M.,

global south. They are visualised as overcrowded,

2007, p.174), where large parts of the megacities in

disease and poverty ridden and overtaken by strife

the global south are bursting at its seams, poverty


ridden, overtaken with violence and a present a

Documents such as the UN Habitat report attempt

constant struggle for survival.

The ‘surplus of

to address the phenomenon of informal urbanisation

humanity’ is reasoned to be caused by people

in an empirical manner, highlighting the urgency

being cut off from the formal world economy

of its problems. Its restrictions include offering

and driven into urban slums. Arguing that the

policy makers an easy way out to equate informal

above phenomenon is predominantly due to the

urbanisation and urban poverty. The broad strokes

decoupling of urbanisation from industrialisation

used by the authors in this narrative also tend to

and development in the global south, Davies posits

label informal urbanisation as homogeneous areas

that the ‘planet of the slums’ is the only fully

of poverty and crime, rather than the heterogeneous

franchised solution to the problem of warehousing

landscapes of economies and social structures.

the 21st century’s surplus humanity (Davis, M., 2007). Reasoning against the dystopian epistemological

4 The entrepreneurial city

position taken for informal urbanisation, scholars such as Alan Gilbert & Pushpa Arabindoo warn us

In contrast to the dystopian narrative,

of the negative connotations attached to the urban


theory of informal urbanisation. Gilbert writes

‘entrepreneurial city’ was explored by several

extensively against the terminology associated

western urbanists and journalists. This lauding

with informal urbanisation, especially ‘slums’, as

of informal urbanisation, especially about its

too many observers and scholars apply these terms

entrepreneurial nature was propositioned by De

with ‘broad strokes’, embracing any place that is

Soto in his book ‘The Other Path: The invisible

problematic and including any group of people that

revolution in the third world’ (De Soto, H., 1990).

live there (Gilbert, A., 2007). Another disagreement

De Soto’s rejected any state intervention in the

is brought forward by Pushpa Arabindoo, who states

workings of informal urbanisation and its processes,

that these larger debates about theorising informal

basing his argument out of Lima, Peru, arguing the

urbanisation processes leads to the theorisation of

survival instincts of the inhabitants is to be lauded

urban poverty, which requires an empirical rather

instead of suppressed.





than a theoretical approach (Arabindoo, P., 2011). Although there is an urgent need to improve the

In this aspect, perhaps the most radical claim

squalid conditions created in informal settlements

was made by urbanist Rem Koolhaas, in his

and slums, caution must be exerted so as to not treat

work on non-western cities, envisioning them as

urban poverty and informal urbanisation through

‘incubators of the future prospect of the global city’

the same theoretical lens.

(Enwezor, O., 2003). In her review of Koolhaas’s work on Lagos, Rao (2006) explores his attempt


to turn dysfunctionality resulting from informal

in the arguments against interference from the

urbanisation in developing countries into a virtue,

state, but without a methodological approach to

using it as a theoretical tool to incubate the future.

improve the squalid conditions present in informal

He called on Lagos as the ‘ultimate dysfunctional


city’ – but in terms of all the initiatives and ingenuity, almost ‘utopian’ in nature (Michael, C., 2016). This lauding of the modernity present in the mega-cities of the global south, is often shared by

5 The rise of the subaltern discourse

other authors. Robert Neuwirth has explored the phenomenon of the informal economy produced





by slums, terming it as ‘System D’. He elaborated

narratives on informal urbanisation present two

on system-D as a form of ‘ingenuity economy, the

vastly polarised accounts. As a response, to these

economy of improvisation and self-reliance, the

generalised accounts, several authors have called

do-it-yourself, or DIY economy’, claiming that this

for a recognition of local agencies and people,

‘spontaneous system, ruled by the spirit of organized

moving towards a non-western approach in

improvisation, will be crucial for the development

theorizing informal urbanisation – which is term as

of cities in the 21st century’ (Neuwirth, R., 2011).

the ‘subaltern’ approach.

This celebration of the ‘informal’ has left a

Subaltern space is therefore, often interpreted as

distinct mark in the urban theories generated about

a ‘space of difference’, associating itself with the

informal urbanisation. Although the narrative of the

populace (Spivak, G., 2003), and is also used to

‘entrepreneurial city’ has helped shed the negative

call out on the elitism of the existing historiography



(Guha, R., 1988). Subaltern urbanism aims to

highlighting the ingenuity applied by its residents

theorise the megacity of the global south in terms

in order to survive, it has also contributed to the

of informal urbanisation, highlighting the need to

romanticising of urban poverty. In their discourse,

recognise the different popular agencies that work

Neuwirth and De Soto have offered simplified,

with urban poverty (Roy, A., 2011). In recent years,

ideological solutions to an issue that requires a

scholars such as Chatterjee (2003) and Roy (2011)

nuanced, empirical approach. De Soto in particular

have propagated the idea of using the ‘subaltern’

has received little academic support, with criticism

as an agency for change in order for the local

stemming towards his lack of a methodological

inhabitants lay a claim on livelihood and existence.



approach and empirical evidence (Gilbert, A., 2009). In a similar manner as the ‘dystopian city’

The subaltern approach arose from the need of

narrative, the ‘entrepreneurial city’ narrative also

re-theorising the urbanisation processes in the

tends to over-generalise, offering a universal appeal

global south, especially with the emergence of


the 21st century megacity and its resulting in

their work in South-east Asia, they explore how the

a shift in focus of urban theory. This shift was

marginalised class lay their claims to the state.

predominantly because of the limited epistemology of the urban theory generated previously, requiring

The main struggles with the subaltern has been

a re-imagination of the sites where this theoretical

raised by Roy (2011), in her paper, titled, ‘Slumdog


cities – rethinking subaltern urbanism’, where she





urbanisation aims to address the shortcomings


existing dominant narratives of the ‘dystopian

‘…. subaltern urbanism tends to remain bound to the

city’ and the ‘entrepreneurial city’, presenting

study of spaces of poverty, of essential forms of popular

urbanisation processes in the global south as a

agency, of the habitus of the dispossessed, of the

heterogeneous theoretical landscape. Presenting the

entrepreneurialism of self-organizing economies.’

views of the people an agencies within the ‘subaltern space’, it directly writes against the dystopian vision

In order to recognise the heterogeneity of the

of informal urbanisation in the Global South. It also

informal urbanisation processes in the global

differs from the viewpoints of Neuwirth and De

south, Roy (2011) argues that the subaltern needs

Soto of the heroic and optimistic ‘entrepreneurial

to break away from its ontological and topological

city’. The subaltern, instead presents a distinct

constrains of urban poverty. In an attempt to

type of politics, where ‘flexibility, pragmatism and

do so, Roy divides the subaltern into four sub-

negotiation’ characterize the habitus of informal

categories: ‘peripheries, urban informality, zones

urbanisation (Bayat, A., 2000). Although the

of exception and grey spaces’, where each has a

subaltern urbanisation runs on common ground

distinct genealogy (Roy, A., 2011). Attempting

with that of the entrepreneurial city narrative, it has

to move away from the realm of urban poverty,

had limited reach and appeal towards policy makers

these sub-categories offer an alternative to the

in the megacities of global south (Roy, A., 2011).

existing vocabulary of informal urbanisation. Writing against the synonymous nature between

The subaltern, however, has found an audience

informal urbanisation and urban poverty, Roy

in the territory of informal urbanisation. Informal

argues that informality is a ‘mode of production

settlements and slums feature as empirical and

of space that connects the seemingly separated

analytical points of departure in the political

geographies pf the slum and the suburb’ (Roy,

exploration of the megacities of the global south

A., 2011). This argument, therefore propositions

(Rao, V., 2006). Navigating the political landscape

that the informal urbanisation is also the purview

of the subaltern, authors such as Chatterjee (2004)

of the urban elite as much as it is the purview of

and Appadurai (2001) explore informal settlements

the urban poor. Dislocating from urban poverty,

and slums as a legal and territorial construct delving

the sub-categorised perspective of the subaltern

into the governance aspect within it. Focussing

allows informal urbanisation to move away from


both the dystopian as well as the entrepreneurial

framework from informal urbanisation theory in

city narratives. The sub-categories of the subaltern

order to view the larger landscape of the megacity in

presented by Roy (2011) can offer a departure from

the global south? Urban theory has rarely ventured

the previous approach of generalising urban theory

into informal urbanisation, expect as initial forays

in the case of urbanisation processes in the global

into epistemological narratives discussed in this

south. It also incorporates the role of political

paper. The subaltern has made inroads in this

identity and its influence, especially in the case of

aspect, using the notions of popular agencies and

informal settlements.

the role of governance in their arguments. Forming the beginnings of a normative base for exploring

The drawback in Roy’s approach is the lack of

informal urbanisation, the subaltern offers a

location based testing, which results in the sub-

possibility of developing an analytical framework

categories being limited to intangible sites. What

for the megacity of the global south. Roy (2011)

appears initially useful in Roy’s take on using the

supports this attempt in theorizing informal

subaltern to view informal urbanisation in the global

urbanisation via the subaltern, recognising this

south through a multitude of lenses, suffers because

as a necessary challenge to the existing dominant

of the lack of empirical evidence. This results in

narratives. With the addition of the politics of

difficulties in illustrating the subaltern categories

local and advocacy by popular agencies, urban

via real-world examples, offering challenges to

theory around informal urbanisation can become a

develop an analytical framework for the megacities

departure point for the megacity, as it is the point

of the global south.

of intersection of different dialogues emerging from the global south.

6 Conclusions: The theorizing the slum



7 The future of urban theory in informal urbanisation

What has emerged quite distinctively

from the earlier narratives of the ‘dystopian city’

It is evident that there are clear advantages of

and the ‘entrepreneurial city’ and has also continued

the informal urbanisation being viewed as a

into the ‘subaltern’ approach is a decisive shift

theoretical construct. Along with challenging the

towards how the megacity of the global south and

current imaginary of the megacities of the global

its urbanisation processes are viewed and explored

south, it also provides much needed visibility


to its inhabitants and their needs. Supporting it, Rao (2006) states that analysing the informal

However, is there any value of deriving an analytical


urbanisation processes and the theory it generates

in a normative sense could be used to gain visibility

into empirical and location based grounding, so

for certain histories and the landscapes of politics

as to translate it into an analytical framework that

and action that have not had enough exposure (Rao,

explores urbanisation processes in the global south.

V., 2006).

A relook into the missing empirical aspect would free the dominant epistemological narratives from

However, one must be careful of the terminology

the homogeneous landscapes of urban theory it

used in the context of informal urbanisation. The

generates. It would also help the translation of the

dominant epistemological narratives and subaltern

subaltern urbanism as an applicable perspective of

urbanism have brought back the usage of terms

viewing the urbanisation processes in the global

such as ‘slum’. This terminology has received its


share of criticism by scholars such as Alan Gilbert, who posits that the negative connotations associated with slums would limit urban theory within the

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