The post-1990s experience in Mumbai represents urban renewal processes as in other cities of Asia. As a city that is topographically challenged with land constraints and ageing infrastructure housing redevelopment is a response towards decongestion of the inner city and densification of the suburbs. This, in turn, is linked to neo-liberal urbanism characterized by economic restructuring and greater global linkages. Under the aegis of neo-liberalism, redevelopment has accelerated signifying a bigger and bolder approach to address the long-standing problem of slums in the city.
It points to changing governance, urban restructuring whereby Mumbai has graduated from the state-led develop mentalist industrialization (that prioritized urban infrastructure to support mass production and economic growth) of the 1960s and 1970s to the neo-liberal and market-friendly processes of the 1990s. However redevelopment, a vital part of this growth story, has resisted wholesale replacement of developmental urbanism by neo-liberal urbanism by retaining the institutional and material legacies of developmental urbanism through a tailored approach to redevelopment in different parts of the city.
The redevelopment narrative in Mumbai has resulted in sub economic centers or integrated development with their own characteristic living and working typologies. Examples include Andheri, Goregaon, Malad, Vikhroli, Sewri and Chembur infused with their own characteristic social homogeneity that has subverted the pre-existing territorialised social and economic structure. Mumbai is a polycentric city, with the landscape and activities increasingly fashioned around this concept. Redevelopment has also identified pockets of land that hitherto were disconnected from the economic and development processes of the city. These pockets are important land parcels in terms of location, connectivity and development potential. Redevelopment has allowed such deprived pockets to be integrated with the development process of the city.
Note: Abstract of original article written by Dr. Binti Singh & Manoj Parmar, featured in Domus India, April 2018 edition.