MUMBAI PORTAL

MUMBAI PORTAL

MUMBAI PORTAL

ABOUT MUMBAI PORTAL

The Mumbai portal seeks to understand the city as a set of disparities between formal urban design and planning intentions and their spatial manifestations on the ground. The increasing concentrations of global flows have exacerbated the inequalities and spatial divisions of social classes in the city. In this context, an architecture or urbanism of equality in an increasingly inequitable economic condition requires looking deeper, in order to find a wide range of places to acknowledge and commemorate the cultures and environments of those excluded from the spaces of global flows. These don’t necessarily lie in the formal production of architecture and the city, but often challenge it. Here the idea of a city is an elastic urban condition – not a grand vision, but a grand adjustment.

In Mumbai, the uneven formalization of the city and the blur between what could be defined as formal and informal, challenges the agency and practice of urban design and planning. The research exploration will be a critique of the category of the ‘informal city’ and will use the idea of the unrealized ‘formal city’ as the lens to interrogate the emergent urban form of Mumbai. This framework, we believe, has the potential to allow a better understanding of the blurred lines of contemporary urbanism and the changing roles of people and spaces in the urban society.

The themes that will be explored through the seminars and workshops in Mumbai with local stakeholders will cover: temporality and urban form, metropolitan imaginations and the city, conservation, environmentalism (climate change and risk), sanitation, the question of the public as well as the notion of civil society and its role in activism, advocacy, and governance. An underlying theme through these explorations will be that of the city of Mumbai as a laboratory to imagine the post–industrial city of self-employment. Besides the normal qualitative and quantitative tools for the analysis of the urban condition in Mumbai, the research will also engage with other visual media such as film and photography as well as art production more broadly to understand the city. In addition, literature, poetry, and journalistic accounts of the city will be a core source of material to construct a reading of the city and its particular emergent urbanism and form.

Collaborators will include non-profit and advocacy institutions that are concerned with various aspects of urban life – from design and policy to informal housing and work. Self Employed Women’s Organization (SEWA), Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS), and Society for Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC). Locally, the Urban Design Research Institute (UDRI) is a valuable resource for their continuing commitment to urban advocacy in Mumbai. The research will involve joint research investigations with these agencies as well as workshops and public events that will be among the venues for this research investigation.

COURSES

CONTEMPORARY SOUTH ASIA: ENTREPRENEURIAL SOLUTIONS TO INTRACTABLE SOCIAL & ECONOMIC PROBLEMS

EXTREME URBANISM 1: REIMAGINING MUMBAI’S BACK BAY

LIVELIHOODS AND URBAN FORM: MUMBAI IN A COMPARATIVE PERSPECTIVE

SOUTH ASIAN POLITICAL ECOLOGY

CLASS AND THE CITY IN INDIAN CINEMA

CAPITALISM AND COSMOLOGY IN MODERN INDIA

MODERN INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

RELIGION IN INDIA: TEXTS AND TRADITIONS IN A COMPLEX SOCIETY

MODERN INDIA THROUGH NARRATIVE FORMS

FIELDWORK

SLUM REHABILITATION SCHEME IN ANDHERI EAST

GOLIBAR KHAR EAST TRANSIT CAMP

BHARAT NAGAR RESETTLEMENT COLONY

PAREL MILL LAND AREA

LALLUBHAI COMPOUND, GOVANDI EAST, DEONAR

ANIK INFRASTRUCTURE REHAB PROJECT

MALVANI NEW COLLECTOR COMPOUND

TRANSIT CAMP IN DHARAVI

CHEETA CAMP AND TROMBAY VILLAGE

BDD CHAWLS, WORLI

STUDENT WORK

Tracing the Informal: Waste Pickers

Tracing the Informal: Construction Workers

Tracing the Informal: Street Vendors

TRACING THE INFORMAL: HOME-BASED WORKERS

EAST INDIA COMPANY IN BOMBAY

HORNBY VELLARD RECLAMATION PROJECT

MILLS IN MUMBAI: THE LOSS AND RENEWAL OF A CITY

COLLABORATORS

HARVARD UNIVERSITY SOUTH ASIA INSTITUTE

The Harvard University South Asia Institute (SAI) engages faculty and students through interdisciplinary programs to advance and deepen the teaching and research on global issues relevant to South Asia.

SAI is a university-wide research institute at Harvard that engages faculty members and over 300 students through interdisciplinary programs to disseminate knowledge, build capacity, and engage in advocacy on issues that are shaping South Asia today.

With 2 billion people facing similar challenges throughout South Asia, there is a critical need for solutions and systems to support such a significant global population. SAI programs and projects are working to actively address issues of equity, sustainability, and livability. Through research conducted by students and faculty, to partnerships with governments and organizations to seminars held on campus and across the world, SAI is working to improve the lives of all people throughout the region and beyond.

Harvard University formally recognized the South Asia Initiative as an academic institute in 2013, signaling the university’s longstanding commitment to the region and the beginning of an exciting new era for South Asian studies at Harvard. SAI now serves as the premier center on regional studies, cross-disciplinary research, and innovative programming, pertaining to South Asia.