Hope for an informal settlement
Mathew, Abein Prince
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Citation:Mathew, A. P. (2021). Hope for an informal settlement. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture (Professional)). Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand. https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5533
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/5533
RESEARCH QUESTION How can the slums of Dharavi be re-developed to maintain the current population density and social and cultural values of the community without a mass displacement of the dwellers? ABSTRACT With minimal means of survival in many Indian villages, rural people have migrated to urban areas in search of new opportunities. From the architectural perspective migration can be explained as a complex and urgent spatial challenge. Cities and their promise of a better life and more opportunities attract migrants, but also force them to take any odd jobs for their survival. Mumbai is being cursed by its development. Migration has forced compactness and high density on certain areas, gradually resulting in the formation of slums. Slums are a pervasive phenomenon throughout developing countries and cannot be separated from the social systems operating within urban life. Some experts claim slums are a disease that grows and multiplies. Although theoretically accepted, rural migrants experience extreme inequality in every aspect of their lives and are often treated as inferior citizens by public institutions such as schools, hospitals and social housing. The aim of this project is to design appropriate, permanent social housing in the slums of Dharavi, a locality in Mumbai, India, near the banks of the river Mithi. This paper will investigate the reasons for urban migration and the formation of slums. The schemes and policies undertaken by the Indian government and other formal bodies will be explained to give an understanding of the legal framework. Sadly, as reported in this paper, the conditions for children living in the slums are pathetic and none of the schemes implemented have significantly improved their overall wellbeing. A brief description of some well-known slums – past and present – provides an overview of slum living conditions and the underlying factors that drive the formation of slums around the world. A comparative investigation of precedent studies is then made to understand what methods and strategies can be used to transform slums into more liveable environments. The conventional approach to developing slums starts with the mass eviction of residents. This is inhumane as it disrupts lives and communities as well as separating people from their means of making a living. The intention of this paper is to offer a solution that does not involve mass displacement of people. The research will identify the needs and demands of rural migrants now living in Dharavi, Mumbai, and the housing solution proposed will consider the social and cultural aspects of the place – for the present and into the future.