Ugh...I just caught a story on News Hour by Jim Lehrer about the vision of urban designer Mukesh Mehta (left) to redevelop Dharavi. Makes my stomach churn. This developing story may soon be a perfect example of urban design gone beastly and apocalyptic in its good intentions (have we learned absolutely nothing from Urban Renewal??). As Prakash Apte aptly states:
Despite its notoriety, Dharavi is an ecosystem of businesses that sustains its residents, and one wonders how exatcly Mr. Mehta, launcher of the Clinton Global Initiative's effort to achieve a "slum free world", intends to sustain those businesses with high rise tenament apartments. Beneath the patronistic patois of "slummology" of the CGI's pseudo-think-tank initiative slinks a quiet, deadly act of state terrorism. You simply can't replace or replicate these precious resources in regulated land use zones. Dharavi's mixed residential and small industry pattern is what helps sustain this ecosystem and allow it to thrive in an critical area so close to the precious commecial links in the center city.