Waste, Water and Well-Being: Lessons from the Interface of Formal/Informal Urban Systems in Dharavi, Mumbai

A project exploring issues at the interface between centralised urban planning systems and user-generated initiatives.
Project status

This project aims to provide an in-depth analysis of formal/informal infrastructural collisions in Mumbai. Dharavi, as one of the largest informal settlements in Asia, is a highly significant centre of employment and economic activity but is directly affected by many global challenges (e.g. poverty, plastic waste, water shortage, poor urban resilience, migration, housing and sanitation). Its recycling industry is entirely self-organised within the informal sector. Poor infrastructure creates air/groundwater pollution and significant land contamination. Reducing waste comes at the expense of human health and life. The research team seeks to examine urban development through the lens of the 'smart city from below', at the interface between the user-generated city and centralised urban planning systems. It looks to also address issues of trust, health protection, participation, ownership and ethics in the implementation of infrastructure-driven solutions, specifically at the points of collision between 'top down' development (e.g. the USD3.4bn Mumbai Metro 3) and the 'user-generated city' of the Dharavi workers colony.

Research Team: Mr Graham Jeffery, University of the West of Scotland; Dr Julie Clark, University of the West of Scotland; Professor John Connolly, University of the West of Scotland; Professor Anurag Garg, Indian Institute of Technology; Professor Andrew Hursthouse, University of the West of Scotland; Dr Mary Josephine, Nirmala College for Women; Dr Benjamin Parry, Bath Spa University

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