International Development Planning Review

New houses for old in Mumbai: An attractive but problematic strategy

International Development Planning Review (2002), 24, (2), 161–176.

Abstract

This paper analyses the evolution of Mumbai's unorthodox strategy of demolishing existing slums and resettling slum-dwellers in new, cross-subsidised, on-site housing. The strategy is facilitated by government intervention in land development regulations. This paper argues that the strategy evolved in response to competitive electoral politics and high property values in the city. Secondly, although the strategy provides beneficiaries with an opportunity to own valuable real estate assets, more slum-dwellers would gain from a deregulation of the specified benefits. Deregulation and flexible benefits can lead to innovation in housing improvement projects. Moreover, the deregulation of benefits might be the only politically feasible alternative. This paper, nonetheless, supports government intervention in land development regulations.

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Mukhija, Vinit