Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

The Making of Navi Mumbai


Focus country: 

Focus city: 

Published by: 
Orient Longman

Publisher town: 
New Delhi


THE CONCEPT OF new towns or satellite towns is a familiar issue in the discourse on urban development. The difficulties associated with the creation of such towns has been well documented and rigorously studied. For this very reason, the content of The Making of Navi Mumbai is of particular importance to professionals, practitioners and students of urban development, as it explores the complexities of creating a city in modern India. Although many new towns have been built in India (e.g. Delhi, Chandighar), the scale of Navi Mumbai sets it apart from previous urban projects. Envisioned to accommodate a staggering 2 million people, Navi Mumbai is the manifestation of an alternative urban strategy that emanated from a modernist perspective on development. This book examines the rationale for undertaking such a huge project, the manner in which it has been implemented over a 30-year period, and the way it has affected the area on political, economic and social levels. Although the original plans were based on largely egalitarian principles, Navi Mumbai is nonetheless characterized by the disparities that are typical in many Indian cities. The book attempts to disentangle this dualism and to provide an understanding of how the planning process is currently dealing with it.
The book begins with a discussion of the influences on urban planning in post-colonial India, and examines how these influences have encouraged the creation of dualistic cities. These issues are then placed within the broader context of India’s urban policy-making in Chapter two, including a consideration of the political economy and social systems of power. Chapter three traces the evolution of the process that led planners to accept a scheme that was a clear departure from planning practice at the time – the creation of a counter-magnet to Mumbai’s continuing growth. At the heart of Chapter four is a discussion of the actual implementation of creating Navi Mumbai, and its present-day reality. Contrasting this reality with the vision of a single cohesive spatial entity, the authors explore the contradictions and complexities of spatiality in Navi Mumbai in relation to the city’s economic base.
Chapter five turns to the issue of land pricing, development and sales within the planned nodes of the city. It highlights the use of a revolving fund that has served to finance the entire project, and links this to the subject of affordability for the urban poor. The chapter stresses the importance of balanced development, to which low-cost housing is integral. In this context, Chapter six looks at housing in the new city and the extent to which housing has been created for the urban poor. It discusses gentrification within Navi Mumbai and the effectiveness of policy for housing low-income groups. Chapter seven turns to the history of socioeconomic divisions in the city and the reasons for the distinctive nature of the population. This is placed within the context of land acquisition, the manner in which it affected the local population, and reasons for conflict and tension between residents of planned nodes and the long-standing residents. Chapter eight then considers the forces fuelling the growth of unplanned slums and encroachments, and their links to the planned areas of the city. It examines the contradictions in the existing model of development and urban policy, and explores the sense of social division within Navi Mumbai. It urges developers to implement programmes of urban rehabilitation, in order to avoid a repetition of errors in other Indian cities. By way of conclusion, Chapter nine offers a summary of the successes and failures of Navi Mumbai, and the lessons that can be applied to alternative examples of urban development.

Available from: 
Available from www.orientlongman.com/

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