THE RIGHT TO THE “WORLD CLASS CITY”?
CITY VISIONS AND EVICTIONS IN MUMBAI
By Matt Birkinshaw and Victoria Harris
The right to the city: the entitled and the excluded - The Urban Reinventors, Special issue, November 2009
The process of transformation of Mumbai into a “world class city” has been underway for over 5 years. In this article, we discuss the “world class city” concept which is being used to support and justify major processes of socioeconomic restructuring that are taking place in Mumbai. Our argument is that these transformation are leading, both directly and indirectly, to dire consequences for the city's poorer inhabitants: the transformation of Mumbai into a “world class city” is - we argue - directly responsible for a wave of displacement of the disadvantaged and the marginal.
Matt Birkinshaw is a researcher and writer with an interest in social movements and the politics of urban development. After studying philosophy at Sussex, he worked for a number of NGOs in London. He graduated from the human rights MA at University of London in 2007 and in 2008 spent some time in South Africa with the shackdwellers' movement Abahali baseMjondolo.
Victoria Harris is a writer and educator interested in citizenship, power and institutions. After reading cultural studies in Bristol with a focus on power and representation, she spent a year in South America. Her experiences led her to enroll on the human rights MA programme at the University of London. After graduating in 2007, she began teaching social science.
Matt and Victoria spent several months in India in 2008-9, mainly in Mumbai, learning about grass-roots contentious politics, development plans, and phenomena of displacement with a range of organisations (including the Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan - Save Homes, Build Homes Movement).They are now based in London.