One of Asia’s largest slums, Dharavi in Mumbai, has caught the attention of National Geographic in 2007, and the World Economic Forum and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation within the past year.
Dharavi is about 1.7 – 3 square kilometers in area and houses about 1 million people with an annual economic size of about USD 600-700 million. The most recent redevelopment plan produced by American-trained Indian architect Mukesh Mehta gives living space of about 200 square feet for every slum dwelling family in a high rise structure in exchange for other parts of the expensive Mumbai real estate to be used by the investors. It has proven to be a non-starter.
This article suggests, as an example of poverty alleviation by sustainable development, that all of the Dharavi land must be redeveloped per the following design by slum dweller labor and investor funds to turn it into a small city integrated into Mumbai for occupation not in part but in entirety by the existing dwellers.
The center would be a park, a school and other city services such as a fire station and police with the rest of the gray areas being roads in the community and a train service linking Dharavi to the Mumbai local train system. The white areas would be high rise residential/work areas for existing dwellers who will be absorbed into the economy the investor-funded redeveloped city would bring.