Bogotá to Bombay!

September 29th, 2014 by lauraamaya

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Gilson Fumaça’s house, Favela Santa Marta – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,

Perched behind the fog that conceals Bogotá’s mountains is William Oquendo’s house. It is a labyrinth of doors and windows wherein a bedroom opens into the kitchen and a bathroom vents out into the living room.

5,000 kilometers away in Rio de Janeiro, Gilson Fumaça lives on the terrace level of a three-story house built by his grandfather, his father, and now himself. It’s sturdy; made out of brick and mortar on the ground floor, concrete on the second, and a haphazard combination of zinc roof tiles and loose bricks on the third. The last is Gilson’s contribution, which he will improve as his income level rises.

View from William Oquendo’s house
Barrio El Dorado – Bogotá, Colomb

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View from William Oquendo’s house, Barrio El Dorado – Bogotá, Colombia

On the other side of the world in Bombay (Mumbai since 1995), houses encroach on the railway tracks, built and rebuilt after innumerable demolition efforts. According to Suketu Mehta in Maximum City – “The physical landscape of the city is in perpetual motion.” Shacks maybe built out of bamboo sticks and plastic bags; families live on sidewalks and under flyovers in precarious homes constructed with their hands. And while Dharavi has better quality housing, running water, electricity and secure land tenure, this is not the case for most of the new migrants into the city.

Bombay has experienced a recent wave of mass urbanization as India’s population shifts from rural to urban. New settlements in Mumbai are set to follow the same course as Latin American slums, which have grown throughout generations. However, the city’s density—20,000 people per square kilometer as compared to Bogotá’s 4,600 or Rio de Janeiro’s 5,200—will require an innovative form of progressive development. As Mehta notes, “there isn’t enough space for everyone to be [in a house] at once, except when they’re all sleeping[, and] body movements are kept to a minimum.”

In a country that is less than 30 percent urban, Bombay provides a home to villagers who move into the city and recreate the village. Inevitably then, community is the greatest asset of informal settlements. It provides a safety net for vulnerable populations, which does not depend on the willingness of government but on a self-regulated mechanism of mutual support. And, given that the incoming urban dwellers have not yet caught up with the speed of the city’s transformation, it is the closest link to the village—the slum is the village within the city.

Bogotá on the other hand—like most South American cities—experienced urban growth with the highest wave of rural migrants settling in what were then emerging squatter settlements. Soaring numbers of new urban dwellers in such a short period posed the challenge of providing adequate services. Informal settlements flourished and temporarily alleviated the housing crisis, yet still today one out of every five urban residents in Latin America live in favelasinvasiones or barrios, as they are locally known. Initially illegal and quite precarious, many of them have gradually become consolidated communities successfully incorporated into the urban fabric.

Stemming from the informal nature of the development of cities, urban transformation in South America and South Asia is a process entirely dependent on time and money. From squatters to township developers cities grow progressively, responding and always adjusting to the immediate needs of a community.

When I first landed in Mumbai I moved into the top floor of Mangal Kunj, a building in the upmarket suburb of Bandra. We rented the penthouse apartment of a fairly new building that was no more than ten years old. The elevator had buttons to a twelfth floor and we assumed that it must have been purchased at a bargain price, given there were only eight floors. One morning, as I rushed out to start the lengthy commute, the elevator screen read “9”. Soon enough, contractors pounded on the roof bringing up bags of cement and shipments of brick.

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Residential building, Bandra, West, Mumbai.

Three months later, the former penthouse of Mangal Kunj is sandwiched between the original building downstairs and the construction work that leads up to the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth stories.

A similar instance of progressive development happens in New Delhi at Ashoka University, an Ivy League-style liberal arts college. Phased construction requires buildings to be planned in stages and for different purposes. Not only must they seamlessly adapt from academic to administrative use, but they will also grow taller throughout time. A building today will have six stories; five years later it will have twelve. The culture of ‘village-cities’, the rapid urbanization, and the sharing economy make it so that there is constant adaptation.

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“Village-cities”, Usme – Bogotá, Colombia

William’s house will soon have a fourth story, and Gilson Fumaça will consolidate the third floor of his favela home, making way for a new terrace level above. Mumbai slum dwellers will substitute plastic roofs for firm tiles and replace bamboo sticks with brick walls. Other buildings like Mangal Kunj will construct their fourteenth and fifteenth stories, while Bogotá will continue to see steel rebars protruding out of the tops of houses, ready to rise another level with the birth of a child or after the promotion of a family member.

While New York and London house the people that move from city to city, all acquainted with the etiquette of an urban lifestyle, Bogotá and Bombay are cities of villagers on the road to urbanization. They serve as an initial step in the transition between the countryside and the metropolis; undeniably the most drastic leap. Families move from the fields to the shacks, and from there to middle-class neighborhoods; from Jogeshwari to Mira Road (Mumbai), and from Cazucá to Nuevo Usme (Bogotá), people on opposite sides of the planet gradually embrace a new way of living.

As village-cities evolve into global cities, architecture must cater to the need for continuous reinvention. Design is a broader understanding of a context, beyond aesthetic considerations and immediate spatial relationships. It is the intimate relation between people and place; an unpretentious response to complex urban problems. A lesson can be learnt from the nature of progressive development in cities like Bogotá and Bombay; it is essential to acknowledge intrinsic change and not counter but complement it.

Post Submitted by Laura Amaya, a Spanish-born, Colombian-raised, and US-educated architect and urban thinker. She has spent time in Italy, and done extensive research on Latin American urbanism as a Cornell University research scholar. She now lives and works in India, and is fascinated by the enhanced relationships between people and place through the transformation of the physical environment.

URBANIZATION AND ITS COLLATERAL DAMAGE

September 9th, 2014 by pierrekirkjensen


Image 1: A street view of Ulwe showing the emptiness of the surrounding buildings

Navi Mumbai is a twin city across the harbor of Mumbai. The city consists of 13 fragmented clusters or ‘nodes’ of dense, self-sufficient neighborhoods. An entirely planned city, it is an interesting amalgamation with nodes planned around stations invoking the principles of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) and the residual green spaces between the nodes reflecting elements of Garden cities.

Ulwe, one of the ‘nodes’ in Navi Mumbai is particularly significant as many major infrastructure projects such as Navi Mumbai International Airport, Sea link, Special Economic Zones, Metro links are planned in its vicinity. This resulted in a tremendous surge in investments in Ulwe and therefore completely transforming its landscape in a very short span. Prior to the proposals, the villages in the region practiced agriculture and fish/prawn farming. This has resulted in a distinctive urban form in Ulwe, which has at least 7 villages merging with the new city.

We visited 3 villages – Shivaji nagar (not this Shivaji nagar!), Boman dongri and Kharkopar all of which are now a part of the city. Our aim was to see how the inhabitants and the built environment interact with the new city.


Image 2: Transformation of Ulwe as seen from satellite images

Ulwe is not yet connected to any suburban railway. The closest station is CBD Belapur on the Harbor Line. From there two options are available to reach Ulwe – buses which have a significantly long headway, or we could -and we did- take a rickshaw. Price is fixed at Rs. 150 to get there in less than half an hour. Eventually our driver warned us that we would meet difficulties to find transportation on our way back.


Image 3: Figure-ground map showing existing villages and the new developments. (Sector 8, 9, 17, 18)

IMPRESSIONS ON THE NEW CITY BEING BUILT

Arriving in Ulwe, one is overwhelmed by the scale of an entire city under construction. The streets wear a deserted look and the most dominant commercial activity is the presence of real estate offices. And ironically, the only few shops owned mostly by villagers, would not be located in the new structures, but in informal temporary shacks.

Though it is still under construction one can clearly sense the lack of thought in planning the streets for pedestrian movement or even for vehicular parking. Land value seems to have taken precedence over all else even in this pre-planned neighborhood. This is particularly evident from the plot layout of the node (Image 4), which is clearly aimed at creating maximum developable land with little consideration for public spaces, walkability, accessibility, topography, and the villages.


Image 4: Map showing plot layout of sector 8, 9, 17, 18

THE SOURROUNDED URBAN VILLAGES
Entering the villages one is struck by the contrast resulting from the traditional Marathi architecture. Their access is not well defined and do not seem to have been considered at all when planning the new city. In fact, despite villages being built on top of hills, surrounding buildings hide them. They work like a maze with very limited visual or physical access from the outside but highly permeable from within (Image 3). The narrow streets in contrast to the four lane roads of the city act as a catalyst to a series of quality enhancing experiences within these urban villages. It results in intimate and visually perceptible spaces. The streets are well shaded and allow fresh air to blow through. Although “because of the new built towers, there is no wind anymore” complains one inhabitant of Khar Kopar.


Image 5: View of Boman Dongri situated on a higher altitude with new buildings in the background


Image 6: Public spaces with ‘eyes on the street’


Image 7: One entry to Baman Dongri, contrasting with its surrounding environment

One can see some architectural mashups influenced by the new city which reflect some new quality of life expectations. Mr. Vishwanath born and brought up in the area, grand-son of a farmer and now a prosperous construction material supplier lives in 3-floor house, built by an architect relative after destroying the old family house (Image 9).


Image 8: Example of architectural mashup seen in Khar Kopar


Image 9: Example of architectural mashup seen in Khar Kopar, House of Mr. Vishwanath*

IMPACT OF THE NEW CITY

It is important to note that most villagers practiced agriculture prior to the development of the city and have been impacted by the quick changes. As a compensation for their farming lands, CIDCO developed a scheme giving 12.5% of their land in the new city and allowing them to benefit from the increased land values.

“I miss the old days and my former life, we were happier”, “back in the days we had no power cuts, and had fresh water” says another resident of the old Ulwe. He lives in a 25 years old house built in a traditional Marathi style but doesn’t own the land, CIDCO does. “Many people built illegal houses on CIDCO lands as the village was expanding, I was aware when I bought my house that I could be evacuated anytime.”

“When CIDCO started buying agricultural lands in 1982, people were happy to sell as it felt more profitable than their agricultural earnings. But the land values were not uniform as people sold the same land for Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 2,00,000. “People spent their money on drinking, building home, bikes, or put money in banks”, he invested in a goods carrier business and bought two cars. Although he is “still running from office to office” to receive the remaining half of his 12.5% compensation.

LAST WORD

Like most newly planned cities in India and much of the developing world, Ulwe bears the familiar disregard for its geographical, social and the cultural context. There is little that differentiates Ulwe, a ‘futuristic city’, from its unplanned and haphazard counterparts in India. One would have hoped for an intervention of the scale of Ulwe to adapt certain aspects of its existing village settlements, which would have resulted in a seamless urban fabric that responds to its context.

There are four possible scenarios in the case of Ulwe:

– It is likely the infrastructure projects would get cleared and implemented in the next decade.  However it is unlikely that this will bring about equitable development.
– The delay in development may result in the settlers migrating in search of livelihood.
– The new city develops rapidly and the urban villages get neglected resulting in slum like conditions.
– The development pushes the land values in the strategically located urban villages and hence gentrification.

It is important to recognize the uncertainty with respect to the urban villages and their future, which hold a significant population. The policymakers need to make conscious policy proposals that not only protect these communities but also improve the quality of infrastructure in these villages.

This post was co-authored by Pierre Kirk-Jensen and Tausif Iqbal who have volunteered with URBZ in July and August 2014. Tausif is an architect currently studying urban planning. He is terrified by the way world cities are developing and is trying to learn alternative practices in architecture and urbanism. Pierre is a student of Urbanism from Paris. He is finishing his masters after completing a history degree and is passionate about the urbanization process in India.

Bogotá to Mumbai: Local innovation for sustainability

August 7th, 2014 by andrespolo40

During the daily commute to my university using public transport that lasted one and a half hours, I had plenty of time to look at the neighbourhoods on the edge of Bogotá.  Many of these areas had emerged when people moved into the city from the countryside – one that was plagued by violence and poverty for many years.

During my studies at the university there were very few courses that focused on the issue of social housing in Bogota. Academic discussions were focused on modern and contemporary theories, studying examples of foreign architecture and star architects. I often asked myself why my school didn’t teach me about these large parts of Bogota, where 30 per cent of the population lives, and where new urban typologies emerge based on very specific needs and cultural practices.

In my final year, I participated in a studio project in Ciudad Bolivar, the largest homegrown neighbourhood in Bogotá. At that time I felt a great sense of admiration on seeing how people generated their own housing solutions. I understood that these solutions needed to be seen beyond the purely aesthetic and that they had a spatial, architectural, social and cultural quality that should be studied and understood. But at the same time, I also wondered how physical conditions could be improved, and how we could absorb the knowledge of these communities to create sustainable processes that connected art, technology and science.


Ciudad Bolivar, Bogotá

With this in mind, I continued my studies in architecture and sustainable development in Europe, where I learned new theories and approaches in ecological design and sustainability. This helped me to think about many of the sustainable aspects of the so-called “informal” sector. However, I could not get over the fact that the new paradigms of sustainability could be so tightly based on numbers, on very specific lines, that defined ecological projects as sustainable or not – and even graded or certified them (with ‘gold’ or ‘platinum’ standards!)

The neighbourhoods in Bogota were far from fulfilling the needs of a sustainability audit in such terms. But I realized that sustainable processes were ingrained in these communities. It was necessary to have a grounded approximation of sustainability and further align them with the needs of the community, and to create solutions based on their needs.

To understand a neighbourhood one should be able to access the site and look at the place through the eyes of the people who live there. A community leader of Ciudad Bolivar got me involved in multiple activities that allowed me to know its reality through stories and conversations with residents. I visited over a hundred homes and found interesting cultural patterns in the urban fabric.


Andres with friends in a home in Ciudad Bolivar

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The inhabitants built their homes in stages, according to the financial resources available. In most homes, the owner lived on the first floor and the upper floors were rented to ensure daily income. The terrace area played an important role in allowing the development of multiple activities such as washing clothes and socializing.

The characteristics of a place like Ciudad Bolivar have emerged as a result of its geography: rain, topography, climate, microclimate, etc., that influenced the cultural activities of each community. While visiting the site I used scientific analysis (of official documents and technical specifications) that allowed me to determine climate variations over short distances. This analysis was complemented with empirical knowledge that people have developed over years.

I observed that many inhabitants of Ciudad Bolívar use different systems of rainwater harvesting to meet their water needs. The problem was that the communities that used these systems did not know the necessary devices for optimal performance, resulting in poor management of rainwater flow, which created health risks. I proposed a system for collecting rainwater and treatment based on specific needs of the inhabitants.

In Ciudad Bolivar there exist many workshops, craftsmen and shops that work with recycled materials. I visited many of them and learned from their techniques. I elaborated a system of storage and filtration of rainwater that I tested in situ.

While I was working on this research I had the opportunity to visit Dharavi in Mumbai.

In Bogotá most activities take place within people’s homes because the housing space is more generous. In Colombia the communities are culturally homogeneous, are Spanish speaking and Catholic. Due to this we see specific cultural, social and building patterns that unfold on a large scale.
In Mumbai the socio-cultural aspect is much more diverse and complex. There are multiple religions, castes and languages. Housing space is limited and many activities spill over onto the street.

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Ciudad Bolivar (Bogotá) on the left and Dharavi (Mumbai) on the right.

This made me realize that each case is unique. There are no general solutions and the social and cultural conditions set the criteria for evaluation, and development of proposals for each place.

Similarly the exchange of experiences with professionals engaged in homegrown  neighbourhoods in India (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, URBZ) and Colombia (Piloto University, Municipal Corporation Bogota) gave me very specific information and reflected on their own specific expertise.
After all this learning, from Bogota and also thanks to my travels to Mumbai, I proposed a system of rainwater harvesting, which uses modular tanks, and a water heating system, which takes advantage of the terraced area in the homes of Ciudad Bolivar.

What I learned in this journey from Bogota to Mumbai is that we need are more such examples of simple technology that satisfies basic needs for people in poor neighbourhoods around the world. This is the true route towards sustainability and not just economizing on energy use or trendy design that have become the focus of fashionable sustainability projects these days!


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Jose Andres Sanchez Arias is an independent researcher from Colombia who spent some time with URBZ in Mumbai. He studied architecture and sustainable development in Bogota and France. Andres is particularly interested in the synergies between the project, the weather, the energetic optimization the environment, and the social, economic and cultural context.

Ching’s Shenzhen – 青的深圳

July 20th, 2014 by julienvincelot


ShiYan, Shenzhen December 2013

The Chinese city of Shenzhen insolently faces Hong Kong and its western heritage. Apart from being the embodiment of the Chinese economic success story, it has one particular feature that distinguishes its urban development:  its speed. Starting from the market-opening reforms launched in 1979 that transformed Shenzhen area into the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in China, the city grew from being a mere fishing village to China’s tenth most populated city within 30 years, according to the official population census. That phenomenon inevitably brought about a uniquely rapid urban expansion. The city planners attempted, through three master plans in the space of 25 years, to organize and control the urban sprawl by establishing 6 cluster cities linked by highways and other communication infrastructure (1986 Master Plan). Yet with a yearly average population growth of about 30% over the previous 30 years, even the most organized top-down urban development policies could not have controlled the massive expansion.

By swallowing up the rural lands of its surroundings, the “instant metropolis” as it is nicknamed, caught up with the region quickly. Due to the speed of its development, villages were surrounded by the city without much attention being drawn to their situation, as urban planners preferred to avoid these complicated cases of pre-industrial settlements, which they saw as unfit to integrate into the official vision of the modern city. These villages therefore were swallowed up in the city’s tentacular sprawl, lost their rural lands, and were surrounded by high-rises. Transformation of their economic activities ensued, embodying their mutation from rural into urban villages, 城中村 literally “village-within-city”. As most urban villages around the world, they became neighborhoods offering cheap housing, hosting migrant workers coming from all over the country looking for a taste of Shenzhen’s economic miracle.

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Source: Urbanus. According to some researchers the number of people living in urban villages in Shenzhen is much higher that 6 million. What seems certain is that over half of the people this city of 10,5 million people live in urban villages.

When passing through the city for a workshop, the URBZ team went through some of the 241 urban villages that dot the map. They also encountered Ching (叶青 Ye Qing), an inhabitant of one of these urban villages, ShiYan (石岩) (See write-up posted on Jan 1st, 2014). Living on Old Street (老街)in her family house, she remembered all the economic activities that her family relied on to make a living. These ranged from running a shop on the ground floor, where they would sell clothes, then shoes, then tea and barrelled water. She recalls how her family, and others in the neighborhood, assembled some factory parts such as artificial flowers or USB parts, on the first floor, to earn extra income. Ching’s story is emblematic of the reconversion of these urban village’s habitats into commercial and manufacturing activities more adapted to their newly urban environment. URBZ calls housing types that mix residential, commercial and manufacturing capacities as “tool-houses”. These are usually incrementally developed by their owners to fit their personal needs. These tool-houses are seen in most organic neighborhoods around Asia, from Tokyo’s low-rise commercial districts to India’s so-called “slums”, or even to some extent in Southeast Asia’s shophouses, and they clash with the contemporary vision of cities, based on the separation of residential and industrial activities.


View from Ching’s house in ShiYan village. The photo clearly shows how the older, traditional looking houses have been extended and crowded by new buildings, which are now rising to multiple levels.

In Shenzhen’s central urban villages, most houses were expanded thanks to the new income that they could earn from commercial and manufacturing activities or from renting some rooms to migrants, which led to a densification of the urban village. While they do not reach the height of the modern high-rises, they still partake in the densification of the neighborhood, lower but more numerous, in some sort of incremental development that contributes to Shenzhen’s growth by offering housing for migrants, who are vital elements of the city’s economy, and by producing simple goods, and then too by conserving a different scale and street grid that might be valuable on the long term.

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Ching’s house: This tool-house built about 30 years ago combines residential and income-generating functions. The shop is a little over 30 m2. Above are two and a half floors with a terrace for residential purposes that cover a little less than 80 m2. The family has moved out since, but is refurbishing it in order to rent it out.  Ching remembers how, when she was a kid, her family would often bring home small manufacturing work to complement their income.

Indeed, when one looks at metropolises such as Tokyo, it is clear that the human scale and diversity offered by organically developed urban villages such as Shimokitazawa are valuable to the municipality as a vibrant commercial and creative neighborhood in a diversified economy. Even without such long-term vision in mind, Ching story’s also shows that by keeping and expanding one’s family house, inhabitants keep some kind of connection with their family and ancestors and some attachment to the neighborhood.

In Ching’s tool-house, there is a shrine dedicated to a precious member of her ancestry, known throughout the neighborhood as a generous figure and the former owner (and builder) of the house. Every year, Ching’s grandmother receives visits and gifts as thanks for her ancestor’s generosity. Such a story is an example of the human practices that developed in tandem with the area over time. In the context of growing critiques from the empowered middle class about the speed of the country’s development and the lack of respect for traditions or individuals, respecting and upgrading incrementally developed neighborhoods with unique human networks might be a way to show some consideration for a diversified type of urban development.


Ching showing the house under renovation, which is full of familiar objects and memories.

While this last dimension might seem out of reach for local urban planners, inhabitants of some urban villages have actually come together to protect this valued village spirit against redevelopment schemes that involve destruction of the organic structure of neighborhoods. In Guangzhou, Shenzhen’s sister city in Guangdong province, the planned destruction of Xian village (先村)in 2012 faced protests form locals who rallied under the slogan “Great greed cannot be dealt with in one day, nor will the heart of Xian villagers die in one day”. Similarly in Shenzhen, the Master plan of 2005 laid out the integration of urban villages (including Ching’s) in the cityscape by undergoing large rehabilitation processes that might endanger the alternative tool-house model and organic neighborhood structure.

Through Ching’s house’s story, one can reconstitute the integration of rural villages in the Shenzhen metropolis, their evolution into urban villages and the adaption of the living unit into the tool-house model of mixed used habitats. They also show how the diversity of urban scale that such areas offer to large new sprawling metropolises like Shenzhen, or anywhere else in China is a valuable urban resource.

This post by Julien Vincelot is based on research done by URBZ in Shenzhen during MoMA’s Uneven Growth workshop. Julien Vincelot is a student in social and political science in Paris. He is particularly interested in the Asian context, having grown up in New Delhi and Shanghai. He plans on specializing on urban planning and urban policies in developing countries, with a focus on alternative urban forms and their political and social implications. He is currently working with URBZ in Mumbai.

The Slum Outside

July 13th, 2014 by urbzman

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URBZ is proud to announce the publication of an e-book on Dharavi. It is published by Stelka Press (Moscow-London). You can order it here in digital and print formats. Below is an excerpt:

Dharavi, in the heart of Mumbai, is supposed to represent the quintessential Asian slum. Crowded streets and busy markets; domestic workshops cheek by jowl with sweatshops producing both real and fake Pepe jeans; brick houses rising as high as their microscopic footprints allow; high-rises mushrooming here and there like gigantic shacks; schools in Kannada, Tamil, Hindi, English, Marathi, Urdu and other languages, usually with more than 50 pupils per class; temples of every Buddhist and Hindu denomination; flamboyant mosques so crowded that people have to pray on the streets during namaz; old churches with full congregations – remnants of the region’s seventeenth-century Portuguese history – and new evangelical missions converting low-caste Hindus by the dozen; community toilets that double up as marriage halls; piles of garbage waiting to be picked over by scavengers; open drains running along narrow back streets; thousands of water pipes branching off in every direction.

Dharavi invariably confuses those eager to capture its reality in shorthand. Visitors looking for an essence of the place often land on its edges and corners, in spots that most Dharavi residents themselves have seen only on TV. They may be rewarded for their intrepidness by the sight of barefoot children walking on water pipes against the obligatory backdrop of garbage – a cliché that resonates so powerfully with familiar discourses on poverty and inequality that it obliterates the depth and complexity of the place. Dharavi is diverse and rapidly transforming, and it deceives as much as it overwhelms. It is an enigma that cannot be resolved by simply labelling it one thing or the other.

From the rooftop of Mohan Kanle’s two-storey house, the neighbourhood seems part of the immutable story of urbanism, recalling medieval Italian towns, Istanbul’s bazaars, the by-lanes of Benares, old Delhi, Guangzhou’s urban villages and even Tokyo’s dense residential suburbs. From this vantage point, it seems embedded in the shadow history of human settlements anywhere in the world where planning and control give way to incremental and small-scale development. In some parts, one sees hundreds of low-rise structures so tightly packed that they appear to share one single cement-sheet roof. No wonder urban designers and architecture students love to imagine bridges connecting all of these houses, with new roofs acting as public spaces and gardens.

Mohan’s house was built by his father in the early 1990s. Mumbai’s extreme weather, with monsoon rain for four months and hot, saline air most of the year, has tested the limits of this humble structure. The roof has been leaking for a few years, forcing Mohan to install a shed as protection from the violent rains. About 18 people share seven rooms, which can be accessed from multiple entrances. The structure consists of a maze of connecting doorways and passages, and its uneven proportions are a legacy of its incremental growth. While not abnormally big for Dharavi, the house is larger than most others. There is no rule when it comes to the housing typology of Dharavi. Diversity is the only norm.