Planning the heterogeneous city: an analysis of the controversies on Mumbai’s Development Plan 2014 – 2034 in the making

The currently on-going revision of Mumbai’s development (MDP) plan is accompanied by heated controversies over a common urban future. After publication of the draft for public consultation in February 2015 an unprecedented public outcry and strong criticism by both, experts and civil society led to its temporary withdrawal. Meanwhile the first draft was revised and replaced by a second in summer 2016. Although exceptional in scope and consequence the events around the making of Mumbai’s development plan are highly representative of the tensions and conflicts pervading the development and regulation of contemporary cities in South and North. The study of controversies induced by the MDP is a unique opportunity to develop a refined understanding of the increasing heterogeneity of contemporary urban development and the challenges that it raises for urban planning. Building on the large amount of diverse data produced during the controversies and interviews with various stakeholders, I propose an analysis of the controversies based on French pragmatist sociology as developed in On Justification (Boltanski and Thévenot 2006). Using the analytical framework of different Orders of Worths, the approach allows to symmetrically account for competing visions over the future of the city and the different paths to urbanisation. Instead of searching for the hidden (capitalist) agenda and going behind a mere description of various “assemblages”, I attempt to understand how each conception of urban development pervades both, tools of urban transformation and thinking patterns of private and public actors.

Presented at:
Geography Department Seminars, UCL Human Geography, London UK, 1-11-2016

 Record created 2017-01-23, last modified 2018-03-17

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