Thursday, May 14, 2009

homes vs. gardens

Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, the ten-year-old star of Slumdog Millionaire, lost his home today. It was torn down by authorities in Mumbai. The Guardian reports that city authorities said the land was needed for a garden.

An AP report suggested that the city was demolishing homes that would be at risk during the upcoming monsoon. Authorities told the AP that people who had lived there for 15 years would be relocated. But the wire service added, "such official promises of resettlement often amount to nothing. When slum-dwellers are given housing, it is often in poor-quality buildings on the outskirts of cities and far from jobs."


APM said...
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APM said...

Mr. Neuwirth,
I am leaving for Mumbai shortly to conduct a ten day exploratory visit for a documentary I, with public television, will be making. In this documentary, The larger questions we would like to ask are, what can the urban poor teach the middle-class west about sustainability in a future that may face shortages of the things that make such a comfortable lifestyle possible? How can we in the west take actions and make choices that enhance and not exacerbate the self-determination and lifestyles of the urban poor? Is happiness contingent of the trappings of consumerism? What makes the positive aspects of Dharavi a place that urban planners from around the world use as a model for studying sustainability for the urban poor? I recently read your book, Shadow Cities, and I was wondering if I could contact you directly to speak with you about your expiriences. Any feedback would be much appreciated.
You can reach me at

admin said...
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