Accepted Paper:

Engine urbanism: The contradictory spatiality of deindustrializing Mumbai  


Himanshu Burte (Tata Institute of Social Sciences)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores spatial consequences of a deindustrialization process in Mumbai since 1991 jointly driven by policy and market, for different social groups. From a Lefebvrian (1991) perspective, it uses the lenses of occupancy, rhythms and built form to develop a concept of 'engine urbanism'.

Paper long abstract:

Cities have begun to be seen as 'engines of economic growth' in India after the SAP in 1991. Deindustrialization of the city is an important prong of the new urban process in this moment. As a result, a new and contradictory space is being 'produced '(Lefebvre 1991) out of an old industrial city in Mumbai since the early 1990s. It is to be actively transformed into a global centre of financial and IT services (Mahadevia and Narayanan 2008). I explore spatial consequences of a deindustrialization process jointly driven by policy and (land) market, for various classes, using lenses of 'occupancy', 'rhythms' and 'built form' outlining a new 'engine urbanism'. The production of a new space in Mumbai involves the convergence of different initiatives by the state and land market. Since the 1960s Maharashtra state has incentivized industry to move out of Mumbai to backward regions. This process accelerated after a landmark (but unsuccessful) labor strike in 1980s, and the state government's support in the 1990s that allowed millowners to redevelop mill lands into residential and commercial complexes, completely transforming the urban geography of livelihoods permanently. Since 1991 landuse planning has also has spurred a real estate boom. The transformations of the spatial pattern of housing, placemaking, livelihoods (of various classes) have interesting local as well as regional geographies (at street, neighbourhood and metropolitan scale), and demand closer attention for their implications of a new emerging, policy assisted, urbanism in Mumbai.

Panel K03
Deindustrialisation in the Global South: inequality, work and urban transformation (Paper)