RESEARCH FELLOWS 2009 CYCLE 1


Name of Fellow:
Jaideep Gupte

Academic Qualifications:
B.A. (Economics), M.Phil (Development),

Title of research topic:
Slums, extralegal spaces and informal justice provision in South Central Mumbai

Brief Summary of research proposal:
In Mumbai, urban growth has been extreme and lop-sided. From 1961 to 1981 the squatter population in Mumbai grew tenfold from 4 lakh to 4 million. Currently, close to 56% of the city's population live in slum like conditions. Over the years, there have been several government as well as non-governmental efforts to redevelop or relocate slum dwellers. As with other cities around the world, Mumbai too faces the security concerns of highly concentrated and rapidly expanding urban centres. An important set of questions arise: should security provision be an explicit part of slum relocation and redevelopment schemes? And if so, how and to what extent?
Furthermore, answering these question will also require a rethinking of how one defines 'slum' and 'security'. Through the UDRI Research Fellowship, I propose to look at these questions with a particular focus on schemes which relocate slum populations.

Name of Fellow:
Vinit Nikumbh

Academic Qualifications:
B.Arch

Title of research topic:
What Happened to My Street Life?

Brief Summary of research proposal:
Taking as its basis the idea that increased pedestrianization is a critical method to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability, the study aims at exploring the problems of pedestrians in Mumbai through urban design interventions. Focusing on some typical nodal points in the city where pedestrians face difficulty (such as railway station precincts/ hawking and informal market settings/ religious or tourist spots), the study will analyze the problems and propose alternatives to make the experience of negotiating streets pleasant for pedestrians. Typical guidelines for changes and improvisation will also be evolved from the study.

Name of Fellow:
Ranjit Kandalgaonkar

Academic Qualifications:
Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering

Title of research topic:
Urban Geographies: Mapping Inner City Precincts - A study of Trust Buildings

Brief Summary of research proposal:
The project will attempt to look at the different peculiar characteristics of Trust buildings and its complex systems that allows for accommodating varied people, activities and typologies and providing many with access to opportunities, residence and a means of livelihood in this city. The project will also attempt to map the spatial structure that has emerged and represent it so as to be able to talk of all the softer data, which though important never finds a place in our hardbound reports. The main intent of the research is to speak about the nature of the place more through the objects and built form that frame it along with representing the activity that inhabits it.
Documentation-style paintings/drawings/images of this site will serve as a mapping tool for situations encountered in the study which might be difficult to negotiate. These images will be used as a visual aid for the solid documentation of the area which might help in highlighting these narratives.