Project Description


Mumbai Reader’18 is available for reference and purchase at UDRI Resource Centre.


The difficulty in representing Mumbai is that such representations often fall into one of the several limitations of reading the city linearly. These limitations of linearity include making gross generalisations, or getting lost in seductive micro-narratives, or constructing incredible scenarios through meticulous empiricisms. While the generalisations strip the complexities of the city from the readings, the micro- narratives are often myopic. Similarly, the approaches of using empiricisms are driven by preconceived agendas for problem solving.

Individually, the generalisations, micro narrations and the empiricisms are unable to capture the complexity of Systems, Organisations, and Space in the city. This impossibility of conceptualising the city warrants the need to read the city in multiple ways that simultaneously include an almost palimpsest like reading of all the approaches. To talk about the city then, would be to talk simultaneously in multiple disparate ways, in multiple languages and with multiple perspectives. The Mumbai Reader is an attempt to undertake a representation of the city that enables innumerable readings through a simultaneous and non-linear compilation of multiple voices in the city. The contents include some of the most recent perspectives on culture, economy, geography and history of the city. While it records the routine mainstream labour history and planning discourse types of writings; it also overlaps these with some of the current debates on absurdities that the city is faced with the issues relating to bar-dancers, changing of street names etc. The perspectives include voices from the bureaucracy, civil society organisations, academics, industry, judiciary, media, professionals, artists and many others. The Reader does not claim to be a comprehensive or an exhaustive compilation of readings on the city. It is rather an attempt to provide a glimpse of the complex dynamics of the city of Mumbai. The process of making this compilation was initiated through a call for papers made to a varied set of individuals in order to ensure an array of perspectives that would present to a reader diverse possibility of perceiving the city.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.


  1. Compounding the Error Kiran Mehta
  2. Of Milestones, Urban Histories and Central Bombay Heritage Smruti Koppikar
  3. Coastal Ecology and Fishing Community in Mumbai Hemantkumar A Chouhan, D Parthasarathy and Sarmistha Pattanaik
  4. Mumbai: traffic bottlenecks refuse to go, no solution in sight Vishwas Waghmode
  5. A Case Study for Parking Ashok Datar
  6. How the BEST Bus Undertaking Has Been Driven into a Crisis Vidyadhar Date
  7. Neglected, Starved and Sold: the uncertain future of our public transport Hussain Indorewala
  8. Property is Expensive and Life is Cheap on Elphinstone Road Darryl D’monte
  9. The Missed Opportunity to Reimagine Mumbai Livemint
  10. Why Mumbai’s Rail Commute is (Only) a Sentimental Spectacle Kavitha Iyer
  11. The Elphinstone Stampede: why the story of Elphinstone is the story of Mumbai Kunal Purohit
  12. From Bullet Trail to Bullet Train Anand Teltumbde
  13. Mumbai Swamp, Comparing July 2005 to August 2017 Pankaj Joshi
  14. A State made Disaster: how Mumbai’s civic body let the rain swallow the city (yet again) Darryl D’monte
  15. Storm Water Drainage in Mumbai Subrata Bhattacharjee
  16. Satellite Photos Reveal How Mumbai Killed its Rivers and Mangrove Forests to Risk Epic Floods Devjyot Ghoshal
  17. A Problem We Can’t Flush Away A Problem We Can’t Throw Out of the Window Shubha Sharma
  18. Mumbai Dumps 2100 Million Litres of Human Waste in the Sea Daily Nauzer Bharucha
  19. New Development Plan: Throwing Baby with the Bathwater Vidyadhar Pathak
  20. We Don’t Have Enough Homes for Everyone, but Can Our Cities Still be Inclusive? Jaideep Gupte
  21. Colonising the Slum: changing trajectories of state–market violence in Mumbai Amita Bhide
  22. Reinventing Dharavi Romila Thapar
  23. Reinventing Dharavi Shirish Patel
  24. Slum Upgradation Policy: An Alternative Approach UDRI
  25. Work Conducted by UDRI in 2017 by the Mumbai Studio, Public Forum, Publications and Research UDRI Section
  26. Muslim Women and the Challenge of Religion in Contemporary Mumbai Qudsiya Contractor
  27. The Gist of GST Ajit Ranade
  28. #Notebandi Frontlines: Small Stores Struggle to Survive, but Many Support Modi Alison Saldanha
  29. Impact of Demonetization on Dharavi’s Informal Businesses Eashanpriya M S
  30. First Define ‘Privacy’ Shailesh Gandhi
  31. Tree at the Corner Shanta Gokhale
  32. Walk Like a Woman Sameera Khan
  33. Journeys Beyond the City Rahul Srivastava and Matias Echanove
  34. Right to Privacy Judgement
  35. Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority
  36. Haji Ali Judgement