Project Description


Mumbai Reader’19 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 flooding in Mumbai, proliferation of TB 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. Kaali-peeli: Yeh hai Mumbai ki jaan Chhavi Sharma
  2. Self-redevelopment as a model for Mumbai’s housing crisis Aditi Nair,Rohit Lahoti
  3. Urban planning: Then and now (2045) Shirish B Patel
  4. The local as a policy space: From a counterpoint called Mumbai Amita Bhide
  5. Planning a disaster: Government meddled with mandate, made arbitrary changes to Development Plan D M Sukhtankar, Pankaj Joshi 
  6. Eastern waterfront revamp: New plan leaves just 74 hectares open space for Mumbai Tanushree Venkatraman
  7. Making buses accessible to all Sameera Khan
  8. Conservation of the built environment Shri V Ranganathan IAS (Retd.)
  9. Victorian Gothic and Art Deco Ensembles of Mumbai inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage site Sukanya Shantha
  10. An air of gloom Darryl D’Monte
  11. Closely packed buildings at Govandi slum rehab colony designed for death Nauzer Bharucha, Malathy Iyer
  12. Mumbai’s ‘designed for death’ buildings are incubating TB Sukanya Shantha
  13. Mumbai vs Debris Jane Borges, Laxman Singh
  14. In India’s largest city, a ban on plastic faces big obstacles Vaishnavi Chandrashekhar 
  15. Mumbai rains: Why the city is most vulnerable to urban flooding Gitanjali Chandrasekharan
  16. Mumbai rains: The nightmare of a dormitory town Bhavya Dore
  17. Wanted: An urban flood management plan for Mumbai Smruti Koppikar
  18. Farmer’s protests: Is Government committed to undo historical justice? Ulka Mahajan
  19. Read the distress signals Ajit Ranade
  20. Our very own Balirajas Shanta Gokhale
  21. They let nature take its own course Badri Chatterjee
  22. Mumbai, let your children play! An approach to understand play in Mumbai Martina Spies
  23. How older women experience the city Sameera Khan
  24. Treadmill Times Vidyadhar Date
  25. UDRI Section
  26. Interviews of youth: To mark the 25th anniversary of Mumbai riots Jyoti Punwani
  27. Behind Mumbai’s self declared ODF status: Overused, inadequate and crumbling toilets Purva Dewoolkar
  28. Triple Talaq Judgement and after Jyoti Punwani
  29. Dignity, but for whom? Alam Khan
  30. Right to Sexuality Section 377 Judgement
  31. Equality of opportunity for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes SC/ST Judgement