Project Description



Hindi Mumbai Reader’06 is available for reference and purchase at UDRI Resource Centre.


The difficulty in representing Mumbai now is that there is always a feeling that such representations may 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 in the city.
Individually, the generalisations, micro narrations and the empiricisms are unable to capture the complexity of Systems, Organisations & Space in the city. This impossibility of a 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 dynamic 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.


  1. Vision Mumbai: Transforming Mumbai into a World Class City Bombay First- McKinsey Report
  2. Urban Transportation in Mumbai Bina C. Balakrishnan
  3. My City, Mumbai: The NGO Force Shirin Bharucha & Nayana Kathpalia
  4. Making Markets Work for the Poor Sundar Burra & Devika Mahadevan
  5. Heritage Legislation & Conservation-Excerpt Shyam Chainani
  6. Imagining the City: The Naming of Colonial Bombay’s City Divisions Preeti Chopra
  7. Travails of an Ordinary Citizen; A Tale from Mumbai Vidyadhar Date
  8. Chronicle Of Mill Murders Not Foretold Darryl D’Monte
  9. Agenda for Bombay Sharada Dwivedi
  10. Situation of Informal Settlements in Mumbai Andrea Hagn
  11. ‘Slums’ A Solution to the Housing Problem Pankaj Joshi
  12. Learning From Mumbai Rahul Mehrotra
  13. The Heart of the City Meena Menon,Neera Adarkar
  14. Housing Policies for Mumbai Shirish B. Patel
  15. Use of FSI in Development of Land and Housing Markets V K Phatak
  16. Barcode + Transcending the City Shilpa Phadke
  17. Re-visioning Mumbai – A Gendered View Shilpa Ranade,Sameera Khan,Shilpa Phadke
  18. Post-Industrial Transitions Vyjayanthi Rao
  19. Turning Scrap into Gold + Chronicle of a Riot Foretold Kalpana Sharma
  20. Stories of Entrepreneurship + Of Mangroves and Leopards Prasad Shetty
  21. Neighbourhood Project Rahul Srivastava
  22. A Study of the Eastern Waterfront of Mumbai Rahul Mehrotra, Anirudh Paul, Pankaj Joshi