This is a guest post by Hussain Indorewala and Shweta Wagh
Since the past six months in Mumbai, there has been an unusual convergence between urban activists, community groups, rights groups, unions, Non-Governmental Organizations and academics, who have come together to provide a theoretical critique of the city’s neoliberal development model, to formulate a more diverse and hopeful vision for the city than the one proclaimed by its power elite, and to present practical alternatives to plans and projects promulgated by faceless state bureaucracies and unaccountable private consultants.
On 22nd October 2013, more than 1500 people gathered at Azad Maidan to formally present “The People’s Vision Document for Mumbai’s Development Plan (2014-2034)” to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM). The People’s Vision Document (PVD) is a remarkable collective vision statement, an outcome of discussions focused around specific issues in the city with more than a hundred grassroots and community groups, along with activists, experts and academics who participated in them. With this movement, the less advantaged residents of the city have announced and forced themselves into an exclusionary and secretive Development Plan process; refusing to be silent spectators, in a striking example of initiative, organizational ability and creative agency, they have asserted their right to the city’s future, whose owners and managers have done much to keep them out. To use the language of other social urban movements around the world, some of the most marginalized groups of the city are fighting for spatial justice, urban democracy, and have claimed their ‘right to be equal in diversity.’ Continue reading People’s Participation in Planning Mumbai?: Hussain Indorewala and Shweta Wagh