Overview of the city’s/neighborhoods general characteristics
Dharavi is situated on prime real estate in the heart of Mumbai, encompassing almost 293 hectares and housing between 700,000 and 1.2 million residents (Chatterji 2005, p. 198; Sharma 2000). From a distance, a view of Mumbai city exposes the very stark divide between the rich and abject poor; decrepit informal huts made of mud, brick, asbestos and garbage (Desai 1988, p. 71), set against a backdrop of modern million dollar skyscrapers (figure 1). Contrary to this depiction though, Dharavi also stands out for its lively and prosperous informal economy in small-scale industry, handicrafts and recycling (SPARC 2010); that employs over 80% of Dharavi’s residents and produces an annual turnover of over $500 million a year (BUDD 2009; The Economist 2005, p. 43). As a slum, Dharavi is therefore unique in the fact that it is characterized as both a residential and industrial area, a feature that has greatly influenced both the tolerance and encouragement of its existence (Sharma 2000) .
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...V 1988, ‘Dharavi, the Largest Slum in Asia’, Habitat International, vol. 12, no. 2, pp.67-74.
Sharma, K 2000, Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories from Asia’s Largest Slum, Penguin Books, Hawthorn.
Bapat, M & Agarwal, I 2003, ‘Our Needs, Our Priorities: Women and Men from the Slums in Mumbai and Prune Talk About Their Needs for Water and Sanitation”, Environment and Urbanization, vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 71-86.
Pacione, M 2006, ‘City Profile Mumbai’, Cities, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 229-238.
Patel, S 2010, ‘ Dharavi: Makeover or Takeover?’, Economic & Political Weekly, vol. 45, no. 24, pp. 47.
SPARC 2010, Reinterpreting, reimagining, redeveloping Dharavi, SPARC, Mumbai, India.
The Economist 2005, ‘Inside the slums’, The Economist, vol. 374, no. 8411, p. 29.
Nijman, J 2008, ‘Against the odds: Slum rehabilitation in neoliberal Mumbai’, Cities, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 73-85.
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