Mumbai, the financial capital of the Indian sub-continent (producing 37% of India’s total earnings), home to Bollywood (the world’s largest film industry), a city of over 16 million inhabitants that is also home to the largest slum in Asia. “Why do people still live in Mumbai?” wonders the writer Suketu Mehta. “Every day your senses are assaulted… the exhaust fumes are so thick that the air boils like soup. Too many people touch you, in trains, in lifts, when you go home to sleep… At night the mosquitoes emerge from the malarial swamps, and the criminals from the underground, and you hear the deafening loudspeakers from the parties of the rich and the festivals of the poor.” The population of Mumbai is forecast to reach 33 million by 2025, with areas of poverty that will have become both medically and ecologically intolerable. But if on the one hand pollution, refuse, poverty, lack of infrastructure and urban planning are suffocating the city; on the other hand Mumbai looks towards New York and Singapore as its models: the government’s Vision Mumbai plan aims to turn the city into a metropolis of “global importance” by 2013. But how do the two cities - the pukka city of the rich and the kutcha city of the poor, the solid city of concrete and glass and the flimsy city of cardboard and plastic - co-exist?
Among those interviewed: architects Charles Correa and Hafeez Contractor, the billionaire building constructor Niranjan Hiranandani, the long-time leader of the slum dwellers Jockin Arputham, journalist and essayist Kalpana Sharma, Anurag Kashyap (director of Black Friday) and Pralhad Kakkar (director of Bumbay, a controversial documentary about the lack of lavatories in the city and how its inhabitants defecate), artists Sunil Gawde and Shilpa Gupta; and actors, producers, designers, gallery owners, and voluntary associations.
Prize "Bruno Zevi" per la diffusione della cultura architettonica - 2008