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City bypassed: the casualties of Mumbai's urban renewal

Watch: A short film exploring Mumbai's urban renewal as seen from Byculla, a multicultural inner-city neighbourhood symbolically and physically bypassed by road infastructure projects in Mumbai's race for global city status (13 mins).

City Bypassed: The casualties of Mumbai's urban renewal from Ayona Datta on Vimeo.

Mumbai's road to global city status has been marked by the construction of flyovers and road infrastructure projects. Apart from increasing the speed with which the city's new arrivals travel from its domestic/international airport straight to the business district, these infrastructure projects also enable Mumbai as an aspiring global city to make its marginal spaces and citizens invisible to these new arrivals in the city. City bypassed presents the story of Mumbai’s urban renewal as seen from Byculla, a multicultural inner-city neighbourhood symbolically and physically bypassed by road infrastructure projects along Mumbai’s journey to global city status.

Set in Byculla, South Mumbai, City Bypassed tells the complex story of the ironies of Mumbai's urban renewal and the casualties along this journey. Byculla has the the largest Muslim population in Mumbai and rose to notoriety as the site of communal violence between Hindus and Muslims in 1992. Still coping with the stigma of communalism and violence, Byculla however has seen high urban renewal because of its proximity to the central business district. Yet this renewal comes at the cost of ghettoisation and increasing marginalisation of women and urban poor. City Bypassed explores the ways that Mumbai’s minorities, women and poor continue to enter the public realm, claim citizenship rights and negotiate the larger forces of change dividing and shaping the city along class and religious lines.

 


About the author

Ayona Datta is Associate Professor in Citizenship and Belonging at the University of Leeds. Her research interests are in the social and cultural processes shaping notions of gender, identity and urban citizenship. Twitter: @ayonadatta


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