From the heights of atrocities’ during the emergency to the post-liberal ‘projects’ of the world class city, nothing much has changed other than the cosmetic rhetoric as far as initiatives with the urban poor are concerned. The ‘IDEA of URBAN’ as conceptualised by the bourgeois urbanist is still what forms the core of urban initiatives.
Urban development has lead to a binary theorization of the cities, into the formal and the informal. Where the economically weaker section is seen as living in the ruptures of the legal systems and called the informal. The informal, understood as- of which is devoid of formality, thus most of the discussions pertaining to informal are portrayed against the formal. Informality thus becomes an anarchic appropriation of what could not be absorbed in the formal.
The general notion of shame towards non-formal settlements like Kathputli Colony, which essentially is a colonial legacy, is undermining the immense potential that this settlement has. Kathputli Colony is part of the cultural landscape of Delhi and can be accentuated so
Informal Settlements – Understanding + Interacting is an elective course (2013) for third year architecture students of Sushant School of Art and Architecture. Fifteen Students in three groups tried processes to interact and understand the informal settlements which steer away from the regular and formal analytical methods.
When we say slums, we are talking about a place which more than 93 million people call home. When India is having an upper hand in global economy through a demographic dividend, one in every eight child (0 to 6 years old) lives in a slum….. thus the situation is grave.