HAMARA SHEHAR MUMBAI

Hamara Shehar Mumbai

YUVA’s work on increasing the involvement of the urban poor in governance has much resonance with the discourse on people’s participation in urban planning. The process of revising Mumbai’s Development Plan (DP) was seen as one such opportunity to take forward the participatory methods that YUVA has evolved through years of community work.

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The Development Plan of Mumbai (2014-2034) is a blueprint of the city’s development plans. However, during the phase of formulation, it was kept out of the public debate and so it was not representative of a larger public imagination. In this context, multiple organisations came together to emphasise the need for a collective planning that would amount in an inclusive and participatory Development Plan. The campaign, that came to be known as the Hamara Shehar Mumbai Abhiyaan (Our City Mumbai Campaign), has demystified the so-called technical process of urban planning through grass root participation and the creation of a collective vision for a more inclusive and just Mumbai. Currently over 60 organisations are part of the campaign and YUVA is the campaign secretariat.

So far, Hamara Shehar Mumbai has managed to force the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to open up, albeit to a small degree, the DP revision process and invite wider public consultations. Thus, Mumbai set a precedent for inclusive and people centric planning by setting an example that can be followed by people’s collectives in other urban centers. The campaign has negotiated a crucial space for marginalized groups of the city to articulate their needs in the discussion on urban planning. Therefore, this intervention has allowed YUVA to re-imagine planning to be indivisible from participatory governance, and instead as a tool for equitable distribution of land and other urban resources.