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Community-led housing: partnerships of cooperative conflict in Mumbai and the role of the reflective practitioner

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Drawing on four years of case-based research in Mumbai, India, the talk will highlight the tensions and possibilities arising in the ongoing struggles over the co-production of a city’s development vision, especially if such vision is meant to be a socially just one. On the one hand, the city is rapidly changing since 2000 according to ‘Vision Mumbai’, an agenda promoted by specific groups amongst policy-makers and the private sector who aim to transform Mumbai into a world class urban agglomeration with a globally competitive financial hub. On the other hand, a civil society Alliance has been contesting this official vision, introducing an alternative appreciation of the city’s future, its governance and the role and rights to housing of urban poor communities therein. The talk will highlight the challenges and opportunities in the Alliance’s efforts to transform the living conditions of urban poor women and men and their relationships with the state and the private sector over a 20-year period; it will discuss a different approach to knowledge production and use; it shall emphasise the crucial importance of the process (as opposed to a merely results-oriented approach); and it will conclude with some thoughts on the position and role of the ‘reflective practitioner’.

About the speaker: A development planner with a background in development studies and urban development policy, she has a decade of experience working in international development and research, with a particular focus on Latin America, the Balkans and the Middle East. Has worked predominantly with civil society organisations and international agencies in the context of relief aid and post-conflict reconstruction, issues of gender and development, urban governance and synergies between community involvement and political leadership.

Full details at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/dpu/people/kyrou

This talk is part of the Engineers Without Borders- Cambridge: Talks series.

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