New Cities Summit in São Paulo: The Human City (Part 1)

Influential policy makers, academics, innovators, entrepreneurs, and social and urban development practitioners are currently gathered in São Paulo for a two-day summit organized by the New Cities Foundation. The event focuses on the current challenges that cities face becoming more just and inclusive. Opening remarks by São Paulo's mayor, Fernando Haddad, were followed by a discussion panel, "What is the Human City?", moderated by Andrew Tuck, editor at Monocle. Read more.

Dharavi: a settlement, not a slum

The picture unfortunately painted in most of our minds of Dharavi, which covers some 175 hectares in the heart of Mumbai, is that of an overcrowded, densely packed, filthy slum. The more time I spend in Dharavi, however, the more I realize what a misnomer it is to label Dharavi as a slum. Don't get me wrong: there is a significant lack of proper sanitation, ventilation, and light in Dharavi, and during the monsoon, the residents have to deal with flash floods entering their homes and are restricted in their activities. However, there's more to the story. Learn more.

Is Dharavi a symbol of Mumbai's failures?

While some Bombayites have adopted the Bandra-Worli Sea Link as a symbol of everything they believe is right with the city, I must confess that I'm quite astonished by how many others seem to believe that Dharavi is a shining example of the city's potential. New urban studies jargon now refers to Dharavi as "an informal city" that has been created by the boundless enterprise of its residents. In fact, when Barack Obama visited Bombay in 2011, he made it a point to praise the people living in the "winding alleys of Dharavi" for their optimism and determination. Learn more.