Journal article

Scalable community-led slum upgrading: The Indian Alliance and community toilet blocks in Pune and Mumbai

Richard Tomlinson

Habitat International | PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2015


It is projected that there will be two billion slum dwellers in 2030. 'Best practice', market-led strategies of slum upgrading are failing to stem the growth of slums. The Indian Alliance has formulated a community-led Federation Model of slum upgrading that has underlain the delivery at scale of community toilet blocks in Pune and Mumbai. Issues pertaining to sanitation are especially pernicious in the high density slums. This paper identifies the circumstances that have made delivery at scale possible with a view to determining whether the Federation Model is scalable in different cities and contexts. It was found that 'overlapping champions' comprising organized communities, NGOs and muni..

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Funding Acknowledgements

I am especially indebted to Sheela Patel and SPARC for hosting the research while I was in Mumbai, and for providing many contacts in and outside government. Sheela, Sunder Burra, Vinodkumar Rao, other SPARC staff and members of Mahila Milan who indulged my endless questions are gratefully acknowledged. Piyush Tiwari and Sheela Patel provided me with introductions to a remarkable group of persons in Delhi that included academics and persons in NGOs, government and development agencies. To mention some would be to slight others and to mention all would be impossible here. Suffice to say I was tremendously impressed by their command of the urban issues confronting India and grateful for the courtesy they displayed when, surely, some of the questions asked required patient answering. I would also like to than the Rockefeller Foundation for my residency at the Bellagio Center which, following on my stepping my way through toilet blocks and traversing crowded streets in Mumbai, offered the extreme contrast in tranquillity, beauty, birdsong and scholarly ambiance. In addition, this research was supported with sabbatical funding by the University of Melbourne. Finally, the comments of Colleen Butcher-Gollagh, Sheela Patel, Vinodkumar Rao and Mojgan Taheri-Tafti helped with my clarity of understanding and writing.