As American Poor Are Pushed Out To Suburbs, Mumbai Commits To Affordable City Core

Horizon photo by aphotoshooter is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Two fifths of Mumbai's population lives in slums such as these.

The flight of poverty in American cities has been towards the suburbs. Downtown affordable housing has evaporated in the face in urban renewal and gentrification. This has largely been an unintended consequence, as well as an unfortunate one, as the poor are pushed away from both jobs and support services. Try: Suburbia: Unaffordable Downtown Housing Eats at the Heart of the American Dream

California has recently failed to actually plan an affordable suburban future. Its bill to concentrate higher density affordable housing around transportation hubs failed at first reading. It did not impress an unlikely coalition of neighbourhood conservationists (a.k.a. NIMBYites) and progressives dubious about gentrification of downtown cores. Some progressives were also unimpressed with the idea of allowing higher density zoning along transport routes when there were no actual guarantees that affordable housing would be included in the development mix. Try: Major California Housing Bill Dies In First Committee Hearing

Mumbai, India, with a population four and a half times that of Los Angeles, is looking towards the downtown core to build affordable housing rather than towards suburbs many kilometres away. It’s part of newly-released twenty year urban renewal plan.

Needless to say, the plan has its own dubious critics. For such a dense, populous city, how is it possible to create affordability inwards towards the city core, rather than outwards towards the suburbs? Read more in the Hindu Business Line: Developing Maximum City


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