In the second installment of our two-part postcard series, we expand on our response to the questions posed to CRIT by the Audi Urban Future Award 2012: What will the future of Mumbai look like in 2030? What will your role be in this future? What is your vision? The postcards presented here and in our previous blog post attempt to answer these questions.
On Mumbai. In the past two decades, Mumbai has seen some of the most innovative policies, institutional arrangements, and projects planned to produce efficient and equitable urban systems for an intelligible future. Large-scale infrastructure projects, cross-subsidization of housing, geographical and demographic information systems, and new urban (re)development policies are being put in place. But Mumbai, like any city, is a composite body, where spaces, identities, and forms constantly blur. Here, no form of policy, governance structure, or infrastructure can provide a platform for different groups to pursue their aspirations equally. Rather, they unsettle the city; create new ruffles, new possibilities, new actors, and new relationships. But the act of blurring creates interstices with high transactional capacities. It forms the logic through which the city opens for many to use and create their many futures.
On tools. The response to such an urban future is not to articulate a single idea of the future, but rather formulate tools that can be used and modified by different urban actors to negotiate with the emerging contradictions and alter their urban surroundings. These include tools to blur the social and physical edges to allow for higher transactions, tools to help create and harness new economic opportunities, tools to engage with the environmental crises, and tools to make the city livable for the elderly. The future city then becomes a site open for different actors to use, claim, and appropriate in order to pursue their desires and mobilize their own futures—a city open for multiple futures. Mobility is about navigating different ecosystems of the city to make one’s own future.