Prince Charles's speech about Mumbai's Dharavi, the largest slum in the world (featured in the film Slumdog Millionaire) is making headlines for its tone of respectful admiration for the human and humane living conditions there.
I visited Dharavi with an NGO back in September, and I'm inclined to agree with Charles -- the poverty in Dharavi seems to be of a different character to the poverty elsewhere in Mumbai. Here you see poor children who nevertheless are shod, are playing, attending school, and not begging. Not to say that Dharavi is a paradise or even pleasant to live in -- the toxic fumes from the plastics recycling plants are reason enough to want to raise your children elsewhere -- but that, as compared to government schemes to cram poor people into tower-blocks, Dhravi has a lot going for it.
Dharavi, a Mumbai slum where 600,000 residents are crammed into 520 acres, contains the attributes for environmentally and socially sustainable settlements for the world's increasingly urban population, he said. The district's use of local materials, its walkable neighbourhoods, and mix of employment and housing add up to "an underlying intuitive grammar of design that is totally absent from the faceless slab blocks that are still being built around the world to 'warehouse' the poor".
As U.S. headlines bombard us with proof of how low humanity can go, here’s a look at a happy, peaceful, and prosperous country — The Netherlands — to remind us that it is actually possible for the human race to get it right. If people want to change present circumstances through liberal ideals, it’s helpful to look […]
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The Lightning port has thus far resisted the cruel fate that befell the headphone jack, and despite rumors that it may be disappearing come iPhone 8, for the present and foreseeable future, Lightning cables are a hot commodity for iPhone users. As such, we must make do in this strange time in which long, glorified […]
All the filters in the world won’t save your smartphone pics from a shaky hand. To really step up your mobile photography game, you’ll need some kind of mount to hold it steady. You could buy a smartphone attachment for a conventional camera tripod, but who wants to carry that kind of gear everywhere they […]
The forced transition from analog to digital TV signals was probably met with relative indifference from people with Netflix subscriptions and the “I don’t even own a TV” snoots. But anyone living in the vast swaths of the country that don’t have guaranteed high-speed internet, broadcast TV is a perfectly valid (and 100% free) way […]