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Geographical skills: Reading Ordnance Survey maps for urban areas

case study

Urban growth in Dharavi

Redevelopment for the future

GCSE candidates are expected to understa nd someof the opportunitiesand challenges for residents living in informal settlements. How can urban planning strategies, such as redevelopment, improve the lives of the urban poor? This article explores how Dharavi (Asia’s largest area of informal housing) might be affected by a new redevelopment plan.

Dharavi’s informal settlements set against the backdrop of new skyscrapers
© Ingram Publishing/Alamy Stock Photo

Since 2007, more than half the world’s population has been living in cities and this is expected to rise to 60% by 2030. This trend has been accelerated by rapid rural to urban migration and high rates of natural increase. Roughly one quarter of the world’s population lives in informal housing, sometimes known as squatter settlements. Due to rapid rates of urban growth in low-income countries (LICs) or developing countries, the number of people living in informal settlements is projected to increase even further.

One city affected by rapid urban growth is Mumbai, located on the west coast of India and the capital of Maharashtra state. Mumbai has experienced population growth from less than 16 million in 2002 to just over 21 million today. Mumbai is now one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

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Geographical skills: Reading Ordnance Survey maps for urban areas

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