IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

A Study Of Space In Mumbai'S Slums




The urban slum in the less developed world has an overwhelming significance of place for its dwellers: it determines who they are, what they do, where they go, and whom they know. Unlike most Western cities where the different realms of life (residential, work, religious, public, etc.) are spatially segregated, here they are all functionally and spatially integrated. A close examination of slum spaces in Dharavi, Mumbai, reveals such overlapping spatial patterns and raises some fundamental questions. Is there a proper definition of the slum? How should we conceive of the slum community and its spatial features? How useful or problematic are Western concepts of residential segregation, ghettos and enclaves? It is argued that the historical persistence of urban slums points to their indispensability, with the tacit (if inconsistent) approval of the state. Slums not only provide shelter to a large urban labour force but also a milieu that is conducive to intense social organisation and economic production. Copyright (c) 2009 by the Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Nijman, 2010. "A Study Of Space In Mumbai'S Slums," Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Royal Dutch Geographical Society KNAG, vol. 101(1), pages 4-17, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:tvecsg:v:101:y:2010:i:1:p:4-17

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Colin McFarlane, 2008. "Sanitation in Mumbai's Informal Settlements: State, ‘Slum’, and Infrastructure," Environment and Planning A, , vol. 40(1), pages 88-107, January.
    2. Colin McFarlane, 2008. "Sanitation in Mumbai’s informal settlements: state, ‘slum’, and infrastructure," Environment and Planning A, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 40(1), pages 88-107, January.
    3. Alan Gilbert, 2007. "The Return of the Slum: Does Language Matter?," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(4), pages 697-713, December.
    4. Jan Nijman, 2006. "Mumbai's Mysterious Middle Class," International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(4), pages 758-775, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Jan Nijman, 2011. "Mumbai as a Global City: A Theoretical Essay," Chapters,in: International Handbook of Globalization and World Cities, chapter 41 Edward Elgar Publishing.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:tvecsg:v:101:y:2010:i:1:p:4-17. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.