WE'RE LOOKING TO RAISE ANOTHER 2500. WE HAVE THE REST OF WHAT WE NEED THROUGH A MIX OF INDIEGOGO AND OFFLINE DONATIONS ! 22 HOURS TO GO !
FOR PEOPLE IN INDIA WHO WANT TO SUPPORT THE PROJECT AND WHO DO NOT HAVE A CREDIT CARD PLEASE CONTACT US DIRECTLY AND WE'LL TELL YOU HOW TO DO IT - HOMEGROWN@URBZ.NET
IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THE PROJECT, YOU CAN READ THESE ARTICLES WRITTEN BY TWO OF OUR CO-FOUNDERS, MATIAS AND RAHUL:
We are trying to do something new and exciting. We need your help to demonstrate a different way for cities to develop, based on local participation, starting in the city of Mumbai.
We are inspired by what already exists in “homegrown” neighbourhoods, many of which are unfairly called slums. We want to work together with the people who live in them, and feel there is much to learn from their extraordinary courage, vitality, pride, friendliness and passion.
In Mumbai, and many big cities of India, people living in growing, locally built neighborhoods get frequently evicted. They are either pushed outside of the city, or told that they will be entitled to a tiny flat in a high-rise building in exchange for most of the land they have developed, often over generations. Builders then speculate on its real estate value and make huge profits on the market.
Almost every time “rehab” mass housing replaces homegrown “slums”, they are cheaply built, poorly designed, non-adapted and expensive to maintain. Moreover, all the vibrancy of the neighbourhood and the community fabric gets wrecked. A lot of economic vitality is lost. Eventually it is a loss for them and for the whole city.
We want to develop a path where people can safely invest in the areas where they live. While doing so they will build better, more eco-friendly and equitable cities. Cities, where everyone can have a good quality of life in well-made homes, with sustainable infrastructure, and vibrant, buzzing neighbourhoods.
At present the slum redevelopment policy of the city, which flattens neighborhoods and replaces them by sub-standard high-rise housing blocks is a poor alternative. It is destructive and unsustainable. We believe there is a different and more meaningful way to build an inclusive and modern city.
In the pilot we will develop a piece of land in the neighbourhood of Bhandup (in the city's Northern suburbs). This is done by engaging residents, local builders and partnering architects, to co-design and build an improved house. This process will simply imitate and extend all that already happens in home and community improvement initiatives. This house will be sold to a family from the community at a cost equivalent to any other house of its size in the area. Besides this one house, what we are aiming at developing is an approach that combines local knowledge with the best of architectural practice. If successful this project will be repeated multiple times in Bhandup and other homegrown neighborhoods in the city.
What We Have Already
We've got a good momentum around this project. A construction material supplier has allowed to provide free concrete and one of Italy's upcoming architectural studios will be providing design inputs. Most importantly, we have strong ties with the neighborhood of Bhandup where we helped build a temple and have documented the work of small local builders for about two years.
What We Need & What You Get
We are setting our target for our campaign at €10,000.
We'd love to get you involved too !
This is the funding that will allow us to go from our pilot to getting this working deeper in the neighbourhood of Bhandup, as well as two other neighbourhoods in Mumbai.
This will help us develop the project further - with more houses in other neighborhoods.
The Homegrown Cities Project could represent a different future for Mumbai, and also for many other large cities around the world facing the same challenges.
Who we are
We're a group of 3 wildly inspired people who've got a great deal of experience with working in urban development, social entrepreneurship and having fun along the way. We're really excited about this project. And we're hoping that you'll join the 3 of us.
Matias and Rahul have been doing deep work in Mumbai for over 7 years, creating new ways of engaging communities and working on very cool projects touching different aspects of urban life. One of their many projects is a collaboratively designed and developed mosque in one of the poorest parts of the city. They have been working closely with construction artisans and residents in several ‘homegrown’ neighbourhoods including in Bhandup. Aaron's work has focused on the threads of community/urban life, a deep interest and passion. His last project was working on the Guggenheim urban lab. Before that, he was involved in starting a number of different organizations: he was inspired to start one of Canada's largest charities, to get people more easly involved in their communities, a charity which now raises over $80 million a year for projects across Canada and around the world.
We believe this project could be the beginning of something big, and we'd love to have you join us.
Other ways to help !
We'd love it if you would share this project with people you think could be excited by what we're doing. If you could take a moment and link to our facebook page or even to our crowd-funding page that would help a tonne. Thank you all !