The production and reproduction of Mumbai is emblematic of a magnificent and paradoxical post-colonial Asian megacity. The complex history has resulted in an urban landscape that is fascinating and frightening, rich and wretched, beautiful and revolting. The ordering logics of its seemingly chaotic urbanism are, at first sight, difficult to understand.

However, reading the city and a larger context through both the literal and the metaphorical notion of reclamation sheds light on its inherent structure. Within a compressed timeline of events, the processes of colonization, modernization and globalization have radically transformed Mumbai.

In this book, reclamation – in the sense of land creation, recovery, repossession, renovation and recuperation – has been (and remains) the driver of states of change. It also gives us an insight of possible developments, and shows that any hope for the future of the megacity lies in the reclamation of both ecology and civility. In this respect, Mumbai is an example we all should look at, and learn from.

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Kelly Shannon, Janina Gosseye (eds.) Reclaiming (the urbanism of) Mumbai (Amsterdam: SUN Academia, 2009).