Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Geography (Arts and Sciences)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Jan Nijman

Second Committee Member

Mazen Labban

Third Committee Member

Louis Herns Marcelin


The study explores the implications of new forms of zoning in India. In particular, emerging development projects in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region serve as cases and instances of broader rezoning processes throughout the region. One is the Dharavi Redevelopment Project, a slum redevelopment project in central Mumbai on Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia; the other is the Mumbai Special Economic Zone, a private economic enclave spanning an area of 10,000 hectares (100 sq km) on agricultural land in the northern Raigad district of Maharashtra. Despite being unique and spatially-circumscribed projects, I argue that together they constitute a critical departure from historic urban regulatory norms and planning imperatives in Mumbai. The projects involve large-scale urban rezoning processes that are led by the privatization and deregulation of the land supply, the production of ?spatial surplus," and the transformation of social classes. This argument is derived from exploratory research in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region that involved open-ended interviews and analyses of urban and regional policies. Although these projects and processes are only emerging, the evidence suggests that these new forms of zoning will exacerbate spatial inequality and uneven development across the region.


Space; Neoliberalism; Urban Zoning; Capital; Mumbai