The European Journal of Development Research

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 236–251 | Cite as

Digesting Urban Space: Dietary Wellbeing in Mumbai Slums

  • Briana Gilmore
  • Nicky Pouw
Original Article

Abstract

Policymakers and industrial developers in Mumbai face the mounting social and spatial needs of a constantly increasing urban population. Slum dwellers account for up to half of the city’s inhabitants, and are the socioeconomic group most vulnerable to deficient and exclusive governance practices. This article explores the social and psychological determinants of ‘dietary wellbeing’ from the viewpoint of cultural ideology and temporality intersecting and a relational perspective on the (re)production of urban space. Urban policy directives and a deficient Public Distribution System negatively impact the ability of slum dwellers to access quality food and avoid dietary illness, thus reinforcing shifting cultural norms within dietary preferences and notions of success. The prevailing urban ideal established by Mumbai governance authorities contradicts the real modes of spatial and temporal legitimacy inherent to slum spaces and populations, whose dietary wellbeing is at stake.

Keywords

dietary wellbeing urban slums food quality urban space Mumbai 

Abstract

Les décideurs politiques et les développeurs industriels de Mumbai doivent faire face aux besoins sociaux et spatiaux grandissants d’une population urbaine en croissance constante. La moitié des habitants de la ville réside dans des bidonvilles et est constituée des groupes socio-économiques les plus vulnérables aux pratiques gouvernementales défaillantes et exclusives. Cet article explore les déterminants sociaux et psychologiques du ‘bien-être alimentaire’, en adoptant un point de vue entre idéologie culturelle et temporalité, ainsi qu’une perspective relationnelle sur la (re)production de l’espace urbain. Les politiques urbaines ainsi qu’un système public de distribution défaillant ont un impact sur la capacité des habitants de bidonvilles à accéder à de la nourriture de qualité et à éviter les maladies liées à l’alimentation; cela renforce les normes culturelles associées aux préférences alimentaires et aux notions de succès. L’idéal urbain existant établi par les autorités de Mumbai contredit la légitimité spatiale et temporelle propre aux espaces et aux populations des bidonvilles, dont le bien-être alimentaire est en jeu.

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Copyright information

© European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Briana Gilmore
    • 1
  • Nicky Pouw
    • 1
  1. 1.International Development Studies, University of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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