Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Prince Charles to build ¨shanty town¨

Dharavi slum. From mail on line
This is an excerpt from the article by Fay Schlesinger for Mail on line. Before anybody could feel surprised at Prince Charles´ declaration that the slum has order and harmony and it is self organizing, I have to explain that he refers to a non Euclidean order, fractal indeed, under the Chaos theory and Complex systems, that´s the ¨self organizing¨ principle. Those words are probably taken from Dr. Nikos Salingaros, who is an urbanist advisor of Prince Charles.
Prince Charles meets members of the Dharavi slum, 2003. From mail on line
The Prince of Wales is building an eco-friendly ‘utopia’ for 15,000 poor people in India, inspired by the shanty town in Slumdog Millionaire.
The development will include schools, shops and 3,000 homes in a tiny area the size of 14 football pitches, the Daily Mail can reveal.
His multi-million-pound venture plans to turn a 25-acre swathe of Indian wasteland on the outskirts of either Calcutta or Bangalore into a ‘mini oasis in the desert’.
It will be modelled on Poundbury, the Dorset model village that has been Prince Charles’s 30-year pet project.
Building on the Indian scheme – expected to be the first of a series of eco-developments on the subcontinent by his charity, the Prince’s Foundation for the Built ­Environment – is set to begin in the autumn.
The project comes after Charles praised Mumbai’s vast Dharavi slum, later to be featured in Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, despite it housing up to a million people in a place less than half the size of the prince’s Highgrove Estate in Gloucestershire.
He wrote: ‘When you enter what looks from the outside like an immense mound of plastic and rubbish, you immediately come upon an intricate network of streets with miniature shops, houses and workshops, each one made out of any material that comes to hand.’
Unlike the ‘fragmented, deconstructed housing estates’ built in the West, the slum has ‘order and harmony’ he claimed, adding: ‘We have a great deal to learn about how complex ­systems can self-organise to ­create a harmonious whole.’
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