Skyscrapers and Slums: What’s Driving Mumbai’s Housing Crisis?

Skyscrapers and Slums: What’s Driving Mumbai’s Housing Crisis?

♪ [music] ♪ – [Alex] Welcome to Mumbai! With a population
of 22 million people, it’s India’s largest city and one of the most
populous cities in the world. And it doesn’t have a lot of land
because it’s built on a peninsula. That also makes Mumbai one of the most densely
populated cities in the world. Unlike other cities
with a lot of people and not a lot of land — cities like Hong Kong,
Shanghai, and Manhattan — Mumbai is not a skyscraper city. Now there are tall buildings,
but the average height is low, and that’s surprising because the price of land
in Mumbai is high. And when the price of land is high, developers have an incentive
to economize on land. That’s why around the world,
the trend we see is the higher the price of land, the higher the heights
of buildings. So why aren’t there more
tall buildings in Mumbai? And what are the consequences? Those are the economic questions and the puzzles
we’ll be looking at today. To help us answer these questions,
I spoke with Reuben Abraham and Kshitij Batra
from the IDFC Institute — a think tank based in Mumbai
that works on issues of urban infrastructure
and governance. – [Kshitij] Mumbai and, in fact,
a lot of Indian cities have some of the most restrictive
land-use constraints in the world. The main tool in Bombay
that is used is the floor space index, which basically limits
how much you can build on top of the land that you own, and so it restricts the construction
to about 1.3 FSI in most of Bombay. – [Alex] Let’s pause here
for a second to talk FSI. Cities around the world
use a floor space index or ratio to regulate the maximum amount
of floor space that can be built on a given plot of land. For example,
a floor space index of 1 lets builders build
1 square meter of floor space for every square meter of plot. The builders get to decide
whether that means covering the entire plot
with say a one-story building, half the plot
with a two-story building or one-quarter of the plot with a four-story building,
and so on. So the higher the FSI,
the more space that can be built on the same plot of land. When we compare Mumbai’s FSI of 1.3
to other densely populated cities, the differences are striking. The FSI in Singapore
can be as high as 25. New York, Chicago, and Hong Kong
allow FSI’s up to 12 or 15. In fact, Mumbai
and other Indian cities — they have some of the most
restrictive FSI’s in the world. The higher allowable FSI
in cities like New York has enabled more offices
and apartments to be built on the same land. Instead of sprawling outwards,
Manhattan has grown up. In fact, by letting
buildings grow tall, Manhattan has increased its size by almost two
additional Manhattans — an amazing way of making more land
essentially out of thin air. – So the government
is artificially trying to restrict how much builders can construct
on the land that is available by using this tool. It’s very regressive
and it doesn’t make sense, and it actually drives up
the cost of housing, of commercial real estate,
and the cost of living in Bombay. The average
of floor space per person is about 48 square feet per person, and just as a comparison, the U.S. Federal Government
mandates that you have to have a minimum of 50 square feet
per person in prison cells. – Wow.
– And so people are living in more densely populated
conditions in Bombay then they are
in the prison system in the U.S. Now that this policy
has been in place for the last several decades, and the demand is high
and has only been increasing, you created basically
rent-seeking opportunities for the political system,
for the bureaucratic system, to extract rents —
no pun intended — for being able
to sell off additional FSI. [horns honking] – [Alex] So we have a lot of people,
not a lot of space. One thing you do see
is a lot of slums. It’s hard to ignore them
when you’re in Mumbai. How is this related to low FSI? – [Reuben] You have
the Island City with 1.3 FSI, and you’ve got
the suburbs with 1 FSI in probably the densest
urban conurbation in the world. So obviously you’re going to get
some pretty bad outcomes of consequence
which primarily consist of driving the poor out
of any kind of formal housing. So, in fact, if you go in there,
what you basically see is by and large,
especially in the Island City is mostly I would say
lower-middle-income people to middle-income people
who live in slums, and that’s because they’ve been
priced out of the housing market. – Because of the low FSI?
– That’s right. The government has now
clearly made housing one their key priorities, but that housing is nowhere near
the place of employment. So it actually makes it
extraordinarily cumbersome for people to commute to work where the slums
are actually where work is, as a consequence of which people would rather live in slums
rather then move into formal housing that the government
actually provided for you. – Right. So the government
sometimes builds housing which is so far away from work that people would prefer
to live in the slums. – Yes. I mean one way to solve
for their problem was to have much more effective
public transport. – Yeah. And in many parts
of the world, in order to take advantage
of public transportation, you build tall, near a metro station. – That’s right.
– Right? But that’s not happening so much? – Well, the conversation
is beginning to happen. So transit-oriented development
is actually part of the conversation. So if you look
at the Mumbai development plan that was tabled last year,
you will see that the FSI along transit corridors
is very high. If I remember right,
it’s closer to 8 near the transit corridor. So that conversation is beginning. But part of the problem is a lot of planners can’t seem
to tell the difference between density
of physical space and people — it’s something that people
don’t necessarily understand. Let’s assume for a second that we double the FSI
of Bombay from 1.3 to 2.6. Now the fears that people have that’s going to lead
to overwhelming density actually requires the population
of Bombay to also double. Now that is not going to happen. So, what you’re really going to see is you’re going to make
more space available per capita. People need to get over
this conflation problem between density of people,
density of space. Because right now when you say you can give high FSI
near transit corridors, what’s going on through
people’s mind is, “Oh my goodness. Things are so crowded here already. Things are going
to get ten times worse if I give increased FSI.” They need to understand the fact
that what you’re really providing is additional space,
not additional people. – Right. So building up,
you’re actually in a way creating more land. – The way — Mumbai…
– That’s right. You’re effectively reclaiming
from the sky. – [Narrator] You’re on your way
to mastering economics. Make sure this video sticks
by taking a few practice questions. Or, if you’re ready for more
development economics, click on the next video. Still here? Check out Marginal Revolution
University’s other popular videos. ♪ [music] ♪

100 thoughts on “Skyscrapers and Slums: What’s Driving Mumbai’s Housing Crisis?

  1. One more reason for the higher land cost in Mumbai is the long pending civil litigation with respect to properties resulting in fewer litigation free plots of land to build on. Being a Lawyer I see the long pending civil litigations in the courts every day. According to me almost 70-80% or may be more of the undeveloped plots of land in Mumbai are under some kind of litigation

  2. Is difficult to develop anything in India

  3. Increasing fsi means more erosion too

  4. Mumbaikars need to limit unskilled people coming in from other parts of india

  5. Dumb country

  6. 1:23 There was Master Yoda chilling on a bench!

  7. Y u want the population to double if fsi is 2.6. People will live comfortably with higher space

  8. This video was very Informative, Thank you.

  9. Can people stop placing the Statue of Liberty in the ny skyline

    It's actually shorts and to the side, not big and in the middle

    Source: I've lived in ny my whole life

  10. its probably an old video because the second interviewee says that FSI is 1.3 which has already been increased to 1.83 and then to further for a proposed 2.5 around 10 Jan, 2018

  11. omg.. somebody ''please'' ''please'' sweep the street.. the place is horrible..

  12. Retarded Indians

  13. Backward policies. Slums are never razed but skyscrapers are the problem! Also, CEOs and white collar wage slaves don't live close to work, why should these lower income people be close to work if they can't afford it?
    We should insist on excellent quality instead of artificially constricting supply.

  14. So increasing FSI leads to more people coming into Mumbai? Or else you just have sufficient space per person to live a normal life?
    These Indian idiotic MFS!

  15. when Delhi fell short in space its just add up lands from neighborhood.

  16. I dont think its nice to compare countries and cities..

  17. Pathetic country and pathetic people(I would say at least 70%); nowhere the country can be even called a developing country. And some fools try to compare India to China. (so funny)

  18. Taller buildings need more cement (more foundation) and steel. Which India as a relatively weak industrial country has always lacked.

    Also the environmental impact was totally ignored in this video. Let's see, all that mass on a small piece of reclaimed earth hmmm… May be not that simple.

  19. FSI should not increase.

    It will only benefit those who have already own the property in cream property area's.

    This will give a mega lottery ticket to big developers plus property prices will tumble in other areas leading to severe failure.

  20. What is the use of making tall buildings
    Poor people can't afford them

  21. Mumbai meri jaan !!

  22. Wouldn’t the density increase because of influx

  23. In terms of living life, Mumbai is a failed city. Although it is the financial capital and it has Bollywood, but it still has multitude of problems for the common man

  24. Mumbai is same as Chennai in Chennai we have huge population but very few people has capable to buy few things this make failure of sales of luxurious flat or ghost house, office space and commercial building, Luxury car, Luxury Bike, Luxury private flights and helicopter etc in Chennai only udhayanithi friends, Kalanithi workers, Karunanithi family members Binomi and outside elements of Karunanithi business alliance only do have Money those outside elements of Karunanithi, Udhayanidhi friends, Kalanithi workers do not buy none of Luxurious Properties, Luxury Bike, Luxury Car, Luxury lifestyle and Luxury flat etc result failure due to incapable and wrong mobilisation of Money result in Chennai, domestic Car Company, domestic Bike and Local Brand Boom because above listed do buy respective listed domestic product/service under Karunanithi family members businesses tie up or deal include foreign product under Karunanithi family Brand but Foreign Car, Foreign Bike, Foreign Corporate do failure if it not Brand by Karunanithi udhayanithi family it also include various Business Criminology crime and State Craft against Foreign Brand by Karunanithi family members network

  25. If FSI in mumbai is 1.3 ,then how is Antilla is built?

  26. Do we have more video concerning this FSI problem in Mumbai? I remember that higher FSI introduce ground water and waste water problem. We need deeper discussion to gain more complete insight.

  27. Overporuring of people from small villages and towns are reason for that.

  28. The whole india is a mess & ugly… There is always dust in road and smelly… And people every where is sticking with one another…. Stop reproducing Indian….

  29. Mumbai is a slum city with flies and misquote

  30. Singapore, Hongkong, Beijing, Shanghai look like village compare to Mumbai

  31. The other side of building skyscrapers is maintaining them. And believe me, when it comes to maintainanace of anything, we indians are worst. We have corruption in saftey board beurocrats, and many of buildings/apartments in suburbs are already waiting for redevelopment. In some cases, people have died as old buildings have collapsed. Demolition of older buildings/apartment is not a common practice in India unlike Manhattan, Hong Kong, etc.
    Before thinking of higher FSI in India, we must execute stringent saftey policies for people who would be living/working in such skyscrapers.

  32. But are skyscrapers really necessary to show the development of India. Mumbai has many skyscrapers but their density is low. It's a shame you didn't mention any scientific facts. First of all, the reason why Indian cities have less fsi is because of extreme climatic conditions. Mumbai has an average temperature of 30°C throughout year and pollution levels are high which means all skyscrapers here are consuming massive amount of energy for conditioning and filteration which is bad for a developing nations like ours. The reason why other cities which lie near the equator like Dubai and Singapore can make skyscrapers is because they are rich. Second, some parts of India have water shortage soo it will decrease ground water which is bad for an agriculture backed economy. Third, please don't take example of Mumbai only and then represent rest of Indian cities. Indian cities like Gurgaon, Noida have much taller skyscrapers than London and there are many to come as the nation is getting rich day by day due to Modis policies. Also some parts of India are earthquake prone soo…

  33. The problem with India is that the politicians mostly from oppressor castes are hands in hands with developers (most are from oppressor castes too). Indian capitalism just like anywhere else is fake. The very rich ( all are from oppressor castes) lobby to the government to keep real estate prices artificially high to earn more profits. Politicians are only interested in funds to be used for electioneering from these ultra-rich pledge in exchange of kickbacks such as not really opening up the market / increasing the FSI. Indian cities cant grow ethically unless the oppressor castes are disenfranchised because the oppressor castes are too few (15%) & fairly privileged.

  34. FSI is dumb, more regulations >:C why can you tell me not to build a 1km tall tower? on MY land.

  35. Too many corrupt UP people have come to Mumbai and destroyed all ethics.

  36. India needs birth control. Don't fall for Western brain wash, such as "Demographic Dividend".

  37. Good video, I learn new things 🙂

  38. I think it is wise to do so Since India itself is a large country. It doesn't need to construct the city like any other mega city in the world. I, myself, don't like tall building at all. But the problem need to solve for Indian is to increase the width of the road for the future prosperity.
    Love from China.

  39. Problem is in the Roads network.

  40. Problem with india is its over population india needs to do something.

  41. Designated Shitting Streets.

  42. Actually you can build higher buildings but to make it, specially in Urban areas you have to get the permission for making it higher.
    Anyway those processes are lengthy and stupid cause we're not living in place where earthquake happens so frequently.

  43. Good post

  44. Higher FSIs in cities with bad public transportation mean more traffic and traffic costs the economy money. In Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo that cost is estimated to be around 30 BILLION dollars per year.

  45. Other countries grows up, india grows down.

  46. Government is busy in building Shivani Statue in the sea and this is not an urgent issue for the government.

  47. Very bad India i hate my country

  48. Share this with all Mumbai people. Let them know the situation. May be then the govt will take action

  49. One word – biharis, man they are everywhere

  50. Under the present BJP government which is all talk and no action, the condition is going to get worse. The government uses Times now, Republic TV, Zee News to spread their fake news… but in reality, this govt is most corrupted govt in the history of Indian politics. They are taking India backwards rather than forwards.

  51. It's not "Mumbai," it is Bombay.

  52. Remember one thing
    India will always be poor, corrupt and filthy country
    Mark my words

  53. There should be investment and development in Mumbai. And all of India.

  54. If they increase the FSI how will the bureaucracy will earn bribe…they make these archaic rules so that a developer has to do illegal things to make a viable project and give them bribes….I can bet their own houses won't be built according to stipulated housing laws

  55. Fascinating video, as an architecture student I would love to see more development economics, project finance, and real estate content on this channel. Cheers!

  56. 1.3 fsi is not their because they think that more people will come to Mumbai to live but it is there to maintain the gap between the demand and supply and by that to keep it more profitable with less work and also to maintain the gap between rich and middle class.but what the backfire is that they have raise the price too high that it even out of reach to the higher middle class now the only hope is to convert their properties into the NPA in bulk so that load have to be beard by the the PSU banks and ultimately by the people of country.

  57. and the most ugliest and dirtiest,disgusted place on earth people are smelly and they didnt know how to take a bath slums every where.

  58. At least they have democracy, right?

  59. Son geniales sus vídeos 🙂

  60. What is the name of that poster with the organizational chart in the background?

  61. What would happen if FSI of Mumbai will increase to 12 or 15 like New York or Chicago, another Mumbai will appear vertically above the existing Mumbai. More space will be available for residential and commercial activities.
    After increasing FSI, the vehicle population will definitely increase, but does our existing roads cater that traffic which were generated by additional FSI? Though the share of public transport in Mumbai is high compared to other metro cities but still city roads are congested.
    We vertically creates new city but for commuting from one place to another place you have to come on roads. Today for 1.3 FSI, city roads are so congested that the average peak hour speed lies between 20 to 30 Kmph, after increasing FSI the situation will be worsen, hence to cater this situation we have to provide additional space for roads, do we have space for widening of city Roads?
    Maximum city roads are already occupied by on street vehicle parking. Increasing FSI might help in creating additional space for on street vehicles but still we need capacity augmentation of road infrastructure, this requires enormous amount of funding.
    Increasing FSI and creating additional space is not that simple as mentioned by Mr. Kshitij Batra and Mr. Reuben Abraham, you have to think every aspects of planning. Do we have such policy like Singapore for owning a new vehicle or controlling the growth of vehicle population?
    There are many constrains that are directly related to FSI.

  62. That tall weird looking building in right corner is most expensive home of Richest person in india & most expensive home in world.

  63. Stupid Indian government needs to get out of its own way. Remove trade barriers, remove red tapes, increase FSI to 10 or 20, remove rent control and get rid of subsidies…. #FreeMarketForTheWin

  64. you hurt indians

  65. delhi is larger with 25 million

  66. mumbai was just like shanghai 25years ago 。。。

  67. FSI is small because bombay can not handle too much population. Govt wants to limit it.

  68. Why does Mumbai have a lower FSI then Nagpur ? Also, the video should have presented the viewpoints of the Mumbai civic authorities.

  69. many people who live in slums have houses , they just put them on rent and prefer to live in slums . Since it becomes a good source of money for them .

  70. I am from Mumbai.

  71. dhaka city bangladesh more congested mega city than mumbai

  72. dhaka bangladesh more congisted and more density than mumbai india , mumbai density becose vary poor slums in the city of mumbai

  73. in dhaka per sq km 44,400 piopuls live and in mumbai per sq km 31,700 piopuls live

  74. Corruption

  75. This is starting to change, they got like >115 buildings under construction that are at least 200 meters in height. About 27 of them are 300 or more meters. There's likely to be a bunch more coming after these are completed. Especially if the projected population is 63 million by 2050…

  76. Actually, prices are not high..They are unaffordable now.

  77. I think regulators are bribed by landlords and in the end this hurts everybody, just because only a few people are shortsighted.

  78. Why make it illegal to build up? Yes, you lose skyviews and sunlight but that can be paid for in the form of a severance. Just have a tax that corresponds to the fsi such that people are paid for their loss of views AND people are allowed to build up as long as they can put that sky to economic use.

  79. People have more positive opinion about owning land than a flat in high rise apartment. Independent house and plots are more preferred for long term investments.

  80. Yeah ,, do critising ,,we will grow and grow and definitely reach at the top of the word ,,

  81. In my place we honor this city cause once our men used to sell pearls to all Mumbai Maharajah's…

  82. Fuck the corrupted people… India Should have FSI of above 60 due to the high population and less land size compared to other countries like China, USA, etc

  83. Because they don't know how to build skyscrapers.

  84. ડાધો ડાધો

  85. Mumbai is the image of slum…. government development its only trickery, people to make them happy. Its impossible to for development until now they have no toilet and overall sanitation… India is a shithole country….

  86. I think they beat the phillippines to the most slum city because the slum of the phillippines is slowy go out

  87. If this density continues to increase , someday Mumbai will become a black hole.😉

  88. Dirtiest place n most populated place in India.Ask me iam frm here.Please dont live in Mumbai horrible standard of living.

  89. As far as fsi goes the cities that u r cmparng mumbai to r cities wit good infrastructre.Mumbai has no infrstrctr.Mumbaikars throw dirt between their bldgs which they live in.There is a serious hygyiene problem in Mumbai.If the fsi is increased there will b a serious outbreak of diseases.Mumbai isvery very dirty.

  90. India should of implemented 1 child policy a decade ago like china

  91. Why is this not an issue during elections??? It would help the BJP housing plans! Save time, space money, enviroment and get tape! Profits and marges for builders go up!

  92. y this westerners show always slums in Mumbai

  93. Perfect example of how govt control screws up people

  94. India is still stuck in British raj.

  95. Land buying is not consumption. It's only people making profit on investment money. But building higher would actually require more consumption…more cement, steel, manpower etc.

    And lower FSI actually forces people to use public transportation more often. I don't see what's wrong with that.

  96. Good video but the Maximum fsi in mumbai is 3 not 1.3…1.3 is the fsi that you can build for free…for the additional 1.7 fsi you have to buy it from the government by paying them a fee

  97. Thank You !!!

  98. Wow! this was very educational. Thank you for your research and time in making this. As a local of Mumbai, I really appreciate this.

  99. Indian planner politician and official are mad lazy and careless and corrupt.. India need to over all development…. Only two three city is developing … Migration of human should be uniform and systematic….. Many Indian states are doing nothing….


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