THE MUMBAI MEMORANDUM

THE MUMBAI MEMORANDUM
OF THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR HUMANE HABITAT

January 29, 2006

At the conclusion of the 8th International Conference on Humane Habitat, held at Rizvi College of Architecture in Bandra West, Mumbai, the final
Plenary adopted the following Mumbai Memorandum and wish to have it known that:

1. It is a source of great concern to the membership of IAHH

that, as illustrated by United Nations statistics, the world’s wealth since 1980s is being increasingly concentrated amongst a smaller percentage of the world’s population, while the ranks of the poor and the destitute continue to expand, with entirely inhuman consequences alluded to by indices such as infant mortality per 1,000 live births that are more expressive of a state of barbarism than of civilization. Thus, the preconditions for life are increasingly inhumane and even barbaric and civil society can’t remain silent in the matter.

2. Moreover, except for the wealthy and personally very mobile minority, the habitat available to the majority is increasingly poorly performing, and unsustainable to the point that disasters do occur and are likely to follow in an increasingly recurring pattern of devastation. Thus, our habitat, the very container for life, is increasingly poisonous to the life of the majority and is unsustainable.
3. These seemingly inexorable tendencies continue to be fuelled by rampant globalisation which is leading, in turn, to a universally homogenized model of habitat being inexorably imposed on previously richly diverse habitats reflective of quite varied cultures. Thus, our habitat which for centuries has reflected our respective cultures as repositories of our inheritance and belief is being eroded to the point of destruction.

We call on civil society and the authorities that represent it to take note of these very disturbing realities and we require that they respond with appropriate policies and plans of action that may engender some semblance of hope for the restoration and development of humane habitat in our respective quarters of the world.

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