Slum dwellers to become "uptown girls"

Glass will feature heavily as one of the worlds top architectural firms designs a project to transform one of the worlds worst slums, providing new homes for 125,000 people.

Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM), responsible for the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Centre site and an ambitious new project to build what will be the worlds tallest building, the Burj Dubai, will redesign 124 acres of Bombay shantytown, with the slums inhabitants being the main beneficiaries.

The £500 million project will follow the glazed trends of Canary Wharf and downtown Manhattan and will see the district of Santa Cruz transformed into Bombays own glass and concrete jungle.

But it will mimic some parts of the old shanty towns, such as communal areas and wide corridors where children can play, according to Mark Igou of SOM.

"The slums may not be sanitary but a lot about them works," he said.

"Were talking about third-generation slum dwellers here; were trying to recreate a similar sense of community, everybody will still be within shouting distance."

The move will look to redress the balance between the island citys rich and poor.

Some of the worlds most expensive property can be found in the city due to the lack of supply.