ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Urban Development

Caste’s Quiet Role

The transformation of agricultural land in the periphery of Patna into the high-value settlement of Rajeev Nagar over 50 years is analysed to show how a coalition of the four privileged Hindu upper castes acts to leverage control over state and civic institutions in order to informally occupy and develop land and achieve its regularisation. Emerging from the Rajeev Nagar experience, we argue that the upper castes are advantaged in urbanisation processes through the refashioning of caste as networks, relations and knowledge. Caste and its social relations are crucial in shaping urban transformation in exclusive and selective ways.

Quid Pro Quo?

Drawing on the fieldwork conducted in Kolkata, the city’s changing property relations among middle classes are studied sociologically. Since the late 2000s, several pockets of wetlands have been converted into urban land suitable for real estate constructions, sometimes even in violation of the Ramsar Convention. Journalists have reported at length on how land mafias and low-level cartels or syndicates operate here, and how the developers and brokers are also political allies. However, sociological engagement with this dimension of real estate in India has been sparse, particularly in Kolkata. Therefore, this paper questions the relation between real estate developers and “local men;” a field that can extend to other South Asian cities experiencing speculative housing and massive urban development in recent years.

The Making of Slums

The rationality and discourse which legitimises state actions regarding slums are investigated, thereby uncovering how slums are discursively produced. The question-hour debates from 1953 until 2014 of the upper house of the Indian Parliament are analysed for this purpose, complemented by an examination of slum-related policies and legislations. The historical progression of the conceptualisation of slums, the rationale around it and how this rationality reigns in policy and legislation debates are outlined. The slums have transformed from political subjects to technical objects over a period of 61 years.

How Smart Are Indian Smart Cities?

This paper deals with the components of a “smart city” and the governmental actions required for their sustainability. It aims at analysing the perception of the people towards the smart city project and gauges their understanding of its components based on a purposive sampling method. It has been found that on all fronts of the smart city components, the general public were not satisfied with the facilities available and a majority of public representatives were not well versed with the concept of the smart city, therefore, widening the gap between the assurance of the provision of facilities and its actual implementation.

Managing Urban Floods

As cities and regions around the world are getting incorporated into the globalisation and urbanisation processes, they simultaneously exhibit characteristics that are more diverse and complex due to the relations of their local and regional bases. It holds for many Indian cities, which are restructuring themselves under the process of urbanisation, but with their unique regional–cultural aspects or dimensions.

Right to the City

This paper provides a historical analysis of the Street Vendors (Protection of Livelihood and Regulation of Street Vending) Act, 2014 and the subsequent amendment in 2016. It highlights the relationship between the struggles for the right to livelihood, urban spatial governance, and legislative intervention. The legislation fails to address the conditions created by urban and developmental planning, everyday forms of violence and harassment, and the gendered nature of public space entitlement. The paper foregrounds the voices of women street vendors in New Delhi. It critically examines the laws, policies, and activism and points to internal contradictions and limitations within each of these efforts to alleviate the condition and livelihood of street vendors.

Addressing the Exclusion of Nomadic and Denotified Tribes in Urban India

When urban development is carried out  from a human rights perspective and in the spirit of constitutional morality, it leads to social and economic development. Unfortunately, this is not so in the experience of highly deprived communities like the nomadic and denotified tribes, who contribute significantly in terms of intellectual and physical labour to this development but are kept away from not only its benefits, but from the city itself.

Dynamics of Caste and Landlessness

The effects of land acquisition processes and poor urban planning on Dalits and the marginalised landless population are analysed. How minor changes in laws and policymaking processes can change or prevent future policy issues by addressing landlessness-borne issues in consistency with sustainable development goals and social inclusion is examined. This study aims to understand the complexities and transitory socio-economic problems underlying urban development planning. It finds that poor and marginal landless village residents, who had little to no idea about the land acquired for a public purpose, undoubtedly faced the most unfavourable outcomes in the course of rural to urban development.