Housing and Spatial Segregation: Snippets from Aurangabad 

By on June 8th 2022

Experiences of housing emanate, not just from aspects of affordability, economic activity and city planning, but also link back to how social, cultural and political events and processes have unfolded over time. This article is based on fieldwork done in Aurangabad and traces the historical evolution of housing and spatial segregation in the city.

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How the content of demands shapes government responsiveness: Excerpts from a Discussion

By on June 3rd 2022

This post features highlights from the 146th talk in the series of CPR-CSH Urban Workshops, where
Tanu Kumar, a postdoctoral researcher at William and Mary, talks about the nature of formal complaints lodged by citizens against bureaucrats, and how the content of these demands shape government responsiveness. The discussion delves into her research looking at theory and evidence from Mumbai, which distinguishes between complaints demanding the reallocation of resources between citizens and those that simply require some level of state capacity to address.

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Governing the Houseless in India during COVID-19 Lockdown: Excerpts from a discussion

By on May 28th 2022

This post features highlights from the 145th talk in the series of CPR-CSH Urban Workshops, where Paroj Banerjee, Ratoola Kundu, and Maggie Paul talk about their ongoing research in Mumbai, Kolkata, and Delhi on the struggles of the houseless communities during 2020 to 2021. The discussion and the study raises important policy and governance questions about houseless communities in the city, arguing that the predominant shelter-centric policy discourse fails to capture the agency, the lived realities, and fundamental contributions and specific vulnerabilities of those who have made a home in the city, but do not have a ‘house’ to live in.

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“A potential death sentence”: Impact Assessment of Evictions during the Pandemic in Delhi

By and on May 18th 2022

The making of the city of Delhi is characterised by perennial eviction at the legal and spatial peripheries of its urban landscape. Disturbingly, this character of regular eviction was not disturbed even during the time of the COVID–19  pandemic, when the world was facing a state of exception.

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Life in Baprola: Post Resettlement Stories of Inadequacy and Vulnerability

By on May 12th 2022

Close to 900 families live in the ordered stacks of four-storeyed flats in Baprola in west Delhi. After being evicted from their informal bastis within the city, they were herded and resettled into these low-rise flats, each with barely enough space to house the families of four to five members. Pushed far from their places of work, with peeling plastered walls and water shortages, the residents lament about their state of residence, their grievances unheard and unseen, all but forgotten in the peripheries of the city.

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Bulldozing Due Process: Motivated Demolitions of Informal Constructions in Delhi

By on May 4th 2022

Last week in the area of Jahangirpuri in Delhi, residents watched as bulldozers arrived early in the morning, and started hastily demolishing shops and homes. Videos of the bulldozers in the area surfaced online, showing a large crowd gathered, and residents imploring the authorities to spare their homes. One of many resettlement colonies formed in […]

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A Continuum of Living Conditions and Property Rights in Indian Slums

By and on February 23rd 2022

This piece summarizes several key takeaways about property rights and informal housing markets from in-depth interviews with key informants, including housing brokers, in 35 slums in Bengaluru. The authors identified at least eighteen different official papers that have been given out to slum dwellers by one or another official agency at different stages in the slum notification process, constituting a tenure continuum. They find that although the legal process for a slum to become notified and for residents to access various individual housing documents is straightforward, ground realities are more ambiguous, and residents as a result misperceive the legal value of their housing status.

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Re-gendering open spaces for leisure, one terrace at a time

By and on January 20th 2022

Adequate housing is not just houses, but ensuring safe, liveable and inclusive neighbourhoods for all. Art and culture are an integral part of this process. ‘Fursat ki Fizayen’, a socially engaged art project encouraging women’s participation in public space, offers insights into how young women from peri-urban areas exercise their ‘right to the city’ with a focus on spaces and stories of leisure. Based in Madanpur Khadar – an under-resourced, poorly serviced resettlement colony in Delhi with a predominantly working class population – the project is an example of how socially engaged art creates openings that commercial practice does not, and has the potential to reconfigure residential communities towards inclusion.

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Migrant worker housing needs action-oriented policies

By , and on January 13th 2022

Though shelter is a basic human need, migrant workers live in extremely precarious conditions. Covid-19 highlights the need for multiple efforts and action-oriented policies to increase the supply of affordable rental housing as well as develop social rental housing for this vulnerable and economically salient segment.

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A Churlish Policy

By on December 6th 2021

In October 2021, the Tamilnadu government released its first-ever draft “Resettlement and Rehabilitation Policy” for public comment.  While long-awaited, the policy is also premature. It is not anchored in a comprehensive housing and habitat policy that defines a framework for affordable housing, slum clearance, and land use in which the relocation of slum dwellers to remote peripheries is specified as a last-ditch option. Instead of leveraging Chennai and Tamilnadu’s rich history of implementing innovative and inclusionary models of slum rehabilitation and affordable housing, the policy implicitly clings to the tired and discredited model of mass peripheral resettlement and threatens to perpetuate it further.

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