The paper uses a boundaries lens to investigate the role of finance and networks of credit in autoconstruction, with a focus on the work of market actors in navigating market–citizen and market–state boundaries, foregrounded against the relatively well-studied politics of state–citizen relations, in Delhi’s unathorised colonies
By Gautam Bhan on May 20th 2020
This paper is a response to and a commentary on Vanessa Watson’s paper on “African urban fantasies” in this issue of the Journal, which analyzes new urban master plans developed by international architectural firms and property development companies for many cities in sub-Saharan Africa. Taking Watson’s argument as an opportunity to think about current urban fantasies in Indian cities, this response offers three reflections.
By Karen Coelho on May 15th 2020
What kinds of subjects-in-the-making are the urban poor? The authors in this issue of the Review of Urban Affairs offer neither conclusive arguments nor radically new paradigms. They, however, nudge us to rethink poverty, not as an objective condition that can be addressed through policymaking at a distance or by targeted development schemes, but as […]
By Mukta Naik on April 26th 2020
A significant proportion of the working poor in Asian cities live in slums as renters. An estimated 60–90 per cent of low-income rentals in Asia are in the informal sector; 25 per cent of India’s housing stock comprises informal rentals. Yet informal rentals remain an understudied area.
This paper analyses the weight of overlapping burdens of precarity on the urban poor through the story of the demolition of an informal settlement and homeless shelter in Delhi.
In this paper, the authors bring a challenging perspective to slum studies in Delhi, India, by contrasting
the attempts at ‘slum-free city planning’ (referring to housing programmes for the urban poor) with the ‘durability’ of certain slum settlements. They examine national and local factors that temper the impact of macro-forces of neoliberalism and globalisation on slum clearance in Delhi, including institutional fragmentation, political networks, and social mobilisation. Based on two settlements selected by the Delhi Development Authority to implement its strategy of slum redevelopment under public-private partnership, we show how space-specific configurations and the interplay of actors may contribute instead to the entrenchment of slums. At the settlement level however, ‘durable’ does not mean permanent. Yet, at the city level, slum rehabilitation in partnership with private developers presents serious limits, questioning the emphasis put on this strategy to provide sustainable housing for the urban poor.