This presentation will illustrate how urban India has moved from a state of ‘policy vacuum’ to ‘policy swell’ in the last two decades and what it means for our understanding of the country’s approach to urban planning and development. The central government, for instance, has sponsored many planning policies and follow-up development programs ranging from the National Urban Housing and Habitat Policy to the ongoing Smart Cities Mission, Clean India, HRIDAY, AMRUT, and the recently concluded Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission. It has even succeeded in replacing the colonial Land Acquisition Act of 1894 with a brand new The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act of 2013. Adopting Amartya Sen’s framework of 3 R’s – Reach, Range and Reason (Sen, 2005), this presentation will focus upon Government of India’s two flagship policy programs – JNNURM and the Smart Cities Mission – in order to sketch out a broad outline of these ongoing changes.
Prof. Ashok Kumar is a professor of physical planning at India’s leading School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. His research interests include the Politics of inclusive city planning, collaborative planning, spatial justice, and planning education. Prof. Kumar earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Civic Design, University of Liverpool, U.K in 1992. Prof. Kumar has published extensively in academic journals, written / edited 8 books, and contributed more than 15 book chapters. Since 2002, he has served as the editor of the Journal of the Institute of Town Planners, India. His current project involves a co-authored manuscript on “City Planning in India: 1947-2017,” under contract with Routledge, to be published early 2018.
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