Sejal Patel, CEPT University (Center for Environmental Planning and Technology), India
Friday 17th May 2013 - 1:00pm
Room 1.65, Glamorgan Building
Public lecture hosted by the Spatial Planning and City Environments Research Group.
Urban regeneration and development induced displacement and resettlement raises questions about distribution of the benefits of development.
It is well demonstrated, though mostly in case of rural and tribal displacements, that displaces endure substantial risks of social economic and cultural impoverishments, raising issues of social justice and equity. Nevertheless state hegemony rationalizes these concerns with its rhetoric of ‘greater good for larger numbers’ maintaining that rehabilitation of the displacees to prior levels of wellbeing can be achieved, thereby justifying avoidable ills.
Large scale displacements of poor households living in informal self built neighbourhoods is witnessed in most Indian cities. The displacements, caused by forced land acquisition for urban renewal and infrastructure projects, are incumbent to the process of globalization and neoliberal reforms of local governance in Indian cities.
This paper addresses the consequences of the nexus between urban renewal and infrastructure projects, new local governance arrangements and the processes of displacement and resettlement of poor households as it occurs in Ahmedabad, India. The findings indicate that various forms of economic, social and psychological impoverishmentã€€have emerged in the displaces in the current practices in Ahmedabad.
Contrary to the State rhetoric, the urban poor are excluded from the infrastructure and resettlement project processes leading to lack of understanding of their needs by the State. The issue of impoverishment due to displacement in Ahmedabad is characterized by limited attention in policy rhetoric and even less attention in practices. Displacement and resettlement therefore emerge as a major contributor to urban impoverishment and associated problems.