Making cities slum free – A Dream

Another excellent piece from the Terra Urban blog about what it would take to make Indian cities actually “slum free”.

Terra Urban टेरा अर्बन

By Swathi Subramaniam, PRIA

A story of every city big or small…. Dreams are seen in urban cities. This dream brings people from all places to cities. Slums provide them an inexpensive shelter and are found in every city. They constitute close to half of the city’s population and this population is only to grow tremendously. While imagining a slum free city RAY guidelines opened new hopes at the policy level. But it cannot be achieved with only policy in mind. It needs lot of inclusive and interactive support of all stakeholders as well.

A city cannot become slum free unless the issues of the urban poor are connected with other issues of the city. Making India slum free is the biggest challenge which can only be achieved by ‘Breaking the rules’. Just like how a Primary Municipality school is considered a school of urban poor which lacks basic education quality…

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Inclusive Cities for Informal Workers

The post Inclusive Cities for Informal Workers challenges the inclusiveness of urban renewal schemes in the Global South as being exclusionary. I recently got hold of a new article by Ananya Roy called “Slum-free cities of the Asian century: Postcolonial government and the project of inclusive growth”.  Both that paper and this blog post, make a similar argument for the need to look at citymaking in the Asian Century as a “as a citationary structure which enables distinctive teleologies of development and projects of postcolonial power. More on this soon.
 

The World’s Largest Community of Street Performers Is About to Be Torn Apart

I am unable to be in Delhi at this time. But while I am here, Kathputli colony and its people are fighting the authorities to save there settlement from demolition. Here is coverage about the recent developments from the Time magazine blog.

TIME

The roads that lead to it are unpaved, dirty and narrow. The houses are rudimentary and sparse. The meandering alleys, slippery and narrow, are almost a hazard to navigate with an overbearing smell of sewage and wood smoke.

And yet this is where the magic happens.

Located in the western part of India’s capital, New Delhi, this slum is known as the Kathputli (or puppeteers’) Colony — though it isn’t just puppeteers who live here. With its origins in a simple encampment for roving and mostly Rajasthani performers, this 50-year-old community today comprises some 3,500 families. They are magicians, snake charmers, acrobats, singers, dancers, actors, traditional healers and musicians as well as puppeteers, and make up what it probably the largest congregation of street performers in the world. Musical instruments — for sale or repair — line the alleys, and a simple chat can turn into a magic show. Days…

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(Un)knowing Poverty

In this post of the Relational Poverty Network blog, Nick talks about how the first step to (un)knowing poverty is to become aware of poverty around you. But, at the same time not to make assumptions about what it means. I will post more about this soon, but Nick’s post is worth a read. The task of (un)knowing poverty is a difficult one, for conversations about poverty are everyone and therefore, we all assume what it means.

SOME MYTHS AND REALITIES ABOUT SLUM UPGRADING

Terra Urban टेरा अर्बन

MYTH

REALITY

The poor are better off in rural areas than in slums, so their migration to urban areas can and should be stopped. Rural to urban migration is a natural, inevitable and irreversible process. Many governments have tried to slow it down, divert it or stop it – all have failed. The rural poor move to urban areas primarily to improve their economic and social opportunities. With good policies, urban growth is essential to reducing rural poverty.
Slums should be demolished to stop their formation. Slum demolitions fail. Governments that use mass, forced evictions and demolition only made matters worse and, in every case, do not stop new slums from forming
Relocating slum residents to housing projects on the outskirts of the city solves the slum “problem.” Resettling slum residents far from their original homes, even if they are to apartment blocks, is not usually viable. The economic and social…

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