ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Governing the Urban Poor: Riverfront Development, Slum Resettlement and the Politics of Inclusion in Ahmedabad

The politics of inclusion in the Sabarmati Riverfront Development project, an urban mega-project in Ahmedabad, has been predicated on a "flexible governing" of the residents of the riverfront informal settlements. Such flexible governing has allowed state authorities to negotiate grass-roots opposition and mobilisation, modify the project to gentrify the riverfront further, and even officially represent the project as inclusive although questions of social justice have been profoundly disregarded over the past decade and continue to be insufficiently addressed. This paper examines the politics of slum resettlement and inclusion by analysing the project from planning in the late 1990s to the initial stages of official resettlement a decade later.

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Governing the Urban Poor: Riverfront Development, Slum Resettlement and the Politics of Inclusion in Ahmedabad

Renu Desai

The politics of inclusion in the Sabarmati Riverfront Development project, an urban mega-project in Ahmedabad, has been predicated on a “flexible governing” of the residents of the riverfront informal settlements. Such flexible governing has allowed state authorities to negotiate grass-roots opposition and mobilisation, modify the project to gentrify the riverfront further, and even officially represent the project as inclusive although questions of social justice have been profoundly disregarded over the past decade and continue to be insufficiently addressed. This paper examines the politics of slum resettlement and inclusion by analysing the project from planning in the late 1990s to the initial stages of official resettlement a decade later.

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