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Title: Editorial introduction: urban management in developing economics: challenges for public policy
Authors: Basole, Amit
Bhattacharya, Rajesh
Issue Date: Jun-2017
Publisher: Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata
Series/Report no.: Vol.44;No.2 (Special Issue on Urban Management in Developing Economies: Challenges for Public Policy)
Abstract: This special issue brings together contributions that offer unconventional perspectives on some salient problems of urban management which, though well-known, remain largely unaddressed and even invisible in formal and official discourses on urban development and governance. In particular, the contributions offer “views from the ground”, so to speak, that unsettle the prevalent approach to urban management as one of techno-rational ordering of urban space. In different ways, they question the primacy of formal institutions and formal governance in managing cities in developing countries which are continuously shaped and re-shaped by the urban poor through informal associations, political mobilizations and quiet manoeuvres such that instead of the urban space conforming to the official plans, it is the latter which have to continuously catch up with the transformed reality on the ground in order to retain their relevance. The most important reason why this happens on a large scale in developing countries is that the overwhelming majority of livelihoods as well as housing in urban areas is secured in the informal sector which largely thrives in the shadows of governmental regulations—often on the basis of tolerated illegality and tacit approval of local government functionaries as well as political parties (Sanyal 2007; Chatterjee 2004). The contradiction therefore is that official plans cannot incorporate what is essentially unofficial in nature and largely a matter of political management of poverty rather than a rational response grounded in “laws of the land”. The contributions make this special issue engage with different aspects of urbanization in developing economies—the most salient unifying theme connecting them being the centrality of informality in urban management in developing economies.
Description: Amit Basole, Azim Premji University, Bengaluru, India; Rajesh Bhattacharya, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Kolkata, India
Issue Editor – Rajesh Bhattacharya & Amit Basole
ISSN: 0304-0941 (print version) ; 2197-1722 (electronic version)
Appears in Collections:Issue 2, June 2017

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