India’s Reluctant Urbanization: Setting the Stage

  • Piyush Tiwari
  • Ranesh Nair
  • Pavan Ankinapalli
  • Jyoti Rao
  • Pritika Hingorani
  • Manisha Gulati


India has been reluctantly urbanizing. The caricature of “urban” in India today is mired in numerous contradictions — both physical and visual — to coalesce in a “landscape of pluralism” (Mehrotra, 2008). Urban migration has added 20 million to cities during the last decade but the charm of big cities is fading away (Pradhan, 2013). This is when only 31 per cent of the country is urbanized, far below other developing countries like China (50.6 per cent). There have been concerted efforts from state and central government to mainstream slums and informal sectors in urban India. Yet there are attempts to clean up Indian cities by ridding streets and public lands of squatters and slums and reclaiming public spaces for the use of “proper citizens”. Even as these public spaces are reclaimed for general use, there is still a proliferation of segregated and protected spaces for elite consumption (Chatterjee, 2004).


Foreign Direct Investment Central Business District Urban Fringe Special Economic Zone Textile Mill 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adarkar, N. and Phatak, V. K. “Recycling Mill Land”, Economics and Political Weekly, XL(51), 17 December 2005.Google Scholar
  2. Arabindoo, P. (2009). “Falling Apart at the Margins? Neighbourhood Transformations in Peri-Urban Chennai”, Development and Change, 40(5), 879–901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bardhan, P. (1984). The Political Economy of Development in India. Oxford: Blackwell, USA.Google Scholar
  4. Baud, I. S. A. and de Wit, Joop (Eds.) (2008). New Forms of Urban Governance in India: Shifts, Models, Networks and Contestations. New Delhi: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Baviskar, A. (2003). “Between Violence and Desire: Space, Power and Identity in the Making of Metropolitan Delhi”, International Social Science Journal, 55(1), 89–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bertaud, A. and Brueckner, J. K. (2004). “Analyzing Building Height Restrictions: Predicted Impacts, Welfare Costs and a Case Study of Bengaluru, India”, World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 3290. Washington, DC: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bhagwati, J. (1993). India in Transition: Freeing the Economy. Oxford: Clarendon.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. BMRPB (1974). Regional Plan for Bombay Metropolitan Region 1970–91. Mumbai: Bombay Metropolitan Regional Planning Board.Google Scholar
  9. Brugmann, J. (2009). Welcome to the Urban Revolution. India: Harper Collins Publishers.Google Scholar
  10. Chakravorty, S. (2003). “Industrial Location in Post-reform India: Patterns of Inter-Regional Divergence and Intra-regional Convergence”, The Journal of Development Studies, 40(2), 120–152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Chatterjee, P. (2004). The Politics of the Governed: Reflections on Popular Politics in Most of the World. Columbia University Press, USA.Google Scholar
  12. Chen, X., Wang, L., and Kundu, R. (2009). “Localizing the Production of Global Cities: A Comparison of New Town Developments Around Shanghai and Kolkata”, City & Community, 8(4), 433–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cohen, M. (2008). “The Crises of Urban Capital and Labor: The Cases of China and India”, Presentation for Conference on Prosperity and Inequality, India-China Institute.Google Scholar
  14. Corbridge, S. (2009). “The Political Economy of Development in India Since Independence”, In P. Brass (Ed.), Handbook of South Asian Politics. United Kingdom: Routledge.Google Scholar
  15. Davis, M. (2006). Planet of Slums. New York: Verso.Google Scholar
  16. Deaton, A. and Dreze, J. (2002). “Poverty and Inequality in India: A Re-examination”, Economic and Political Weekly, XXXVII(36), 3729–3748.Google Scholar
  17. Dittrich, D. (2007). “Bengaluru: Globalisation and Fragmentation in India’s Hightech-Capital”, ASIEN, 103, 45–58.Google Scholar
  18. Goldman, M. (2008). “Inside the ‘Bengaluru Model’ of World-City Making: Excitement, Inter-Urban Accumulations, and Large-Scale Dispossession”, Paper Presented at the Social Science Research Council Conference on Inter-Asian Connections, Dubai.Google Scholar
  19. Graham, S. and Marvin, S. (2001). Splintering Urbanism: Networked Infrastructures, Technological Mobilities, and the Urban Condition. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Gruber, D., Kirschner, A., Mil, S., Schach, M., Schmekel, S., Seligman, H. “Living and Working in Slums of Mumbai”, April 2005, (Retrieved on 02 November 2014).Google Scholar
  21. Harriss, J. (2006). “Middle Class Activism and the Politics of the Informal Working Class: A Perspective on Class Relations and Civil Society in Indian Cities”, Critical Asian Studies, 38(4), 445–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Harriss, J. (2007). “Antinomies of Empowerment: Observations on Civil Society, Politics and Urban Governance”, Economic and Political Weekly, 30 June, Mumbai.Google Scholar
  23. Harriss, J. (2010). “‘Participation’ and Contestation in the Governance of Indian Cities”, Working Paper 3/2010, Simons Papers in Security and Development, School for International Studies, Simon Fraser University, Canada.Google Scholar
  24. Jain, M. C. and Bhatt, H. M. (2006). Commentary on Development Control Regulations for Greater Mumbai 1991, Law Times (Bombay), Mumbai.Google Scholar
  25. Kaviraj, S. (1984). “On the Crisis of Political Institutions in India”, Contributions to Indian Sociology, 18, 223–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Knight Frank (2005). Mumbai Cotton Textile Mills, Knight Frank (India), July, Mumbai.Google Scholar
  27. Kundu, A. (2003). “Urbanisation and Urban Governance: Search for a Perspective Beyond Neoliberalism”, Economic and Political Weekly, XLVIII(29), 3079–3087.Google Scholar
  28. Kundu, A. (2011). Trends and Processes of Urbanisation in India. Urbanisation and Emerging Population Issues-6, IIED and UNFPA, London and New York.Google Scholar
  29. Kundu, A., Pradhan, B. K., and Subramanian, A. (2002). “Dichotomy or Continuum: Analysis of Impact of Urban Centres on their Periphery”, Economic and Political Weekly, 37(14), 5039–5046.Google Scholar
  30. Lewis, W. A. (1954). “Economic Development with Unlimited Supplies of Labour”, The Manchester School, 22, 139–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. LSE (2009). Cities and Social Equity: Inequality, Territory and Urban Form. London: London School of Economics and Political Science.Google Scholar
  32. Mehrotra, R. (2000). Emerging Landscapes: India, a Crucible of Currents, Atlas, (Retrieved on 2 November 2014).Google Scholar
  33. Mehrotra, R. (2007). “Bengaluru: Dysfunctional Boom Town”, Harvard Design Magazine, 63–69.Google Scholar
  34. Mehrotra, R. (2008). “Negotiating the Static and Kinetic Cities: The Emergent Urbanism of Mumbai”, In A. Huyssen (Ed.), Other Cities, Other Worlds: Urban Imaginaries in a Globalising Age. Durham, NC, and London: Duke University Press, 205–218.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Mehta, D. and Mehta, M. (2010). “A Glass Half Full? Urban Development (1990s to 2010)”, Economic and Political Weekly, XLV(28), 20–23.Google Scholar
  36. MM Consultants (2006). Dharavi Redevelopment Project, Powerpoint Presentation, Mumbai 2006.Google Scholar
  37. MMRDA (1996). Regional Plan for MMR 1996–2011, Mumbai Metropolitan Regional Development Authority, Mumbai.Google Scholar
  38. Mohan, R. and Dasgupta, S. (2004). Urban Development in India in the 21st Century: Policies for Accelerating Urban Growth. Working Paper No. 231, Stanford Centre for International Development, Stanford University.Google Scholar
  39. Mohan, R. and Dasgupta, S. (2005). “The 21st Century: Asia Becomes Urban”, Economic and Political Weekly, 40(3), 213–223.Google Scholar
  40. Mukhopadhyay, P. (2006). “Whither Urban Renewal?” Economic and Political Weekly, XL(10), 879–884.Google Scholar
  41. Mumford, L. (1937), “What Is a City”, reprinted in R.T. LeGates, and F. Stout (Eds.), The City Reader, Third Edition, 2003, Routledge: London and New York, 91–95.Google Scholar
  42. Nijman, J. (2010). “A Study of Space in Mumbai’s Slums”, Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 101(1), 4–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Orum, A. and Chen, X. (2003). The World of Cities: Places in Comparative and Historical Perspective. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.Google Scholar
  44. Pendse, S. (1995). “Toil, Sweat, and the City”, In S. Patel and A. Thorner (Eds.), Bombay: Metaphor for Modern India. Bombay: Oxford University Press, 3–46.Google Scholar
  45. Pradhan, K. C. (2013). “Unacknowledged Urbanisation: New Census Towns of India”, Economic and Political Weekly, 48(36), 43–51.Google Scholar
  46. Prakash, P. (2013). “Property Taxes Across G20 Countries: Can India Get it Right?”, Oxfam India Working Paper Series, January.Google Scholar
  47. Roy, A. (2002). City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  48. Roy, A. (2011). “Slumdog Cities: Rethinking Subaltern Urbanism”, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35(2), 223–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Rudolph, L. I. and Rudolph, S. H. (1987). In Pursuit of Lakshmi: The Political Economy of the Indian State. New Delhi: Orient Longman Limited.Google Scholar
  50. Sharma, K. (2000). Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories from Asia’s Largest Slum. Delhi: Penguin.Google Scholar
  51. Shaw, A. (2004). The Making of Navi Mumbai. New Delhi: Orient Longman Private Limited.Google Scholar
  52. Sivaramakrishnan, K. C. (2006). Growth in Urban India: Issues of Governance. Occasional Paper No 13. New Delhi: Centre for Policy Research.Google Scholar
  53. Srinivasan, T. N. (1991). “Reform of Industrial and Trade Policies”, Economic and Political Weekly, XXVI(37), 2143–2145.Google Scholar
  54. Tiwari, P. and Rastogi, A. (2010), “What Has Been the Impact of Special Economic Zones on Land and Property Markets in Hyderabad”, Fibre Series, June, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, London.Google Scholar
  55. UN-HABITAT (2003). The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human Settlements. Nairobi: UN-HABITAT.Google Scholar
  56. Varshney, A. (1999). “Mass Politics or Elite Politics? India’s Economic Reforms in Comparative Perspective”, In J. Sachs et al. (Eds.), India in the Era of Economic Reforms. New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 222–260.Google Scholar
  57. Wersch, H. V. (1995). “Flying a Kite and Losing the String: Communication During the Bombay Textile Strike”, In S. Patel and A. Thorner (Eds.), Bombay Metaphor for Modern India. Bombay: Oxford.Google Scholar
  58. World Bank (2013). Urbanization Beyond Municipal Boundaries: Nurturing Metropolitan Economies and Connecting Peri-Urban Areas in India. Washington, DC: The World Bank.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Zerah, M.-H. (2009). “Participatory Governance in Urban Management and the Shifting Geometry of Power in Mumbai”, Development and Change, 40(5), 853–877.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Piyush Tiwari, Ranesh Nair, Pavan Ankinapalli, Jyoti Rao, Pritika Hingorani, and Manisha Gulati 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Piyush Tiwari
  • Ranesh Nair
  • Pavan Ankinapalli
  • Jyoti Rao
  • Pritika Hingorani
  • Manisha Gulati

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations