Re-envisioning the Indian city : informality and temporality Sabrina Kleinenhammans.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
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Although informality constitutes an omnipresent and growing phenomenon in the cities of developing countries, planners pay limited attention to this sector. Moreover, current development schemes project Western-planning concepts onto Indian cities despite the fact that these models do not relate to the specific cultural and socioeconomic context of Indian societies. This approach does not provide what is needed: an "inclusive" city, responsive to the diversity of needs and priorities of Indian people. Given this, and the dynamics of rapid urbanization, I question whether the traditional comprehensive planning approach is truly comprehensive and appropriate for coping with the challenges encountered in urban India. Extensive research has been conducted on the social and economic aspects of informal activities in India; however, as yet, there has been very little research exploring spatial conditions that may engender an inclusive city. In three sections, this thesis focuses on the spatial implications of one sector of the informal economy: street vending. The first section introduces the Indian urban realm through a journalistic narrative based on impressions during my first visit to India. The second section is inspired by the challenges of urban growth in the City of Ahmedabad: firstly, it examines current formal planning approaches in Gujarat State; secondly, it portrays the informal city and how it responds to formal planning solutions; finally, it examines the existing and potential relationship between temporal and permanent, or informal and formal systems.(cont.) The third section explores the way informal processes may inform policy makers and planners in order to develop a framework for defining inclusive urban projects and to propose tools for citywide and local implementation. Subsequently, I apply these strategies to a segment of Ahmedabad's Riverfront Project, which is currently under construction. This exploration, an inclusive alternative to the current plan, highlights the need for, and the potential of, such strategies. In this regard, I conclude that where the formal and the informal "world" coexist, spatial solutions must support effective cooperation between these antagonistic, yet symbiotic domains by providing appropriate space for both formal and informal activities.
Thesis (S.M.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Architecture, 2009.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Includes bibliographical references (p. 103-104).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Architecture.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology