Of squatters and schemes : considering city-level strategies for housing the poor in India
Author(s)Marshall, Sunaree (Sunaree Kim)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
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This thesis examines two approaches to housing the urban poor in the city of Ahmedabad in the Indian state of Gujarat - the Slum Networking Project, an attempt to institutionalize slum upgrading at the city-level and the Development Plan-Town Planning Scheme mechanism, an enabling approach similar to land readjustment that seeks to deliver serviced land to the urban land market and contains a provision to reserve some of this land for housing for economically weaker sections of society. Given the shifts in thinking in the past three decades around housing policies in developing countries, and particularly in India, from project-level approaches to enabling approaches that attempt to tackle housing shortages and substandard quality at a broader scale, this thesis asks the question: What is the appropriate role of cities in adequately housing their poor populations? In conjunction with this, additional questions explored include: What has been the history of housing strategies in India? What are some relatively successful efforts that are not national-level policies or small community-level projects, but instead use the scale of the city to address this pressing issue? What are the barriers to bringing these methods to scale?This thesis finds that while upgrading approaches may provide basic services to slum dwellers at the project level, attempts to take upgrading to scale must carefully consider the prevalence and implementation capacity of NGO or other intermediaries, the demand of residents for the services offered, the incentives for participation by private sector entities and the pace of urbanization in the city in question.With respect to the Town Planning Scheme mechanism, there has been considerable success in converting agricultural land to serviced urban land and in appropriated land for housing for the urban poor, but concerns remain about the overly centralized nature of the process, its openness to corruption, and its neglect to consider informal or tenants claims on the land to be developed. Finally, it is found that the mere designation and availability of urban land for housing for the poor is not sufficient to instigate housing production and more research is needed to determine appropriate policies to encourage affordable housing development on this land.
Thesis (M.C.P.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning, 2010.This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Cataloged from student submitted PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 56-59).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Urban Studies and Planning.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Urban Studies and Planning.