Navigating the grid in the “world-class city”: poverty, gender, and access to services in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka
For the past two decades, across South Asia, planners, policy-makers – and property-speculators – have been energetically engaged in efforts to remake cities as ‘world class.’ Yet these years have seen the deepening of the urban pathologies that such efforts hoped to redress. The urban poor are not simply left behind in the rush to make the world-class city; rather, the forced displacements that attend world-class citymaking initiatives, often exacerbate problems in accessing urban resources and infrastructural services, particularly for the marginalised. Yet, in managing and mitigating the interruptions and upheavals caused by urban removals and dislocations, innovative forms of urban practice, political engagement and creative collaboration have also emerged. This project focuses on the efforts of the urban poor to access vital services (water, sanitation, energy, mobility), while attending to the ways in which these efforts intersect with the dynamics that shape patterns of access to urban land and housing. This project asks: under what conditions do the formal and informal communicative channels, personal connections, by which everyday access to urban grids is enacted, encourage pro-poor outcomes?
– Iman Khan