SEMINAR: Power to the People? A study of Bangalore’s Urban Taskforces

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Seminar Date: 12 June, 2015 | 5 PM – 7 PM | IIHS Bangalore City Campus
Free and Open to all| Limited seats | Admission based on review of applications

Seminar Description

With economic liberalization, several new actors have emerged in Indian cities. Earlier, actors like international consultants, financial institutions and foreign architects were largely absent from decision-making processes that influenced urban development. Others, like politicians, developers, landowners and civil society groups are reinventing themselves to adapt to and take advantage of a rapidly transforming urban environment. Building on primary and secondary data collected in India, this talk examines the role that existing and emerging stakeholders play in urban development in post-liberalization India, and the alliances they form to promote a common agenda. These alliances have their roots in largely informal personal social networks and function mainly on the basis of such connections.

This talk will focus on coalitions in Bengaluru, Karnataka in the form of taskforces that were set up by consecutive state governments to advise on urban policy, viz. the Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF) in 1999, that has since been dissolved and the Agenda for Bangalore Infrastructure Development (ABIDe) in 2008. These groups have no formal standing in government and yet have been given considerable power, especially in the creation of urban policy that would transform the structure and approach of city government. The argument is that increasingly, it is such coalitions that are shaping Indian cities and not the institutional frameworks that have been and are being set up by politicians, corporate leaders and civil society organizations.

Who Should Attend

Open to public with focus on researchers, students and urban practitioners.

Faculty