On the Sabarmati riverfront: urban planning as totalitarian governance in Ahmedabad
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The official narrative presents Ahmedabad as a pioneer in urban transformation in India. This paper questions whether these claims engage with the experiences of the urban poor in Ahmedabad by examining processes around the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project. Highlighted here are the roles played by the architectural consultancy, city administrators and political managers, as well as community groups, civil society and academic institutions. The efficiency of the administration showed an active anti-poor stance in the court proceedings and in the violence of actual evictions and post-eviction suffering. The evidence presented here also shows how “world-class” urban planning has facilitated yet another blatant instance of “accumulation by dispossession” via the flow of the Sabarmati.
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