Urban Kaleidoscope: Governing the City, Volume 3, June 2024


In this edition, we delve into the complex web of Governing of the City. We attempt to understand the governance of Indian urban landscape which is a melting pot of rapid growth, diverse needs, and complex challenges. The local governance addresses urban questions integrating liveability, participation, and accountability in the background of inevitable political influence. While the political systems intertwine with three tiers of governance, the diverse development efforts by various leaders and governing bodies create a web of policies for urban administration and planning. We aim to provide a forum for citizens, activists, students, academicians, and researchers to share their experiences, insights, and imaginations related to governance in urban environments.

In this context, the current edition received several articles. One of the article Is Housing for All possible without Mobility for All” by Goutham Raj Konda has focused on an essential question of urban governance: can a city effectively address its housing issues without tackling its mobility challenges? The article highlights India’s housing policies and mobility plans that should adapt integrated planning approaches to yield better results for the urban poor. Another article Parks and Recreation: Governance of Urban Public Spaces of Intimacies and Politics” by Roshni Ross has expanded upon Governance of Urban public spaces through the case study of the Lucknow Four arrests. The article examines how public parks become contested spaces and regulated through urban governance, revealing underlying tensions related to gender, sexuality, and power dynamics. It also analyses the design and utilisation of park benches as symbolic markers of inclusion and exclusion within public spaces.

The article “Transformation of Governance in an Industrial Hub – From Rural to Urban: A Case Study of Patwari Village in Greater Noida” by Kislay & I L Pratyusha through their fieldwork focused upon the transformation of local governance of an urban village as it went through the process of urbanisation through land acquisition. Their study reveal that transition from rural to urban village in an industrial hub led to erosion of democratic institutions at local level. Another article on “City and Dwelling Slums of Patna: Grasping the Reality” by Shadab Anis talks about how Indian urban policy and planning lack a social approach and the failure of the state to manage resources like space for collective consumption leads to urban crises. Aim of the paper is to understand urban planning and governance for urban livelihood and marginality that settles in informal colonies. Author explains through the case study of everyday livelihood and challenges of the people in Taarghat Informal colony of Patna.

The article on “Urban Local-Self Government for a New Kerala” by Joy Elamon, Director – KILA, expands upon the experiences from the implementation of the 74th amendment in Kerala. As a Director of the Kerala Institute of Local Administration, the author has given a holistic picture of urban governance in Kerala. Mohan Hirabai Hiralal’s commentary on “शहरी क्षेत्र में स्वशासन (स्वराज)” gives a call for a participatory democratic urban governance with the slogan “केंद्र और राज्य में हमारी सरकार, हमारे मोहल्ले/गाव में हमही सरकार!”. The last article in the journal “Nepal’s Urban Development is Beholden to India and China Rivalry” by Sidhant Kumar gave an insight into the intersection of international politics and urban development in Nepal. 

Through this edition, we hope to engage with the multi-faceted challenges of governing the cities. We hope our articles generate debates and discussion on this essential question.

Rajendra Ravi

Kislay Rai Pradhan

Urban Kaleidoscope: Urban Governance, Volume 3
Is ‘Housing for All’ possible without ‘Mobility for All’?  by Goutham Raj Konda

Parks and Recreation: Governance of Public Spaces of Intimacies and Politics by Roshni Ross

Transformation of Governance in an Industrial Hub – From Rural to Urban Village by Kislay Rai Pradhan & I L Prathyusha Naidu

City and Dwelling Slums of Patna: Grasping the Reality by Shadab Anis

Urban Local Self Governments for a New Kerala by Dr. Joy Elamon

शहरी छेत्र में स्वशाशन (स्वराज) by मोहन हीराबई हीरालाल

Nepal’s Urban Development: Beholden to India and China’s Rivalry  by Sidhant Kumar

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