The problems lurking in the prevalent system have initiated an urgent need to reimagine the structure of governance and the process of planning undertaken in the urban centres. Various people’s movements and initiatives also point towards the many disabilities rampant in the current governance system and how a revolutionary approach is the only compelling solution. In urban centres where there is a complete alienation of people from the governance and development process, there is a need to strengthen the idea of participatory and inclusive development. This booklet tries to understand the contemporary governance and planning process in the cities and how radical alternatives can be imagined.
This booklet is based on the discussion during a webinar organised by People’s Resource Centre, titled ‘Another City is Possible: Democratising Urban Governance’ in April 2020. In this, activists and social workers from Mumbai and the USA who are involved in various initiatives, namely Mohan Hirabai Hiralal, Varsha Vilas, Eleanor Finley and Raju Bhise shared their knowledge about alternatives and reforms which need to be undertaken in order to make the cities democratic and participatory.
The webinar was the idea of Rajendra Ravi and Nishant, who also helped to bring together an excellent panel of speakers. Without their coordination and support, this booklet would not have been possible. We also thank Mohini and Avikal for their support. Finally, we thank all the participants for their active contributions during the webinar.
This publication is part of our ongoing initiative to disseminate knowledge about the idea that another city is possible based on various direct democratic models. We hope the knowledge collected in this booklet will help bring more attention to the alternatives and the need for a radical transformation in participation and planning in our cities.
Recording of the session can be watched here: