No.63 Politics in the Urban Periphery: Citizen-Led Expansion and Informality at the Edges of India’s Cities
Adam Auerbach and Tanu Kumar
Why are some privately developed neighbourhoods on the outskirts of India’s cities incorporated into municipal governance while others are not? And what are the consequences of uneven incorporation for public service provision? This paper explores these questions in the context of peripheral private developments in India. Peripheral private developments are planned neighbourhoods at the urban-rural edge that frequently exhibit informalities stemming from weak or absent zoning approval. First, Adam and Tanu explore how variation in authorization by the city shapes neighbourhood access to basic public services. Next, they show how collective action among residents influences patterns of neighbourhood-level authorization. Their study draws on qualitative interviews and neighbourhood-level data collected from the urban development authority in Jaipur, a rapidly growing city of four million people. The authors interviewed neighbourhood leaders across 25 of Jaipur’s cooperative housing society colonies—a common type of peripheral private development. These interviews with local leaders, as well as interviews with officials and data collected from the urban development authority, provide novel insights into the political economy of these proliferating yet understudied spaces.