Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo
After twenty years working in Indian cities as an architect-planner-researcher, Jayaraj Sundaresan challenged existing urban theory to explain planning violations in Bangalore.
When I tell people I study urban governance and planning in Rio de Janeiro, a common response is a scoffing, ‘what urban planning?!’ Despite elaborate planning structures, many people think “chaos” or “dysfunction” in cities of the Global South are a result of a lack of planning policy, expertise, and enforcement. Planning—as technical knowledge, rule making, and bureaucratic implementation—is conceived as the categorical opposite of informal, illegal, or irregular. Given the blatant contradictions between planning-on-paper and material reality, some cynics dismiss urban planning altogether. A colleague once insinuated to me that studying urban planning discourses was pointless since “everyone knows that what happens on the ground is the exact opposite of what’s written on paper.” There is, however, a growing body of literature that deconstructs dichotomous thinking such…
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