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Planning in Equality? Urban Strategy and Inequality in Global South Cities


The rapid urbanization in the Global South is one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century, taking place through highly unequal and largely informal development. In this context, various “urban strategies” are promoted to “harness urbanization to deliver equitable and inclusive growth”. However, there is insufficient knowledge to date on the adeptness of such strategies and other “strategic plans” and “visions” to address the challenges of urban inequality in a way that corresponds to local conditions and lived experiences in Global South cities. To fill this lacuna, the project will examine how concepts of urban inequality – theories, methodologies and “best practices” regarding socio-spatial disparities in cities, their consequences, and ways to tackle them – are formulated, mediated and negotiated through urban strategic processes. The research will offer: (1) a cross-national comparison of strategies, highlighting their spatial imaginary and “visual politics” vis-à-vis inequality; (2) an in-depth analysis of the urban strategy process in one Global South city (potentially Mumbai/Delhi or Cape Town/Johannesburg). It will follow both grassroots and grasstops processes through which diverse concepts, values and visions relating to inequality shape urban strategy, at several levels: the international development organization, national and local government, business elites, NGOs, middle-class and marginalized urban communities. It will consist of a multi-method ethnography, including interviews with key stakeholders, participant observation, analysis of plans and policy documents, and innovative visual methods. Based at the interdisciplinary Center for Global Metropolitan Studies at Berkeley and the Center for Urban and Regional Studies at the Technion, with further mobility to the Global South, the project will strengthen research networks and make a substantial contribution in the fields of planning, urban sociology and critical development studies.

Call for proposal

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Senate building technion city
32000 Haifa

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Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Mark Davison (Mr.)
EU contribution
No data