Beyond the binary
What does it take to tread the ‘Third Way’ of urban regeneration in India? Leading urban revitalization, the Jugaad* way
Keywords:Urban renewal, Urban Regeneration, Urban Finance, Public Private Partnership, Urban Infrastructure, Placemaking, Participatory Planning
Urbanisation is an inevitable part of India’s growth, which places enormous strain on existing infrastructure and settlements. Although the need for urban renewal or urban regeneration (as contrasted with greenfield development) is clear, it seems current policy and institutional frameworks have yet to offer any significant results. Lack of financial resources is one of the most critical challenges being faced by governments at various levels, and despite sufficient financial means and instruments to develop new infrastructure (such as the FDI, PPP, TDR, and so on), funding channels for urban renewal projects remain almost non-existent within an environment of mutual distrust. Through a discussion of three ongoing projects, the need to explore outside of conventional models will be demonstrated. In essence, this article advocates for an intermediary working structure of PPPP (Public-Private Partnership with the fourth P standing for People), which can be situated between a strict / formal approach and an unregulated / informal one, often referred to in the Indian context to as Jugaad. Though jugaad is typically characterized by ‘ad-hoc-ism’ and informality, the outcomes still provide affordable solutions for stakeholders. Jugaad is notable for both its process-driven approach involving people-to-people collaboration, and its circumvention of the need for reform of the prevailing systemic environment. We suggest, therefore, that Jugaad in urbanism be reconceived as going beyond quick-fixes to serve as a possible model for resolving challenges in a participatory manner, without resorting to rule-bound contracting methods.
*Jugaad is a term applied to a creative or innovative idea providing a quick, alternative way of solving or fixing a problem.
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