History of the city Known for its textile mills, Gandhi Ashram, Muslim architecture and communal violence City‟s history allows a range of vocabulary, elements one can choose from and mobilize in order to articulate different imaginations Marred by communal conflicts, seen as an economic hub, abysmal income disparity between west and east Since 2000s focus on development but skewed Time period in focus: Narendra Modi govt+ IT boom
Promise of the metropolis: IT boom and the rise of the megacity Megacity= 10 million or above, Ahmedabad=50 million+ Inside urbanising Asia: Darshini Mahadevia Essential to look into: governance, financing infrastructure and hence a pattern of selective development. This is background, it will show how the narrative of development is problematic and serves only middle class imagination.
50% of dwelling in east Ahmedabad is slums and chawls To get title of Megacity, sudden expansion of AUDA limits, inclusion of many more areas, reaching population targets 80% of the displaced population is Muslims State to protect you from yourself: Slum dwellers identified as living in unhygienic conditions, in low lying flood prone areas Most are hawkers, lower income class, grocers: obsolete occupations in a modern city
East city ecology Gurjari Bazar (flea market): 1200 permanent hawkers and 1000 temporary workers Circus in the river valley: old dying tradition of pitching circus tents in the riverfront area since this is a seasonal river East city preserved as „old heritage‟ (congested, polluted) and West city fit for modernization
SRFD: whose dream? Rs 12,000 million budget 11.5 km long riverfront Land reclamation FSI (floor space index) rules changed 30,000 living households on the river banks Largest slum displacement in the history of Post partition Gujarat On paper rehabilitation for 4000 people offered so far Performative-festivals to claim land Rehabilitated to „downtown Ahmedabad‟
Excerpts of the imagined city: “It‟s like a dream that one lives. Waking up by the river, driving down the riverside; board meeting with vast blue vista in the background and then a cruise across the water for a power lunch on the other bank. And then, a dinner on the gloating restaurant with family to chill out…In the midst of concrete and steel that is the dream that city planners are conjuring for apnu Amdavad.”
On two stretches of 11.5 km, the future of a decaying city takes shape. It will create a central business district on the waterfront which will rub shoulders with world‟s best- Melbourne which has only 800m and Singapore, 1.2km…the tallest of buildings in Gujarat…and ghats for religious activities.”
State authorized vandalism City as an aesthetic object, a site for performative art: lifetsyle, cultural traditions, rituals, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati: the relationship of the city (as a populated space) and the river, will it be altered by this? Embellishing vandalism: Dario Gamboni Logic of e-governance: sacrifice for a greater good