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Conference paper

An investigation of the smart city development in India: multiscalar governance, fragmented planning and transformative opportunities for Australasia

Smart cities Public-private partnerships Urban planning India

Smart cities are mushrooming worldwide – especially in the contested geographies of the Global South, such as India. Nevertheless, smart city development in India is politically, socially and spatially influenced. Its advancement relies on how it uses a set of practices – specifically, the complex and complicated assemblage of structures, mechanisms and processes in governance, planning and urban design domains. Different levels of governance and planning can impede or foster smart city development in India. They can agree or conflict at national, state and local scales, as so starkly evident with a new form of governance involving public-private actors on the local scale. They can set ambitious policies and different planning strategies – such as affordable housing, infrastructure services and citizen engagement.

Scholars argue that smart city development in India and the Global South is disruptive because it has no predecessor to show us how. But examples from three Indian cities of Bhubaneswar, Pune and Chennai highlight the different ways in which smart city governance and planning include or exclude urban informality, which underpins their success or failure.

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