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Background and Aims

The urban structure in both India and Brazil consists of several dominant mega cities (São Paulo, Mumbai, Rio, Delhi…), each having a population of more than 11 millions.

The recent process of economic restructuring and urbanization are accentuating social fragmentation in these two emerging countries. The urban population in both countries faces similar challenges, namely the growth of shantytowns called slums in India and favelas in Brazil, spatial disjunction, socially contrasted peri-urbanization and threats to their ecology. Public actors try to solve these problems through housing, rehabilitation or conservation programs.

The aim of this project is to analyze these urban policies from five perspectives:

- An analysis of the implementation of policies responding to the urban crisis (improvement of slums, etc.)
- A study of the consequences of these policies in terms of socio-spatial exclusion
- The effectiveness of these policies, that do not always conform to the letter of the law
- The response of the actors concerned by their implementation
- The final impact of these policies, in terms of their integration to the urban territories, their rehabilitation or destruction.

Our hypothesis is that the evolution of these policies, in terms of their ideological background as well as their implementation, induces comparable social changes in the urban space.

Is social exclusion growing? Are new conflicts appearing between spaces (centre/periphery) and between sectors (housing / “natural” resources)?

This research is undertaken by establishing a typology of existing policies, the outcome of which might strongly differ from their official aims: can sanitation projects in slums expel some dwellers who were living on the place planned for water pipe? Conversely, can policies launched for attracting investments have an indirect but positive social impact?

Analyzing the problem from these different angles and comparing the policies adopted in the two main cities of India and Brazil would lead to understand the mechanisms of exclusion and the validity of the actions undertaken. This involves using different disciplinary approaches in a comparative manner in order to analyze ongoing processes and promote reflection on the urban policies, programs and instruments employed.

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Social Exclusion, Territories and Urban Policies
A Comparison Between India and Brazil

A Research Programme funded by ANR
Website kindly hosted by Centre de Sciences Humaines, New Delhi

Last Update :  Tuesday 22 December 2009

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