Search International Institute website.

‘Progressive Possibilities in Occupant Urbanism’s Contesting Properties

By Prof. Solomon Benjamin, Manipal University, School of Architecture and Planning

Tuesday, March 13, 2012
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM


Does the local state herald radically progressive possibilities via its illegibility? Is this why much of policy efforts is not just to make cities globally competitive via mega projects but also to invest heavily in ‘transparency’ projects? I see the constructive realms of property to form an essential feature in an analysis of contemporary city contestations. This ‘transparency’ agenda has huge corporate funding and lobbying reinforced by the anxieties of the elite, push under the rhetoric of municipal reform, programs to establish and fix land titles, and new regulations that empower ‘licensed’ land developers. At the heart of this issue is that of territorial contestations. In a previous work, I proposed the concept of ‘Occupancy Urbanism’ (OU) as conceptual lens to understand cities as contested terrains. I consider an earlier concept of the ‘porous bureaucracy’ as an operational realm that points usefully to a sphere beyond the concerns of ‘policy and programs’. These qualities are not closures of political space but following Jacques Rachiere, Doreen Massey, and Judith Butler, I see this as a vital constituent of city life as a politicized sphere. For most poor groups, and those in small firm economy, such an ‘Everyday State’ via a ‘porous bureaucracy’ forms a constructive realm of property via the regularization of land and economy. 


RSVP now

Cost: Free

Light refreshment will be served.  




Sponsor(s): Center for India and South Asia

Search International Institute website.