Urban Development: Law & Policy

This course seeks to examine and explain how laws and policies structure, regulate, and
affect urban development in India.

With increasing globalisation and urbanisation, cities are becoming important units of political, economic, and social power. The laws and policies governing urbanisation play a key role in shaping the direction, form, and nature of development that takes place in the city. Urban laws and policies can contribute to making cities economically dynamic, environmentally sustainable, and socially inclusive. They create the institutions, establishes the norms, and enables the processes that govern the various activities in cities. Hence, examining the legal and policy framework of urban development can help us understand the boundaries within which multiple urban actors contest and pursue their objectives.

As cities become key sites of power, an understanding of how laws and policies regulate
and impact urban development is important for students of law and public policy. Since
the LLM in Law and Development seeks to provide a grounded and textured understanding of how the law interacts with the sites and processes of development, an
enquiry into how the law structures cities and their development is vital. A systematic
and critical examination of the policy landscape of urban development is also relevant
for students of MA in Public Policy and Governance since the programme seeks to
provide students with a conceptual understanding of various domains within public
policy. This course is designed for advanced students of law and policy who are interested in understanding the public problems faced by Indian cities and in the role of law and policy in realising urban justice.

While on the hand social science enquires on cities has not paid sufficient attention to
how laws and policies shape urban development, on the other, legal scholarship has
mostly ignored the spatial dimensions of law. Through an interdisciplinary approach,
this course seeks to bring together the social science scholarship on cities with the legal and policy materials on urban development to provide an integrated view of the theory and practice of governing urban development.

This course seeks to critically examine the relationship between law, development, and the city, analyse how laws and policies regulate various dimensions of urban development, and discuss the possible pathways for realising urban justice. Such an examination will allow students to gain an understanding of how the law and the state can enable or impede the formation of a just city.