Urban Planning and Policy

Home/ Urban Planning and Policy
Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation CoreSGA2US4044

Semester and Year Offered: Winter 2019

Course Coordinator and Team: Pritpal Singh Randhawa

Email of course coordinator: pritpal[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: Non

Aim: The course is aimed at providing a critical perspective on the origins and trajectory of modern urban planning and policy in the West, and the ways in which it found expression in colonial and independent India.

Course Outcomes:

  1. To get a historical overview of modern city planning.
  2. To understand urban planning and policy as a political process and how different actors, agencies and tools shape our cities.
  3. To build a critical ability to analyse planning and policy processes and documents.
  4. To build a comprehensive knowledge of the trajectory of urban policies and plans in India.

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

  1. Unit 1: Modern City Planning: This unit traces the key ideas and trajectory of modern urban planning in the West, which emerged through the 19th century as a response to the urban growth driven by Industrial Revolution.
  2. Unit 2: Urban Planning in Colonial India: This unit would discuss various urban planning and policy initiatives taken by the British in India as part of their project of colonial domination.
  3. Unit 3: Urban Planning and Policy in Independent India: This unit will critically unpack the trajectory of post colonial urban planning and policy in India from post Independence to early 1990s, by bringing into view some of the significant initiatives in this period and their wider implications on processes of urbanization.
  4. Unit 4: Neo-liberal Urban Planning and Policy in India: This unit would examine the period of early 1990s to the present in India, which entailed a marked shift towards a neo liberal framework in urban planning and policies.
  5. Unit 5: Planning the Future City: This unit would illustrate some key and diverse imaginations of our future cities, such as smart city, resilient city, sustainable city, just city

Assessment Details with weights:

Types of Assessments

Types of Assignments


Formative Assessment

Reading based in class writing (10%) 

First draft of term paper (15%)

Field trip based individual & group assignment (10%+10%)

Hands on activity based assignment - policy analysis (10%)

Final term paper (15%)

Summative Assessment





End Term Exam (30%)


Reading List:

  • Banerjee-Guha, S. (2009). Neoliberalising the ‘Urban’: New Geographies of power and injustice in Indian cities, Economic and Political Weekly, 44(22), 95-107.
  • Basu, I. (2019). Elite discourse coalitions and the governance of ‘smart spaces’: Politics, power and privilege in India's Smart Cities Mission. Political Geography, 68, 77-89.
  • Childe, G. V. (1950). Urban Revolution. The Town Planning Review, 21 (1), 3-17.
  • Fainstein, S. S. (2014). The Just City, International Journal of Urban Sciences, 18 (1), 1-18.
  • Gallion, A. B. & Eisner, S. (1984). The Urban Pattern: City Planning and Design. Delhi: CBS Publisher and Distributers. (Chapter 5 to Chapter 9).
  • Gururani, S. (2013). Flexible Planning: The Making of India’s ‘Millennium City,’ Gurgaon. In Rademacher A. & Sivaramakrishnan K. (Eds.), Ecologies of Urbanism in India: Metropolitan Civility and Sustainability (pp. 119-144). Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press.
  • Jacob, J. (2016). Death and Life of Great American Cities. In S. S. Fainstein, & J. Defilippis (Eds), Readings in Planning Theory (pp. 23-50). USA: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Kalia, R. (2006). Modernism, modernization and post‐colonial India: a reflective essay, Planning Perspectives, 21 (2), 133-156.
  • Kidambi, P. (2007). Making of an Indian Metropolis: Colonial Governance and Public Culture in Bombay, London and New York: Routledge (Chapter 3: ‘A Disease of Locality’: Plague and the crisis of ‘Sanitary Order’ and Chapters 4: Reordering the City: The Bombay Improvement Trust)
  • King, A. K. (1975). Colonial Urban Development: Culture, Social Power and Environment. (Chapter 8: Delhi: A Case Study in Colonial Urban Development)
  • Liddle, S. (2018). Connaught Place and the Making of New Delhi, New Delhi: Speaking Tiger.
  • Marcuse, P. (2009). From Justice Planning to Commons Planning. In P. Marcuse, J. Connolly, J. Novy, I. Olivo, C. Potter, J. Steil (Eds.). Searching for the Just City. London: Routledge.
  • Nath, V. (1995). Planning for Delhi and National Capital Region: Review of Plan Formulation and Implementation, Economic and Political Weekly, 30 (35), 2191-2202.
  • Ramachandran, R. (1989). Urbanization and Urban Systems in India, New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Scott, J. (2016). Authoritarian High Modernism. In S. S. Fainstein & J. Defilippis (eds), Reading in Planning Theory (pp. 23-50). USA: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Shaw, A. (1996). Urban Policy in Post-Independent India: An Appraisal. Economic and Political Weekly, 31(4), 224-228.
  • Spodek, H. (2013). City Planning in India under British Rule, Economic and Political Weekly, 48 (4), 53-61.