[CSH-CPR Urban Workshop #162] Urban Planning, Informality and the Law: Unpacking the Planning Law Regime of the Indian City (M. Idiculla)

[CSH-CPR Urban Workshop #162] Urban Planning, Informality and the Law: Unpacking the Planning Law Regime of the Indian City (M. Idiculla)

Event Details

The Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH) & Centre for Policy Research (CPR)

are pleased to invite you to an Urban Workshop (n°162)



(Legal Consultant and Visiting Faculty, Azim Premji University, Bangalore)


Urban Planning, Informality and the Law: Unpacking the Planning Law Regime of the Indian City


Tuesday, 29 August 2023at 3:45 pm IST onwards

The session will be online over ZOOM, to register kindly fill out THIS FORM

The session will also be live-streamed on the CPR Facebook page.

In case of any issues and for queries, please email: urbanization@cprindia.org

About talk:

While the relationship between urban planning and informality has been increasingly gaining scholarly attention, the legal and institutional framework of planning has been underexplored, especially in global south jurisdictions. However, understanding the laws and processes governing statutory instruments like the master plan is important since it determines, at least formally, what can or cannot be built in different parts of the city. This talk seeks to unpack the character of urban planning regimes in Indian cities through a close examination of the evolution and operation of planning laws, institutions, and processes in Delhi and Bangalore.

The talk will examine questions regarding who has the authority to plan, whether the planning process is participative, and how the plan is contested and implemented on the ground. It will specifically analyse how the Draft Master Plan of Delhi, 2041, published in June 2021, deals with questions of informality in housing and work. It will show how the planning laws in Delhi and Bangalore institute a top-down planning process, undertaken by unaccountable agencies that make plans which speak very little to the reality of informality on the ground. Such a planning regime enables the state to exercise wide discretion in taking action against “illegal” constructions or institute processes for “regularising” informalities.


Mathew Idiculla is an independent legal and policy consultant based in Bangalore and a visiting faculty at Azim Premji University. His research and practice are broadly in the intersection of public law, politics, and public policy, with a focus on issues concerning cities, local governance, and federalism. He has engaged with the field of urban governance for over a decade in multiple ways: academic research, legal consultancy, public advocacy, and popular writing. He was a consultant with the Centre for Law and Policy Research and WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing) and has led the drafting of municipal laws for reforming governance in Bangalore.

This is the hundred and sixty-two (162) in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Stéphanie Tawa Lama of CSH at tawalama@ehess.frMukta Naik at mukta@cprindia.org or Marie-Hélène Zerah at marie-helene.zerah@ird.fr

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