India is rather notorious for its urban problems : Kolkata and the plight of her urban poor has become the epitome for the urban nightmare; Dharavi – slum of Mumbai has the distinction of being the largest in Asia; Delhi has the infamous reputation of being one of the most polluted cities of the world; and much lesser known Surat has entered the public consciousness as the city where a supposedly extinct disease of the middle ages-the plague-has reappeared in 1994.To govern Indian cities seems to be one of the biggest challenges in the twenty-first century. However, governance occurs at various levels and is employed for a limited economic sector as well as for the whole globe. Since this volume deals with urban India, the definition of UN HABITAT will serve as a point of departure stating that power exists inside and outside the formal authority and institutions of government. In this way, governance emphasizes ‘process’ recognizing that all decisions are based on complex relationships between many actors with different priorities.
All chapters are informed by the authors’ specific views on urban problems and urban governance. Yet all chapters contribute to our understanding of urban governance in various ways and read together serve to widen our horizon on this extremely complex issue of urban problems and urban governance in India.