Harshavardhan is a recipient of the DPU60 PhD scholarship, covering full fees, a monthly stipend for three years and fieldwork travel.
Trained as an Architect from University of Mumbai, India, I hold a double degree masters in ‘International Cooperation and Urban Development – with specialization in Development Economics’ from Technical University Darmstadt, Germany and University of Rome Tor Vergata, Italy. It was during my architectural education in Mumbai that my interest in urban and planning studies grew, mostly to unravel the causes behind the unsustainable built environment I witnessed. This same quest continues to drive my inquiry into multiple disciplines that contribute to the larger discourse on the Built Environment. I am particularly interested in the debates on Democratic processes of production of Built Environment claiming to achieve environmentally and socially just cities.
With multi-disciplinary academic training, I have worked within the private sector, academia and the civil society. In the last couple of years, I have worked on GIZ-led Participatory Development Programme in Cairo with Shehayeb Consult; EU funded project ‘ARCHI-MEDES’ with Education for an Interdependent World (EDIW); and Strengthening Participatory Budgeting Programme in Pune, Preparation of Bicycle Plan for Pune and Assessing the Sanitation Programme in Sinnar with Centre for Environment Education (CEE), India; among others.
Reassessing the potentials of participatory urban land management policies in ensuring institutionalized ‘Right to the City’ for the urban poor
Urban Land Management; Social Justice; Participation; India; Informality; Right to the City; Planning Policies
Based within the conflict between neo-liberal market forces and the claimed ‘Right to the City’ for all, the proposed research project aims at understanding the institutional space created through participatory land management policies to resolve the conflict of interests between different stakeholders. As the paternalistic role of the government is being subdued by the capitalist market forces, understanding ways through which the urban poor participate and talk to the market forces becomes particularly of relevance to this research project. This research, therefore, intends to re-examine the claims made by various participatory land policies implemented in India, hoping to inform similar such policies being implemented across the world of their potential in effectively achieving social justice.