This chapter presents three distinct roles: that of provision, protest, and profit-making, as adopted by non-state actors in the production of urban space in Beirut, Lebanon, and Gurugram, India.
Anandit Sachdev, Assistant Professor, Jindal School of Art & Architecture, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Dana Mazraani, Research Co-ordinator, Beirut Lab Urban, American University of Beirut.
Non-state actors are actively shaping the urbanization process in cities across the world, while centralized modes of governance are experiencing a reduced role. These non-state actors, ranging from institutions, corporations, international and local NGOs, to civil society actors, are playing conflicting roles in the urbanization processes in the Global South, each having a distinctive relationship with the state and with each other.
This chapter presents three such distinct roles: that of provision, protest, and profit-making, as adopted by non-state actors in the production of urban space in Beirut, Lebanon, and Gurugram, India. Both contexts critically raise the point of public sector accountability in light of its shrinking role and the increasing role of the non-state actors.
The first section of the chapter investigates how in Lebanon civil society groups and grassroots initiatives either resist undesirable urban development projects initiated by the state, or offer support to local communities, particularly in the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion of August 4, 2020.
The case of Beirut examines how civil society actors can act as guardians of the public interest against a predatory state or fill the vacuum created by the public sector to support and provide for the local community.
The second section of the chapter analyzes the role of another type of non-state actors – private developers and real estate companies – in the process of designing and implementing the master plan of Gurugram, a city in Haryana, India. The case study shows how profit-oriented projects led by non-state actors result in the marginalization of underprivileged groups.
Published in: Planning practices and theories from the global south. ESOP Conversations in planning – Special issue. Association of European Schools of Planning- York Academic Network, Dortmund.
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