International Development Planning Review

Informality, urban governance and the state: negotiations of space in Dhaka and the Pearl River Delta

International Development Planning Review (2016), 38, (3), 229–253.

Abstract

This article analyses the production of urban space and the respective negotiation processes in Dhaka (Bangladesh) and the Pearl River Delta (China). It considers such processes to be significantly influenced by the political system and political culture of the two countries, manifested in a state´s political stability, its development orientation and the possibilities for public participation in decision-making. Three forms of space production — namely strategic urban planning, urban extension at the agglomeration fringes and inner city urban regeneration — are compared between Dhaka and the Pearl River Delta. The respective governance arrangements in the production, organisation and appropriation of space at different spatial scales are identified, with specific regard to the interaction between stakeholders and the governing logic inherent in the emerging constellations. By relating governance research to the different degrees of political stability, we attempt to widen the scope for an analysis of modes of informality, production of space and resource redistribution that incorporates the idiosyncrasies of the political system.

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