The relationship between planning and informality has been a major field of enquiry in the domain of urban planning. The legal framework of urban planning shapes the way in which plans are prepared and implemented, and determines what developments and activities are legally permissible, especially for those who live in informal settlements or work in the informal sector.
A primary question in the legal framework has been about who has the authority to plan for a city. Along with this question, the process by which the Master Plan is prepared is central to how cities turn out for those in the informal sector. The axis between city planning, planning law, and informal livelihoods has not been sufficiently explored. This report by Mathew Idiculla, an independent legal and policy consultant, seeks to partially address this by analysing urban planning laws and processes in India, and their impact on informal livelihoods.
Understanding the legal framework of planning is important as it regulates whether, and how, informal workers can access public space, conduct their work, and pursue their livelihoods. The report critically analyses this legal framework, and examines the challenges and opportunities it presents for informal workers. It delves into how planning laws, processes, instruments, and practices in New Delhi and Bengaluru impact informal livelihoods, and the scope they present for informal workers’ organisations to engage with the urban planning process.