Chance2Sustain addresses how governments and citizens in cities with differing patterns of economic growth make use of participatory spatial knowledge management to direct urban governance towards more sustainable development. A focus on the politics of knowledge generation and sharing and the forms of knowledge that are used or ignored in urban policy-making provide an innovative prism through which to approach urban governance.
The analytical framework combines five thematic areas: large-scale economic and infrastructure projects; policies and politics to address urban inequality and informal settlements; environmental risk assessment and inclusive scenario building for reducing costs; participatory spatial knowledge models in metropolitan governance networks; fiscal decentralization and participatory budgeting for promoting inclusive development.
At CSH, research will focus on the articulation between governance patterns and large-scale projects, and on assessing social and spatial impacts of the latter on the basis of case studies in Delhi, Chennai and Kalyan. Proceeding on the assumption that mega-projects are concrete manifestations of a strategy of international competition to attract investment, research will analyse the agenda-setting process, the main actors and the explicit or implicit vision driving urban development. It is further assumed that such megaprojects are shaping the future of large cities through changes in land use, dislocation of people, changes in employment and local economies, distribution of environmental costs, and as such they are influencing the resilience of cities, their future capacity to resist or recover from exogenous shocks. Assessing the impacts will include analysis of settlement dynamics related to project establishment (e.g., slum demolitions, displacement of local population) and outcomes (e.g., specialized infrastructure, production platforms, mixed-use residential territories), raising the crucial issue of how urban scales are articulated from the metropolis to the scale of the project, the neighbourhood or the building.