Limits of policy and planning in peri-urban waterscapes: The case of Ghaziabad, Delhi, India

Authors Mehta, L.; Karpouzoglou, T.
Year of Publication 2015
Type of Publication Journal Article
Journal Habitat International
Volume 48
Issue 7
Pagination 159-168
Open Access No


The notion of the waterscape has been proposed to capture the interconnectedness of economic, political, cultural and social processes embedded in water. More recently recognised, yet still relatively under-theorised are waterscapes that are 'in-between' the city and the periphery. This article focuses on pen-urban Delhi, specifically the area around Ghaziabad. We show that peri-urban waterscapes do not fit into existing urban or rural planning models because these same models largely fail to recognise the pen-urban interface as a distinct form of territorial development. As a result a diverse range of mobilisations around water relevant to the pen-urban poor are systematically undermined while power asymmetries that shape access to water remain unrecognised. Pen-urban spaces thus continue to be planned as if in a transition towards urban modernity despite the complex social, political, technological and cultural realities these spaces represent. The failure to address current limits of policy and planning in pen-urban waterscapes has long term implications for the resilience, sustainability and transformative adaptation of both city and periphery. Crown Copyright (c) 2015 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.