chapter  12
The Grassroots of Planning
Poor People’s Movements, Political Society, and the Question of Rights
ByAnanya Roy
Pages 12

This chapter draws inspiration from the brief moment in Chicago with Carolina to frame an argument about the city and the grassroots. It expands the discussion to signal how postcolonial and poststructuralist theory makes possible new understandings of the relationship between the urban and the political. The chapter seeks to reorient planning theory, shifting emphasis from the ubiquitous frame of the "right to the city" to other concepts and debates. Caldeira and Holston's analysis of urban citizenship in Brazil suggests that the process of democratization, intertwined as it was with the making of urban peripheries, produced distinctive modes of governing the city, most recently participatory urban planning. In India, the start of the new century has been marked by the launch of ambitious national programs of urban modernization and urban governance. The relationship between the urban and the political is a matter of long-standing debate in urban studies.