The book reviewed is a publication of the French Research Institutes in India & South Asia Institute, New Delhi. The contents of the book are therefore the work of various researchers – compiled and edited by Evelin Hust and Michael Mann, both senior scholars based in Germany. Both the editors have had a long association in conducting research in the South Asia region with a special emphasis on development issues in India. The first chapter, Problems of Urbanization and Urban Governance in India by Evelin Hust is well written and introduces the three sections and their contents economically. The introduction also fulfills the task of setting forth the overall premise of the book which presents the reader with a brief history of planned urban development together with the reality on the ground. This brief overview raises one’s expectations of further elaboration of the many pertinent issues and themes in the body of the book. The above point can be further illustrated through the following quote from the Introduction: There is still a lack of proof that the private sector is always better equipped to fulfil the requirements of urban governance, especially when it comes to sustainable and equitable service delivery in a social setting that is marked by great spatial and social inequalities.
January 2006, volume 30, No 1