International Symposium ‘Plan-OK-Please’ - Political Economy Perspectives in City-Making

Roundtable Report

In this 2-day international symposium, the state government of Odisha and GIZ intended to bring out experiences of city regions from across the globe in creating, advocating, implementing, monitoring, and evaluating urban development outcomes. The objective was to deepen the technical understanding of the stakeholders within the urban development ecosystem and appreciate the political economy context within which these activities pan out. This helped situate development interventions presented at the event within their respective political and economic processes. Specifically, it built knowledge on the incentives, relationships, distribution, and contestation of power between different groups and individuals, and its influence on legislations, institutional processes, and urban development paradigms. Through their case presentations, speakers were anticipated to address a set of questions, such as: What citizenry was prioritised? How was political buy-in gained? How was consensus built across varied stakeholders? What made the timing right? To what extent did winning public perceptions and gaining political mileage influence priorities? While planning for development, were state protections and regulatory measures seen as market distorting?