The Past’s Affect on Development: Modernity and a Market
Jeffrey M. Lauer
Jeffrey M. Lauer is an independent researcher, real estate professional and consultant. He received his Bachelors (2011) and Masters (2014) in urban and regional planning from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. He worked as an associate planner for the City of Westfield, Indiana and a contract planner for the City of Indianapolis. As student, in 2011, he participated in the CapAsia immersive field-semester abroad in Ahmedabad, India and Nepal. He subsequently completed a Masters thesis on the effects of Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project on the Gujari Bazaar in Ahmedabad (2014). Lauer‘s work focuses on urban planning, urbanism, anthropology, post-colonialism and international development studies. He has published a book review on Transforming Asian Cities (Routledge 2013) in Urban Studies (2014) and has a forthcoming chapter on heritage conservation and the Gujari Bazaar in Global Perspectives in Heritage Conservation (Routledge 2017).
This article analyzes the redevelopment of the Gujari Bazaar -a traditional weekly market in Ahmedabad, India - by the city’s most ambitious development initiative, the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project. As neo-liberal efforts to “reclaim” (cf. Smith 1990; Chatterjee 2004) the urban centers of many cities in the global south continue, activities such as these - and the spaces they occupy - come under increasing threat. Moreover, sites of cultural heritage and historical value face interesting tensions as efforts to modernize cities move to either displace them, in order to make way for sites fitting the interests of global finance capital, or preserve them as tourist attractions, sometimes contorting them for an envisaged tourist desire.