Urban displacement due to lacking land inside India’s rapidly growing metropolises has become a huge problem that are already at the seams. Space for a planned development is rare and everywhere the no-haves must give way to the plans of the haves. Urban civilisation and infrastructural development contradict urban evolution as it has taken place in the cities ever since. Illegal settlements within the city centers on public ground simply don’t fit into the plans created on the drawing board of urban planners.
The official Sabamarti Riverfront website, calls the operation an environmental improvement, social upliftment and urban rejuvenation project that will renew Ahmedabad. The project aims to reclaim the private river edge as a public asset and restore the city’s relationship with its river. Before the demolition of the slums took place, the inhabitants were notified. Some were relocated and emptied their homes, some had to put the few things they own on the streets. Watching their homes being torn down, not knowing what the future will be like.
The leftover is an ocean of bricks and corrugated metal in which the forgotten ones still seeked refuge. Roughly thousand families were waiting to be relocated or compensated with new houses. Ahmedabad’s riverfront project is just one of numerous examples, that change the face of cities all over India. In Ahmedabad, estimated 12000 families were relocated from grown informal settlements into vertical concrete structures, often located in the outskirts of the city.