Urban restructuring and the creation of global or smart cities have been a pervasive theme in the lives if Indian citizens.
Numerous scholars have pointed out that cities have been redesigned to meet and accomodate the lifestyle of a growing middle-class, which is reflected in the way real estate and property development plays a major role in the imagination of progress, modern urbanity, political and legal processes. Based on fieldwork in Kolkata, this paper discusses these processes and their effect on poor women's access to housing, and the way rights to residence and property are understood in the context of changing cities and new understandings of citizenship.
Dr Henrike Donner is an urban anthropologist with research interests in gender and kinship, class and urban politics. Her research projects explore the interplay of gender, kinship and class, the legacy of the militant Naxalite movement and the multiple effects of urban change on social relations. She has conducted fieldwork in Kolkata, India from the mid-90s onwards and has published extensively on changing family life, inter-generational relations, the reproduction of class, urban politics and consumption.