Neoliberal Utopia and Urban Realities in Delhi


  • Waquar Ahmed Department of Geography University of Hawai’i at Manoa



economic liberalization, investment, economy, spatial reconfiguration, deprived populations, neoliberalism, space militarization Utopia, urban realities, urban


Since 1991, the city of Delhi in India has become a focal point of economic liberalization. Economic liberalization has been accompanied by local government efforts to attract both foreign and domestic investment, particularly in the service sectors of the economy. The attraction of investment has been achieved by spatial reconfiguration, pitting the interest of global and domestic capital against the interest of deprived populations. I herein analyze the unfolding of the neoliberal economic regime in India, the production of space in Delhi, and the ways in which planning and governance in Delhi, geared to attracting foreign investment, have affected slum and industry location and public transport networks. Such spatial reconfiguration has been carried out as part of an effort to make Delhi cleaner. I argue, however, that the current environmental agenda has been co-opted by neoliberals to assert class power by militarizing space to the detriment of the poor.


How to Cite

Ahmed, W. (2015). Neoliberal Utopia and Urban Realities in Delhi. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 10(2), 163–188.