RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019

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65 “Secondary Cities” in the Global South (2)
Affiliation Urban Geography Research Group
Developing Areas Research Group
Convenor(s) Nina Gribat (Technical University Darmstadt, Germany)
Christian Rosen (Technical University Darmstadt, Germany)
Chair(s) Christian Rosen (Technical University Darmstadt, Germany)
Timetable Wednesday 28 August 2019, Session 2 (11:10 - 12:50)
Room Huxley Building, Room 341
Session abstract In recent years, “secondary cities” have (re-)emerged as a distinct urban category, which is connected to a range of hopes in the context of international development such as decentralisation, economic growth or poverty reduction (Roberts 2014). Based on analyses of urban systems and hierarchies as well as normative concerns for balanced economic and spatial development, secondary cities were (and are largely) constructed as strategic sites for policy intervention and development (Rondinelli 1983 a,b). Conversely, secondary cities are also considered as possible sites for alternative urban futures beyond world and global cities (DeBoeck et al. 2010). Diverse approaches to defining secondary cities have established: from considering absolute numbers of inhabitants, positions or functional relevance in urban systems to gauging them as ideal contexts for economic growth, health, education, politics and culture.

This session seeks to contribute to the debate on global and comparative urbanisms (Robinson and Roy 2016), by: (i) critically examining the various formations and possible contestations of an urban category that is underpinned by different normative and universalising tendencies; and (ii) exploring the actual tensions between decentralisation policies and local autonomy and actual practices and policies in diverse urban contexts beyond metropolises.
Linked Sessions “Secondary Cities” in the Global South (1)
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2019@rgs.org
Mineworkers housing in Rustenburg – between the cry for dignity and new business models
Gerhard Kienast (University of Kassel, Germany)
During its local government reform before the year 2000, the South African government created ‘wall-to-wall’ municipalities, including half a dozen ‘metros’, which now house 40 percent of the country’s population and more than half of its jobs (Turok & Borel-Saladin 2014). In the second row, there are approximately 21 cities, which are governed as local municipalities that have significantly less resources and discretion with regard to their capital investment. Population growth in some of these secondary cities has been higher than in metros while others have stagnated or even shrunk due to their dependence on the boom and bust cycles of a single economic sector, especially mining (Marais & Cloete 2017).

Through the Marikana Massacre of 2012, Rustenburg, the centre of South Africa’s platinum industry, became the most famous, or rather, notorious of these upstarts. In reaction to the killings and the political earthquake that followed, government established a Revitalisation of Mining Towns programme, which promised to provide informal settlements upgrading and low-income housing through a combination of public and corporate investment.

Based on a literature review, site visits and interviews with different actors involved, the paper will present preliminary findings of the author’s field research. It will highlight some contrasting low-income housing solutions developed by local government and mining houses and discuss their social, fiscal and spatial consequences. It will also reflect on the South African debate whether Rustenburg and other cities that have grown fast in result of the mining industry should be elevated to metropolitan municipality status.
Do the Contemporary Urban Policies and Missions focusses beyond Megacities in India
Amit Chatterjee (School of Planning and Architecture, Bhopal, India)
In Asia, Indian cities are going through massive urban transformation in terms of spatial structure, economy, trade, knowledge and functioning of cities within the global, regional and national urban system. Urban India shares 31 percent of the total population as per the records of the 2011 census which is expected to increase to 50 percent by 2050. The urban context in India both in terms of scholarly literature and urban reforms are generally focussed on mega cities and in this process, the role played by systems of secondary cities is often neglected. Many secondary cities in India are struggling with economic growth, lack of investments to build infrastructure, instable governance framework, politics and poor land management. The economic growth and prosperity of mega cities and small and medium size towns are dependent on the functioning of secondary cities. The past urban policies, reforms and missions are grossly focused on megacities and in these processes, time and again, secondary cities are often ignored. Recently Government of India has launched four urban missions – namely, (i) Smart Cities Mission, (ii) Atal Mission for Rejuvenation and Urban Transformation (AMRUT), (iii) Heritage city Development and Augmentation Yojana (HRIDAY), (iv) Housing for all (Urban) and also has brought out draft National Urban Policy Framework -2018. In this context, this paper will contribute by: (i) the emergence secondary cities and their role in national urban system; and (ii) examining whether the contemporary urban missions and policies are shaping only megacities or are also helping in developing more advanced and competitive secondary cities. The outcome of this paper will help in evolving a trajectory for future secondary cities in India and looking beyond the constructed ontology of the usual focuses of mega cities to the development of secondary cities in India.
Public Housing Policies, Decentralized Development and Fragmentation in Peruvian Intermediate Cities: Arequipa, Cusco, Piura and Trujillo
Edith Aranda Dioses (National University of Engineering, Peru)
Patricia Caldas Torres (National University of Engineering, Peru)
Christian Dongo (National University of Engineering, Peru)
The aim of this interdisciplinary study is to explore development dynamics produced in Peruvian intermediate cities by urban fragmentation. This phenomenon has been intensified by globalization processes and influenced by decentralization and neoliberal public housing policies. Four cities (Arequipa, Cusco, Piura and Trujillo) were selected for the evaluation of public housing policies in the 1980s and recent projects, most of them located on the edges of the city. These are cities with rapid urbanization processes and high population growth rates compared to the metropolis of Lima. This study is based on three categories of analysis: a) the urban functional, b) the social fracture and c) the physical-material rupture. In the first place the research will focus on the separation of functions, enclosed residential areas and isolation of pre-existing urban spaces. Second, the levels of socio-spatial segregation considering socio-economic characteristics of the residents and their ways of living . Third, the discontinuities, edges and limits that neoliberal urbanism has produced in the layout of the selected cities. What are the tensions between decentralization and fragmentation? Which strategies of the state, private sector and the affected population seek to overcome the problem of socio-spatial polarization?
Secondary Cities between decentralization and autonomy in Ghana
Nina Gribat (Technical University Darmstadt, Germany)
Starting with a critical review of the renewed debate on the role of secondary cities for a more balanced development in the global south, this paper compares different actor’s actual approaches to fostering urbanization in secondary cities in Ghana. It examines the state’s attempts of decentralization, including various urban and economic policy programmes as well as international organisations’ approaches and juxtaposes them with the various initiatives in two Ghanaian secondary cities, Techiman and Sunyani. The findings suggest that even though various policy programmes and initiatives aim at decentralization, urbanization processes in secondary cities are often still dependent on the state. The paper concludes by outlining some starting points for more autonomous local development based on the findings.