Public Space, Public Waste, and the Right to the City

Poornima Chikarmane
  • Article Title: Public Space, Public Waste, and the Right to the City
  • Title of Journal: New Solutions
  • Vol #: 26
  • Issue #: 2

New Solutions - Public Space, Public Waste, and the Right to the CityAbstract: I draw on my experiences as an organizer with a waste-pickers collective, Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat in Pune, India, to reflect on the power dynamics in control of public space. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC), a public body, has used public resources to facilitate and enable accumulation by private companies, who have not been able to produce what they had committed to in the processing of waste. The waste pickers, in alliance with affected village-based land agitation committees, have mobilized against the dumping that is ruining their way of life, environments, and health, and are fighting for their own integration into waste value chains. The article uses the frame of David Harvey’s1 “right to the city”; a key part of the mobilizing work with waste pickers has been Freirean conscientization methods to spread awareness of the economic importance, to the city and to the planet, of waste recycling.


Many thanks to Sage Publications and New Solutions for offering free access to all articles in the August 2016 special issue of New Solutions until October 2016.


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Informal Economy Theme
Occupational group
Publication Type