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Title: Articulation work: Value chains of land assembly and real estate development on a peri-urban frontier

If the entanglements of real estate and finance capital are pivotal in ongoing urban transformations in cities of the global south, then a less visible but equally vital dimension is the process of land assembly on which residential and commercial real estate speculation and development are premised. This paper pries open the value chain of land assembly that underlies these transformations in a rapidly expanding peri-urban frontier of Bengaluru, India. Drawing on detailed interviews with land market intermediaries, operating across different scales, who were instrumental in assembling agricultural land for a large apartment complex, the paper shows how existing forms of social power and local knowledge are harnessed to create inter-scalar linkages that enable the creation and extraction of value in Indian real estate. It makes the case for understanding the economic and cultural work of intermediaries in animating land's value chain as ‘articulation work’. Finally, the paper assesses the varying forms and quantum of value that are generated and captured by different actors in the value chain, which stretches from the landowning farmer up to a major real estate company, to reflect on the micro-dynamics of speculative urbanism and agrarian urbanization.

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Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
Publisher / Repository:
SAGE Publications
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space
Page Range / eLocation ID:
p. 407-427
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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