How do mass slum resettlement programmes in expanding megacities contribute to the reproduction of urban poverty? Chennai's premier resettlement colony, Kannagi Nagar, housing slum-dwellers evicted from the city since 2000 has integrated itself into the industrial, commercial and software economies of the information technology corridor on unfavourable terms, swelling the supply of unskilled casual workers for local firms.

What kinds of subjects-in-the-making are the urban poor? The authors in this issue of the Review of Urban Affairs offer neither conclusive arguments nor radically new paradigms. They, however, nudge us to rethink poverty, not as an objective condition that can be addressed through policymaking at a distance or by targeted development schemes, but as constituted through contentious engagements of disadvantaged individuals and communities with neo-liberal policy discourses and agendas.

This paper explores notions of participation as located in ‘second generation’ or institutional reforms, particularly as articulated by prominent state-sponsored public-private partnerships such as the Bangalore Agenda Task Force (BATF) and the Tamilnadu Urban Development Fund (TNUDF).

The latest Cooum river restoration project in Chennai aims to focus on slum eviction as an achievable first step. A 19-kilometre elevated expressway on the river is also planned.

Scholarly work portrays Residents Welfare Associations as constituting an exclusively middle class