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Tejani, Shabnum (2021) 'Disputing ‘market value’: the Bombay Improvement Trust and the reshaping of a speculative land market in early twentieth-century Bombay.' Urban History, 48 (3). pp. 572-589.

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Urban expansion in the early twentieth century had a profound impact on India's urban land economies. Historians argue that in this period, urban India went through an increasing marketization of land and that improvement trusts had a significant hand in accelerating land speculation. In the case of Bombay, we still understand little of the relationship between the activities of the Bombay Improvement Trust and rising land values. The article examines key legal disputes around compensation for land acquired by the Trust for public purpose before and after World War I. Such cases show how the Trust and the judiciary shaped changing expectations around what comprised ‘market value’ and consequently became deeply involved in Bombay's land economy. Where officials had earlier resisted valuations that they believed encouraged speculation, after the 1920s the resolution of disputes incorporated future value as a legitimate and necessary part of the economy.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Regional Centres and Institutes > SOAS South Asia Institute
Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies
Departments and Subunits > School of History, Religions & Philosophies > Department of History
ISSN: 09639268
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s), 2020. Published by Cambridge University Press. This is the accepted manuscript of an article due to be published by Cambridge University Press in Urban History:
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 18 May 2020 08:59

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