If Prime minister candidate Narendra Modi wins, he wants to bring a new kind of urban space to the country.

Election day means Gujarat is closed for business—except in Gift City.

Officially known as Gujarat Information Finance Tech City (hence, Gift), construction equipment is everywhere and dust is in the air. The development, which currently consists of two vacant towers surrounded by immaculate roads and earth dug up to make way for more, is 30 km outside Ahmedabad and 5 km from the nearby capital city of Gandhinagar.
 

This is the type of development that Narendra Modi supporters hope will be a microcosm for the rest of India should he become prime minister. The project, which was launched in 2007, will bring as many as 600,000 jobs to Gujarat, the government promises. Here’s a (very stylized) artist rendition of what the area will look look, according to the government brochure (pdf):

Screen Shot 2014-05-01 at 11.34.30 AM

Hidden off the paved highways is Rantapur village and its lone polling station serving 1,016 constituents.

Land acquisition for development projects is a sticky situation across India. In addition to zoning restrictions on agricultural land, the fractured ownership of small land plots makes buying large tracts for projects like Gift City difficult. Still, Gift has amassed nearly four square kilometers.

Yet the residents at this polling station all seem pleased with the development. Two years after construction began, the village received continuous water and electricity. Three of the four residents I asked voted for the BJP, Modi’s party. The one who didn’t chose the Congress Party, saying the incumbents would do a better job keeping prices down. All approved of Gift City, which they praised for bringing jobs like security guards and construction. Even the Congress supporter—23-year-old Surendra Singh—had to agree.

“No one knew about our village before. Now people know our village and they come here,” he said.
 
This post originally appeared on Quartz. More from our partner site:

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A LimeBike is pictured next to a Capital Bikeshare dock.
    Transportation

    Bike Share, Unplanned

    Three private bike-share companies are determined to shake up the streets of D.C. But what, exactly, are they trying to disrupt?

  2. Transportation

    London Dumps Uber

    The city vows to revoke the ride-hailing giant’s license, citing public safety concerns. But the legal battle may be only starting.

  3. A man is pictured in a hotel lobby.
    Life

    How the Hotel Industry Views Its Future (and Airbnb)

    A conversation with the editor of Hotels, a trade publication covering full-service and luxury lodging.

  4. Equity

    What the New Urban Anchors Owe Their Cities

    Corporations like Google and Amazon reap the spoils of winner-take-all urbanism. Here’s how they can also bear greater responsibility.

  5. Rescue crews and observers on top of the rubble from a collapsed building that fell in the Condesa neighborhood of Mexico City.
    Environment

    A Brigade of Architects and Engineers Rushed to Assess Earthquake Damage in Mexico City

    La Casa del Arquitecto became the headquarters for highly skilled urbanists looking to help and determine why some buildings suffered more spectacularly than others.