ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Awadhendra SharanSubscribe to Awadhendra Sharan

History of Urban Planning in Calcutta

Planning the City: Urbanisation and Reform in Calcutta c 1800-c 1940 by Partho Datta (Delhi: Tulika Books) 2012; pp 332, Rs 650.

In the City, Out of Place

Over the last two decades, cities as spaces of residence have come into conflict with cities as sites of work, mediated by concerns around the environment. This essay engages with the nature of urban modernity in India while historicising the debates over the environment in Delhi. The issues and practices bundled together as "environmental", around which strategies and tactics are organised, shift through time. Infrastructure and public health; nuisance and noxious trades; pollution and zoning; standards and technoscience; and environmentalism through legal rights, leave their distinct imprints on how we dwell in the city. An environmental injury, perhaps, does not lie in Nature alone and must be apprehended through frameworks that render these injuries intelligible. The attention to these shifting registers shall help to link planning and environment both to power and to an anthropology of the urban modern in India.
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