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

UrbanSubscribe to Urban

Revisiting the City–Capital Symbiosis

The urban is related to the capital through the very notion of accumulation. What goes into building the urban, both materially and perceptively is the accumulated capital, which in turn gets both (re)produced and consumed within the same set-up. The present circulation and accumulation of global capital has resulted in the creation of First World spaces within Third World cities, heterotopias which complicate claims to urban “city”zenships. The emergence of capital-infected cities and heterotopias is explored along with differential claims to urban “city”zenship using an interface with the Indian city as a context.

Urban Waste and the Human–Animal Interface in Delhi

It is well-documented that urban waste contributes to the economy by creating livelihoods. Less is known, however, about the role of urban waste in producing human–animal ecologies involving livestock and wild birds. Here, four aspects of human–animal relationships in two urban subsystems involving waste as raw material for both stall-fed livestock (focusing on cows) and foragers (focusing on kites) are discussed. These are the roles of waste as feed; complex spatial relationships between animals, humans and their wastes; high densities of animals and humans leading to conflict over waste; and emerging threats of diseases spilling across social and physical barriers between animals and humans mediated by waste, with implications for the health of urbanised living beings.

Becoming Waste

Colonial municipal planning discourses imagined waste as infrastructure to build Bombay city by filling creeks and reclaiming land. Waste as land was reassembled through the judiciary’s remaking of the landfill as a zone of pollution to be “scientifically” closed through waste treatment technologies. Even as science attempts to comprehend its complexity and contain it, waste possesses an agency of its own that disrupts the social, haunting reclaimed real estate with its fugitive gaseous presence.

Negotiating Street Space Differently

An ethnographic study of Muslims in Hyderabad builds on two strands of research findings: the relative backwardness of Muslims on various social indices; and the confinement of Muslim communities into secluded, insular enclaves/neighbourhoods with minimal civic amenities. The multitude of ways in which young Muslim men in a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood, with little to no formal secular schooling, and hailing from the lower/working class, navigate the street space is examined, to reveal how street space is used as an avenue for informal alternative learning by participating in communities of practice.

Women from Outside

Selfing the City: Single Women Migrants and Their Lives in Kolkata by Ipshita Chanda, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2017; pp xi + 323, ₹ 995.

Seeing Mumbai through Its Hinterland

The “money in the city, votes in the countryside” dynamic meant that in the past, agrarian propertied classes wielded enough power to draw capital and resources from cities into the rural hinterland. However, as cities cease to be mere sites of extraction, agrarian elites have sought new terms of inclusion in contemporary India’s market-oriented urban growth, most visible in the endeavour of the political class to facilitate the entry of the “sugar constituency” into Mumbai’s real estate markets.

Inclusive State, Excluded People

India Exclusion Report 2015 by Centre for Equity Studies; New Delhi: Yoda Press, 2015; pp 283, ₹500.

De-ploughing the “Rural"

Why does data about increasing rural consumption shock us? Urban imagination sees the rural as a static, timeless domain where people are bare-minimalists lacking in ambition, agency or entrepreneurship. However, even if agriculture is declining, the rural isn’t. The rural is getting reconstituted amidst this confusion with ambivalent trends.

Unemployed Workers' Movement in Argentina

The development of the mass urban unemployed workers' movement in Argentina challenges the assumption of the atomised impotent urban poor, a case worth exploring for its innovative features and its explosive possibilities for the rest of Latin America.
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