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

UrbanisationSubscribe to Urbanisation

Keeping Cities in Motion

As the cities in South Asia transform into global or “world-class” cities, the lives of those who construct, repair, and maintain these cities are changing. In this collection of articles on repair and maintenance in South Asia, we foreground how the repairers and maintainers of Kolkata, Karachi,...

The Return of Historical Demography

A Population History of India: From the First Modern People to the Present Day by Tim Dyson, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2018; pp 310, £36.99.

Barriers to Expanding Centralised Sanitation Systems in Emerging Cities: Notes from Doddaballapur in Karnataka

In peri-urban towns, households manage their sanitation waste locally through soak pits and septic tanks. However, in administrative planning, the long-term solution to manage household sewage is through a network of underground drainage systems feeding to a centralised sewage treatment system. The shift from local, decentralised systems to a centralised one is uneven and costly. This case study of Doddaballapur, a town on the outskirts of Bengaluru examines the barriers to making this shift.

Hyderabad’s Musi River: Why Do Technocratic Solutions Fail in Safeguarding Urban Waterbodies?

In complete contrast to its past glory, the Musi river which traverses through Hyderabad city, is degraded by indiscriminate disposal of waste and massive encroachments. The Telangana government had announced plans in 2017 to revitalise the river through a large-scale riverfront development project. By revisiting similar initiatives taken up earlier to resuscitate the Musi, the article argues that these techno-managerial solutions completely disregard notions of commons, only to normalise their exploitation.

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.

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.

Recent Perspectives on Urbanisation

Since the early 19th century, Ahmedabad has been at the forefront of urban development and redevelopment. The 11 books reviewed in this paper, explain and argue, often passionately, the significance of the city’s transformations. Six books are academically focused; three are journalistic, anecdotal, personal, and discursive; three deal with histories ranging from 50 to 200 years; four cover more recent events, of which two discuss urban renewal through riverfront restoration; and two cover the communal violence of 2002 and its aftermath. Ahmedabad remains a world city, a world heritage city, and a “shock city” of constant change in response to evolving challenges. Collectively, these works explore issues of urban transformation that are of relevance throughout India.

Development Impacts of Migration and Urbanisation

The issues of migration and urbanisation are much debated in development literature, but often their negative consequences compared to positive impacts are highlighted. The conceptual and theoretical dimensions of the relationship between migration, urbanisation and development have been summarised, and their potential and actual impact on development has been presented.

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