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

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Thinking about the 21st Century Indian City

New ways of envisioning the slum, the informal economy, access to water, and the housing crisis emerged from discussions in "Towns, Metros, and the Indian Economy", a conference held at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, Bangalore. The discussions emphasised the role of the informal sector and the poor in the urban economy, which will more or less determine the course of Indian polity and society in the coming decades.

Distinguished scholars, civil society activists, and policymakers gathered for two days at the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) in Bangalore in 2013 to discuss “Towns, Metros, and the Indian Economy”. In previous meetings on the Indian city organised by the Center for South Asia Studies (CSAS) at the University of California (UC) Berkeley,1 questions about urban economic growth and the long-overlooked role of India’s rapidly transforming small towns within it had repeatedly emerged as central. This conference was a part of a long tradition of thinking about India’s urban future at UC Berkeley; a conference on this same theme took place more than 50 years ago on the Berkeley campus.2

Bringing the Urban Back In

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