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

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The Changing Face of New Towns in India

The concept of greenfield new towns is as old as civilisation in the Indian subcontinent. Socio-spatial equity has been at the core of the new town experiment during its origin in the Garden City movement. India has witnessed the new town wave post 1947, with the unstated mandate to serve the constitutional “common good,” in order to address the ills of the colonial inheritance of the divided city. The Indian new town has undergone major changes towards a more exclusive private enclave. The statutory planning discourse in India through the national five-year plans, which have helmed socio-economic–political planning, as well as the evolutionary curve of this discourse holds reasons for the changing face of new towns in India.

Mainstreaming Urban Resilience in India

In the recent decades, India is witnessing an explosive growth rate in urbanisation and its associated vulnerability to disasters. Disaster management in India has district as the basic unit, while city as a complex system requires different strategies. The city civic authorities need to explore mechanisms to increase their resource allocations for disaster management as well as to bring in the enhanced skills of both institutions and community.

Fifteenth Finance Commission’s Recommendations on Local Bodies

The Fifteenth Finance Commission recommendations on local bodies, particularly those relating to urban local bodies, are a dampener. The recommendations lead to an anomalous situation of a least urbanised state getting higher per capita urban grants. Similarly, the segmentation of urban grants into too many components and very rigid conditions leaves a big question mark on grants utilisation.

Addressing the Exclusion of Nomadic and Denotified Tribes in Urban India

When urban development is carried out from a human rights perspective and in the spirit of constitutional morality, it leads to social and economic development. Unfortunately, this is not so in the experience of highly deprived communities like the nomadic and denotified tribes, who contribute significantly in terms of intellectual and physical labour to this development but are kept away from not only its benefits, but from the city itself.

Lucknow Metro: Urban Transportation Systems Must be Accountable to Local and Subaltern Needs

While the city’s North-South Corridor (NSC) of the Lucknow metro has been functional since March 2019 and has recorded a daily ridership of about 40,000–70,000, this is only 16% of the projections made by planners. This shortfall is a result of the government adopting a “one-size-fits-all” approach that fails to take into account existing transportation services (both public and private) and local needs.

Space as Political Text

Taking space and its transformations as a political text, this article looks into the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion as well as the manner in which space is implicated in memory. It engages in this exploration by focusing on the process known as the “beautification” of Colombo implemented by the Rajapaksa regime in Sri Lanka as one of its most iconic political programmes.

The New 'Love' Story of the Taj Mahal

Home to a legacy from history, Agra boasts of a number of historical monuments. This paper focuses on the urban planning implications and socio-spatial consequences of heritage tourism in Agra. Tim Edensor's categorisation of tourist space as "enclavic" or "heterogeneous," Aihwa Ong's zones of exception and the concept of "elite capture" provide the key conceptual frames that inform the study. The paper argues that global heritage tourism has reconfigured everyday life and the spatial geography of Agra, often deepening urban inequalities. The most affected by these new developments are the poor communities living in and around the Taj Mahal for centuries, who find themselves alienated as their world is taken over by the juggernaut of heritage tourism.

Politics of Architecture

In India, architecture is not seen as a discipline possessing any serious transformative social agency or critique either by architects themselves or informed critics. The article attempts to interrogate this situation, tracing and situating the validity of architecture's political claims, and offering possibilities through an increased engagement with architecture's other--the city.

The Neo-liberal City

Accumulation by Dispossession: Transformative Cities in the New Global Order edited by Swapna Banerjee-Guha (New Delhi: Sage), 2010; pp 256, Rs 695.

Living Environment and Health of Urban Poor

This paper presents and discusses primary data from a survey of 1,070 households in four poor settlements in Mumbai comprising slum-and pavement-dwellers and squatters on the living environment and health conditions. The study attempts to examine the consequences of socio-economic and environmental factors in terms of income, literacy, sanitation and hygiene for morbidity. The needs of the urban poor and their priorities are seen to be hierarchial. They need first assurance of being allowed to stay where they are and then provision of basic amenities of toilets, water supply, sewerage and drainage.

National Policy for Street Vendors

Street vendors across several Indian cities have generally been regarded as nuisance value, their presence seen as inimical to urban development. However, the range of goods and services they provide renders them useful to other sections of the urban poor and thus they form an important segment of the informal economy. A draft national policy on street vendors argues that needs of this section are vital for urban planning purposes. Regulation of vendors and hawking zones and granting vendors a voice in civic administration need to become definitive elements of urban development policy.

Explorations in Urban Planning

Geographic and Planning Research Themes for the New Millennium edited by Allen G Noble, A S Mukherjee, Baleshwar Thakur and Frank J Costa; Vikas Publishing House, New Delhi, 2000, Rs 495, pp 480.

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