Simla 'below Cart Road': Biographies of houses in the margins of an Imperial urban age

Read post by PI Ayona Datta which traces the planning applications for houses built by working classes since the late 19th century. In the imagination of a smart urban future, these house biographies remind us that Shimla’s current tourist spectacle above is made possible because of the continued house building by the poor and working classes below, down in the slopes, and in the margins since the dawn of the Empire.

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Jalandhar: Emigration, transnationalism and the future of a 'Smart Chowk' development

Project PI Ayona Datta introduces Sudama Bazaar in Jalandhar through the transnational connections that make smart city proposals irrelevant for both older and younger generation of traders. While the ‘Smart Chowk’ proposals create a disillusionment of the future, smart citizens are seen as those who are able to emigrate to the West to access better opportunities and hope for the future.

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Recording the Past and Writing the Future in Jalandhar

In this blog post, Post-doctoral Research Associate, Srilata, shares about her archival adventures in Jalandhar. She talks about how we must embrace the rich lived experiences and politics of place as well as trace continuities between the past, present and future in order to justly write about the city with integrity rather than, in her words, “through a vacuous notion of ‘smartness’ “.

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Searching for the 'Smart City' in Jalandhar - Part 1

In this piece, Research Assistant, Varun Patil, delves into the beauty of the 63-Acre Burlton Park and introduces the proposed plans for the erection of a Smart Sports Hub. This post celebrates the compendious array of the activities and time spent at Burlton Park by the locals of Jalandhar and touches on the sentiments of supporters and critics on building the said Sports Hub.

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Shimla: The slow contoured life of an imagined Smart City

Project PI Ayona Datta introduces Shimla, one of our case study cities through the paradoxes of speed, time and slowness in the future smart city. While Shimla dreams of a smart urban future, the everyday life of Krishnanagar, its informal settlement along the shifting slidinghillslopes reminds us that this dream needs to adjust to the hopes and aspirations of its urban poor and the slow contoured life of the hills.

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Satellite Mapping, Big Data and the Politics of Space at the Margins of the Indian City

Professor Sanjay Srivastava, project India Principal Investigator and Professor of Sociology, Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University, introduces his previous work related to our project research themes as part of his British Academy Visiting Fellowship 2018 project entitled ‘Satellite Mapping, Big Data and the Politics of Space at the Margins of the Indian City’.

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