本會邀得來自印度的城市研究學 者Solomon Benjamin， 開拓我們一種計劃以外的城市構想。他將會講述有關印度班
Conceptualizing Cities beyond ‘The Plan’: Reading Bangalore's contestations
Solomon Benjamin, NIAS, Bangalore
How does one ‘read’ cities shaped by their own particular indigenous histories, and in doing so, does this also tell us something about our assumptions about ‘meta’ level processes, or then models derived from North American and European contexts? Does this also open up new ways to think about city contestations around multiple spaces produced? I explore these issues by looking at Bangalore's IT fame since the mid nineties that has spurred tensions. These are material in the way of serious social and economic divides, but also conceptual -- in the way we understand city contestations. I argue that an ethnographic approach is central to reveal multiple territories undisciplined by what I term as 'the plan and policy' (P &P). This shift reveals city territories to operate as heterogeneous and contested spaces constructed around the complexity of land claims. It allows for useful analysis of the civic politics of Bangalore’s elite. Like other Indian and ‘Southern’ metros, exclusive gated housing, and IT / commercial complexes constitute less than 2% of the entire metro territory. But, Bangalore’s elite aggressively pursue policy agendas to materialize several forms mega projects: an IT corridor, a regional expressway, and its recently built Int. airport – all framed under the rubric of 'good governance' to spacializes the city as a triad:
- Their own place as 'proper' citizens bestowed with the vision to shape political authority into the future 'Planned City'. This forms the leading edge of economic development under ‘private-public-partnerships’ to discipline and sanitize two other parts:
- Evoking older Bangalore of nostalgia - now planned into well defined ‘heritage’ zones;
- The 'slum' -- attempts to ‘rehabilitate’ the poor to the periphery into mass housing.
We start instead to look closely at how the city actually works on the ground: The 'heritage' zones of the central city areas: City Market and Kalasipalyam, Shivaji Nager are working cities with a distinctive economy, politics, and genealogies of territorisation. Just as the IT represents a globalized terrain extending into Northern America's silicon valley and Western Europe, the central Bangalore's "China Bazaars" in it's SJP Road and 'National Market' reveal vast trading relationships eastwards: To Penang, Singapore, Hong Kong, and in Mainland China, to Guangzhou, the surrounding manufacturing regions of the municipalities of Douggaun, and much smaller but vibrant small commodity town of Yiwu.