CPR-CSH Workshop on Unthinking Urbanisation: How Urban and Messy is India’s Urbanisation?

CPR-CSH Workshop on Unthinking Urbanisation: How Urban and Messy is India’s Urbanisation?
Partha Mukhopadhyay
Tuesday, 31 December 2019 Add to Calendar 2019-12-31 15:45:00 2019-12-31 17:30:00 Asia/Kolkata CPR-CSH Workshop on Unthinking Urbanisation: How Urban and Messy is India’s Urbanisation? About the talk Recently, India’s urbanisation has been characterised as “messy”. At various times, it has been described as unplanned and chaotic. In this context, this talk will primarily engage with two questions. First, it asks if Indian cities are urban — are they urban in all dimensions, economic, social, political, and spatial?  Second — and without prejudice to the answer to the first question and stipulating that an urbanisation process is underway — it asks what does it mean to say that Indian urbanisation is messy, that it is a thoughtless, unplanned sprawl? Is there another way of looking at the urbanisation process? Drawing upon multiple qualitative, quantitative, and spatial data sources, this talk will argue first, that in many respects, Indian cities may not yet be urban. Further, the apparent messiness is the result of shortcomings in the public response to relatively normal and predictable individual actions. Consequently, we need to discuss how the public response can be improved rather than adopt punitive measures that penalise rational individual behaviour. About the speaker Partha Mukhopadhyay is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. In previous positions, he has been with IDFC, the Export-Import Bank of India, the World Bank in Washington, and on the faculty at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur; and the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. He has also been associated with a number of government committees, most recently, as chair of the Working Group for the 76th round of the National Sample Survey; the Working Group on Migration, Government of India; and member of the High-Level Railway Restructuring Committee, Ministry of Railways. He received his PhD in economics from New York University and an MA and MPhil from the Delhi School of Economics. His research interests are in urbanisation and the development paths of India and China. Find all the available videos of our previous workshops, here This is the hundred and nineteenth in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Rémi de Bercegol at  Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
3:45 pm to 5:30 pm
Conference Hall, Centre for Policy Research
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About the talk
Recently, India’s urbanisation has been characterised as “messy”. At various times, it has been described as unplanned and chaotic. In this context, this talk will primarily engage with two questions. First, it asks if Indian cities are urban — are they urban in all dimensions, economic, social, political, and spatial?  Second — and without prejudice to the answer to the first question and stipulating that an urbanisation process is underway — it asks what does it mean to say that Indian urbanisation is messy, that it is a thoughtless, unplanned sprawl? Is there another way of looking at the urbanisation process? Drawing upon multiple qualitative, quantitative, and spatial data sources, this talk will argue first, that in many respects, Indian cities may not yet be urban. Further, the apparent messiness is the result of shortcomings in the public response to relatively normal and predictable individual actions. Consequently, we need to discuss how the public response can be improved rather than adopt punitive measures that penalise rational individual behaviour.

About the speaker
Partha Mukhopadhyay is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi. In previous positions, he has been with IDFC, the Export-Import Bank of India, the World Bank in Washington, and on the faculty at the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad; Xavier Labour Relations Institute, Jamshedpur; and the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. He has also been associated with a number of government committees, most recently, as chair of the Working Group for the 76th round of the National Sample Survey; the Working Group on Migration, Government of India; and member of the High-Level Railway Restructuring Committee, Ministry of Railways. He received his PhD in economics from New York University and an MA and MPhil from the Delhi School of Economics. His research interests are in urbanisation and the development paths of India and China.

Find all the available videos of our previous workshops, here


This is the hundred and nineteenth in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Rémi de Bercegol at remi.debercegol@gmail.com, Mukta Naik at mukta@cprindia.org or Marie-Hélène Zerah at marie-helene.zerah@ird.fr.