PhD Candidate in Geography, Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris
PhD Candidate in Urban Geography, School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris
The Centre for Policy Research (CPR) and Centre de Sciences Humanies (CSH) invite you to a workshop on:
The city without the city? Anatomy of urban voids in Delhi metropolitan region
Samuel Benkimoun, PhD Candidate in Geography, Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, Paris
Hugo Ribadeau Dumas, PhD Candidate in Urban Geography, School of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences (EHESS), Paris
Tuesday, 29 November 2022, 3:45 PM IST onwards. The event will be in hybrid mode at the CPR office (Conference Room, Dharma Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi) and over Zoom.
About the Talk
Is Delhi getting emptied out? The question may appear incongruous: the National Capital Region (NCR) is one of the world’s fastest-growing metropolises. In fact, Delhiites have the tendency to rationalize their daily struggles on account of “over-population”. However, as we contend in this article, urban voids play a tremendous role in shaping the city and its ethos.
The study describes how a collective disengagement from the larger urban space has generated spatial discontinuities across Delhi NCR. This phenomenon has transformed certain parts of the city into an urban archipelago – which we are tempted to call tukde-tukde town. The trail of this growth model leaves holes in the urban fabric: in the interstices separating the different fragments of the city, different types of urban voids emerge. These voids include, for instance, spaces around walled colonies, spots below flyovers, or stretches alongside urban roadways.
These voids are not forgotten, nor are they waiting to be developed – they are often designed as such, to remain empty. Contrasting with traditional views framing emptiness as a temporary, incomplete stage of urban development, this article argues that urban voids may constitute the ultimate outcome of the production of space in contemporary Delhi NCR – as well as a powerful tool of governance. By interrogating the nature, role, and meaning of emptiness in Delhi, this study raises crucial questions related to contemporary urban practices and imaginaries in India. It also participates in de-centering theorization on urbanity beyond the so-called North-South divide.
About the Speaker
Samuel Benkimoun is a Ph.D. student in Geography at Universite Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne (Paris, France), under Dr. Eric Denis and Dr. Olivier Telle, and is part of the Geographie-Cites research unit. His research interests focus on urban geography, health issues, spatial analysis and digital humanities. His Ph.D. dissertation investigates the potential linkages between the spread of infectious diseases and urban dynamics with a special focus on people’s mobility, urban sprawl, and social disparities in Delhi. As a member of the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), Delhi, he was also involved in the Challenging Inequalities (CHALLINEQ) multidisciplinary project as a data analyst.”
Hugo Ribadeau Dumas is a PhD student affiliated to the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS, Paris). He is currently based at the Centre des Sciences Humaines (CSH), in New Delhi. His research work focuses on cities, gender and friendship in India. His current fieldworks are located in Bihar and Goa. Hugo worked in the past for PRIA, the Aga Khan Foundation, the Agence Francaise de Developement (AFD), Altai Consulting and KPMG, across India, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Find all the available videos of our previous workshops, here.