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

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Historicising the Street

Streets in Motion: The Making of Infrastructure, Property and Political Culture in Twentieth-century Calcutta edited by Ritajyoti Bandyopadhyay, Kolkata, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2022; pp xiv, 305, `1,295.

The author would like to thank the anonymous referee whose valuable comments has helped in enriching the review.

The politics of urbanisation and ­urban planning has been a topic of immense research and discussion in the past few decades, both in international academia as well as in South Asia. Indeed, the colonial period has seen the maximum studies on the urban spaces and the colonial city. These studies have been done from different perspectives. Initially, works were mainly dealing with the social history of the city, its inhabitants and the sociocultural milieu that came up in the 19th and the 20th centuries. There were references to city planning but their studies were merely descriptive in nature.

It was only from the mid-1980s with the publication of works by the likes of Veena Oldenburg that the idea and practice of planning has been more thoroughly investigated with reference to the motives of the colonial state. Matters like sanitary concerns, pathological spaces and order have been the key points through which urbanisation and planning have been studied. New theoretical approaches have emer­ged that look at the notion of space and its production as well as the links to the idea of free-flowing capital. Further, the concept of planning has also been linked to the ideas of modernity like in the case of William Glover’s work on Lahore and its transformation from the second half of the 19th century.

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Updated On : 8th Jul, 2023
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