This book lays out the different and complex dimensions of urbanisation in India. It brings together contributors with expertise in fields as varied as demography, geography, economics, political science, sociology, anthropology, architecture, planning and land use, environmental sciences, creative writing, filmmaking and grassroots activism to reflect on and examine India’s urban experience. It discusses various dimensions of city life—how to define the urban; the conditions generating work, living and (in)security; the nature of contemporary cities; the dilemmas of creating and executing urban policy, planning and governance; and the issues concerning ecology and environment. The volume also articulates and evaluates the way Indian urbanism promotes and organises aspirations and utopias of the people, whilst simultaneously endorsing disparities, depravities and conflicts.

The volume includes interventions that shape contemporary debates. Comprehensive, accessible and topical, it will be useful to scholars and researchers of urban studies, urban sociology, development studies, public policy, economics, political studies, gender studies, city studies, planning and governance. It will also interest practitioners, think tanks and NGOs working on urban issues.

chapter |14 pages


Revisiting Urban India

part I|27 pages

Debate on Defining the Urban

chapter |11 pages


An Alternate Development Paradigm

part II|45 pages

Conditions Generating Work, Living and (In)Security

chapter |10 pages

Only 'Good People', Please

Residential Segregation in Urbanising India *

chapter |10 pages

Inclusive Urbanisation

Informal Employment and Gender

chapter |11 pages

Cities for Healthy People

part III|70 pages

Cities of Contemporary India

chapter |13 pages

The Planned and The Unplanned

Company Towns in India

chapter |12 pages

The Logistical City*

chapter |12 pages

Cities and Smartness

chapter |11 pages

Public Spaces and Places:

Gendered Intersectionalities in Indian Cities

part IV|63 pages

Urban Policy, Planning and Governance

chapter |11 pages

Engine Urbanism

chapter |12 pages

Post–National Urbanism

'Ordinary' People, Capital and the State

part V|82 pages

Ecology, Environment and Well-Being


Photo Essay

The Art of Evolution

chapter |16 pages

The Unsustainable Urban Waste Economy

What is to be Done?

chapter |14 pages

The Canal and the City

An Urban–Ecological Lens on Chennai's Growth 1

chapter |12 pages


Changing the Metaphor to Quality of Life