First International Conference of Young Urban Researchers (FICYUrb)
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Champaka Rajagopal

Place, Transformations and Continuity; Exploring Urban Design Methodologies towards Shaping Place Specific Development Frameworks for the Informal Economy of the Petta, Bangalore, India

Champaka Rajagopal

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     Last modified: June 6, 2007
     Presentation date: 06/12/2007 10:00 AM in ISCTE-II C103
     (View Schedule)

Post economic liberalization in India (1991), Bangalore City has experienced unprecedented social, economic and urban transformations. Meanings of places have suddenly transformed. Top down urban planning practices over the last few decades have effected regulations disparate from ground realities. The paper investigates these processes within the transforming historic precinct of the Petta, the Fort, (1530 A.D), the origin and the largest informal economy (2 sqkm), of the now IT Hub of India, Bangalore (1305 sqkm). The Petta skirts formal legal systems imposed on it and continues to develop in an alternative way; dense, cavernous and apparently less livable. In this mixed use neighbourhood, slow traditional activities are currently being replaced by warehouses as the younger generation moves out to pursue more lucrative occupations that the IT City offers. The author maps this thicket and the gaps between these local forces and generic landuse/ development regulations imposed by exclusionary master planning processes of the development authorities. She then explores in what ways informal economies appropriate themselves to master planning processes. What would be an appropriate language to shape the uncertain futures of the Petta? She argues that reading/ mapping the Petta must endorse traditions that emphasize the intertwined relationship of social history, economic, cultural and political geography to the built form, in an effort towards understanding eternal negotiations and the politics within informal economies. Finally, she explores new ways in which this mapping could be used in shaping inclusive and more realistic development and management frameworks for the Petta through combined engagement of urbanists, authorities and various actors of informal geographies.

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