Manufacturing cities: the planning, building, and governing of industrial infrastructure in the Bangalore metropolitan region
Researchers: Neha Sami, Shriya Anand, Aditya Ramesh
Description of work
Over the last two decades, the Government of India has been emphasising large urban renewal and improvement projects that have focused primarily around urban infrastructure development. In the context of Bangalore, this has especially focused on road (such as limited access elevated road corridors, and flyovers) and rail (for example, the Bangalore Metro) construction. A more recent push has been towards the development of mega-infrastructure projects such as the linking of rivers, and plans to build urban regions through the creation of urban infrastructure corridors like the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).
Given this larger framework, this research looks at how these projects are planned, by whom, and for whom. We aim to study industrial infrastructure projects at two scales: the metropolitan/regional and the urban. At the metropolitan/regional scale, we will be examining the process of planning and development of the Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor. This is juxtaposed with the gradual dismantling of large-scale manufacturing within Bangalore (preliminary analysis shows that over the last two plan periods, industrial land has gradually been converted to mostly residential and commercial land). We interrogate how this aligns with the larger regional push towards intensifying manufacturing and what this means for the regional/urban economy. This research stream will be closely developed with the work of the urban economy and deindustrialization.
We are particularly interested in the various actors and stakeholders – domestic and international, state and non-state – that are involved in the process of urban and regional infrastructure development. We will also examine why and how the completed project is often quite different from that which was originally planned, and is many times left incomplete or does not meet the original targets/aims. We will examine these questions both from a contemporary perspective as well as from a longer historical lens.
Aims and research questions
We will study the development of industrial mega-infrastructure in the context of Bangalore’s transition to a largely service-sector economy. We will examine questions of state rescaling, the role of non-state actors in the process of planning, and developing these projects, their policy implications and the historical trajectory that has led to this particular approach to infrastructure development.
Our broad research questions are:
- What are the governance arrangements and politics that shape the development of large urban and regional infrastructure projects at regional and city scales?
- How do regional plans and processes of infrastructure development align with local/city level plans?