Urban Transformations of Residential Settlements in Colonial Towns: Case Study of Chandernagore and Serampore

  • Ruchira Das
  • Sanjib Nag
  • Keya Mitra
Part of the Springer Geography book series (SPRINGERGEOGR)


Urban transformation is a social, economic and physical and ecological change that shapes a settlement. In this process of transformation, an urban area redefines itself within the existing city structure. Historically, several forces have triggered transformation processes in the world, and colonization was arguably one of the important ones. Settlements were established and developed, and they also flourished, often, as a direct result of the administrative agendas of the colonising powers. Within these settlements, the residential neighbourhoods were unique. Colonial architectural expressions and settlement planning ideals came into contact with the local social, cultural and climatic needs, resulting in a unique neighbourhood character, that yielded building typologies that were derived through this meeting of cultures and worldviews.

Soon after the end of the colonial era, many of these towns became small dormitory towns catering to the nearby metropolises, and they received scant attention till the next international phenomenon, that is, globalisation achieved centre stage in the narrative. Like other parts of the world, in the past few decades, the development pressure due to globalisation, around the adjacent areas to Kolkata, has increased dramatically leading to a real estate explosion in these towns too. As the residential neighbourhoods are privately owned, it is here that the process of transformation occurred rapidly, without any controls exclusively for retention of the unique character of these places.

In this research, an attempt has been initiated to understand the transformation and its implication in urban fabric of the residential areas of selected colonial towns, namely, Chandernagore and Serampore.


Urban transformation Residential settlement Colonial town 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ruchira Das
    • 1
  • Sanjib Nag
    • 2
  • Keya Mitra
    • 3
  1. 1.KolkataIndia
  2. 2.Department of ArchitectureJadavpur UniversityKolkataIndia
  3. 3.Department of Architecture, Town & Regional PlanningIndian Institute of Engineering Science & Technology, ShibpurHowrahIndia

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