Polemics of Planning, Development and Environment

  • Jenia MukherjeeEmail author
Part of the Exploring Urban Change in South Asia book series (EUCS)


Through nuanced understanding and analysis of Kolkata’s urban planning efforts and initiatives and the complex relationship among planning, “development,” and “environment,” this chapter attempts to explore the reasons behind Kolkata’s mega-urbanization drive in the post-independence period, which has generated massive socio-ecological costs. Connecting global visions, national agendas, and local trajectories, the chapter investigates the incorporation of the “environment” within urban planning and development goals against the larger conjuncture of “sustainable urbanization” and “smart city” plans and policy discourses. Through detailed empirical analysis of a series of elaborately developed plans (from the 1960s to the present) that emerged out of particular historical and political contexts to address specific issues, this chapter critically interrogates the existing social science literature that explains Kolkata’s urban sprawl as being entirely determined by global and national dynamics, operating within the same logic of “accumulation by dispossession.” It argues that although the city has encountered tremendous ecological conversion and “cleansing” drives affecting the social livelihoods of marginalized communities, yet, a linear story of the city being entirely appropriated by and succumbing to global pathways and national trajectories is not strictly accurate. The chapter provides clues and directions to the urban sustainability puzzle in tune with Kolkata’s very own aspirations, requirements, capacity, and limits.


Urban planning Kolkata Sustainable Smart Environment KEIP 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Humanities and Social SciencesIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

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