[Reader-list] Posting- Surat- research questions

Rutul Joshi joshirutul at yahoo.co.in
Sun Jun 6 20:12:21 IST 2004

After struggling with the conceptual positions and research framework, i am focusing on the following. I have identified more than 10 kind of social groups belonging to a particular geographical location in a city and i am currently conducting their interviews. The following posting will focus on the experiences in the field and excerpts from literature review. 

Conceptual Positions - Issues in Urban Composition

Rapidly growing cities in India face peculiar problems of being demographically large, socially diverse and deficient in terms of urban basic services. Especially, the cities with a strong base of secondary sector witness a rapid growth of residential cum industrial ghettos being developed all around the historical core city. The migrating population from the other parts of the country locates itself in a particular area on the basis of class, castes or other regional and cultural preferences. This creates ‘distinct patches’ in the urban composition of the cities of the south, which otherwise represented as a ’melting pot of cultures’. The politics of space is manifested in the physical composition of the city leading to socially and psychologically segregated parts and generating disparity in terms of urban service provision. 


In a context of increasing urban diversity and growing economic disparities what are the processes involved in the making of new social, cultural and political identities in the city? How social relationships manifest in the social and geographical spaces of cities and their neighborhoods?

How do social and political relationships evolve and manifest themselves in socially and culturally diverse cities?

How do the social identities of citizens express themselves in changing built environments and how do land markets and physical living conditions influence the process of locational choice and community formation?

The use of public space by different social groups is a distinctive feature of urban life. Squares and streets have always provided for spaces where people of diverse social and cultural origins would meet and share the experience of urban life. With the growing social diversity of urban residents and the increasing urban poverty, many city public spaces are being "privatized" by groups of specific social and cultural origin, or by local gangs. What actions are being taken to restore the urban function of public spaces?

Rutul Joshi,
Lecturer, Faculty of Architecture,
SCET, Surat. 
Contact No.- +91-98243-83900.


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