Bypass urbanization in India: the case of Ahmedabad and Kolkata

Lalit Kumar, Ashok Kumar

Rezumat/Abstract. Large-scale private real estate projects in the past few decades in vast areas of increasingly varied scales have been created that were once sparsely inhabited agricultural land and wetlands in the remote locations of these urban areas. This paper examines the reasons for India's peripheralization of real estate megaprojects. Such projects are typically constructed on agricultural land, notably paddy fields and wetlands. Developers' site selections are mostly influenced by the low cost of land and future development potential. In contrast to the disarray of existing urban spaces, "bypass urbanism" creates restricted and unique city spaces that allow more contented or high-status lifestyles. They avoid large parts of the city area as part of their daily lives, reinforcing socio-economic isolation, peripheralization, and uneven urban development. With the help of two case studies, this paper explores how peripheralization has created a restricted and exclusive space that facilitates middle-class life while bypassing and neglecting existing urban areas. This massive bypass urbanism constitutes a new quality of urban growth with far-reaching and uncountable repercussions, resulting in the creation of islands and the reshuffling of the entire metropolitan region.

Cuvinte cheie/Key words: bypass urbanism, integrated townships, private urban development, peripheralization, real estate megaprojects

Text integral/Full text