Polarisation

Exclusive Spatial Production

Author: Dulari Parmar| Krvia – Post Graduate Program | 2020

What is Polarisation? It is division into two sharply contrasting groups.

In the Post-World war era, there was an inception of concepts of city creation, which means creating cities from scratch that would move away from the dirt and squalor of the industrial towns. Large scale visions like garden city, global city and satellite city emerged from this ideology. It seems necessary to point out that this ideology is fundamentally flawed. Thus, thesis argue that, city creation is a practice that evolves historically by allowing different urban actors to contribute within this ‘process of creation’ and that a satellite city negates this choice. Such cities produced, essentially remain exclusive with spatial production that caters to a certain class and their consumer choices. Therefore, processes of globalisation in last decades have been associated with multiplying inequality and polarisation accompanied with intensified spatial segregation. In her book, The Global City, Sassen reiterates that polarisation is inherently spatial in nature as it disproportionately concentrates two extremes in the same geography (Sassen, 2001)[1]. Cases from Johannesburg, South Africa demonstrates extreme polarisation that continues through racial discriminatory planning. Alexandra an apartheid excluded poor locality is host to extermination under Urban Renewal Schemes proposed by the government (Crankshaw et.al. 2004)[2].

In 1970’s the Bombay Metropolitan Regional Planning Board was formed along with theparastatal planning agency CIDCO (City and Industrial Development Corporation) to develop the satellite city of Navi Mumbai. Since then this geography is a host to conflict between gaothans and the authorities. This conflict was first initiated when CIDCO acquired villagers’ land for Navi Mumbai. Marx terms this as primitive accumulation, which is a violent dispossession of a class of people from their means of production (Marx, 1990).[3]When the villagers’ right over their means of subsistence was seized, they resorted to a new form of urbanism that was away from the legitimate ideologies of planning. This conflict was further triggered in 2014, when CIDCO proposed the Urban Renewal Schemewhich sought to white wash the existing fabric overlaid by a new modern planning layout.In order to propose resolution over the polarisation and consequent conflicts it is necessary to find its underlying spatial causes. This research therefore focusses on identifying the spatial causes to this conflictand proposes urban design resolution strategies in order to de-polarise.


[1]Sassen, S. (2001). The global city. (Princeton paperbacks.) Princeton, NJ [u.a.: Princeton Univ. Press.

[2]Crankshaw, Owen & Parnell, Susan. (2004). Johannesburg: Race, Inequality and Urbanisation. 10.1017/CBO9780511550799.014.

[3]Marx, K., Engels, F., Mandel, E., & Fowkes, B. (1990). Capital: A critique of political economy. London: Penguin in association with New Left Review.

Text & Image Credit: Dulari Parmar | Krvia – Post Graduate Program | Urban Design

View the thesis panels here: https://app.conceptboard.com/board/ska3-h5sy-e6sp-tgnz-qmcq

View the thesis presentation here: https://youtu.be/KrtqlL7vXds

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