Transactional Spaces within Postmetropolis – Sociability in the Public Realm: Case of pune

Author: Tanvee Dabir | Krvia – Post Graduate Program | 2021

Keywords: Globalization, Capitalism. Socio-cultural ideology, Urban Identity, Post-metropolis, Homogenization, Transactional Spaces, Sociability

The notion of identity is an important dimension of social and cultural life in cities. It grounds the city for its people to create a continuity of place identity through attachment and sociability. Economic liberalization has allowed the penetration of image of global city within globalizing economies. The reflections of integration of global economy within Indian cities have been observed with the rapid urbanization of the central city and peripheral areas in the last three decades. Thus the attraction of an image of global city has led to disassociation with identity and pockets of unequal development.

The framework is based on the evolution of cities under capitalist globalisation conceptualised through the phenomenon of ‘Postmetropolis’ by Edward Soja. He chronicles the evolution of city through the lens of changing economic production within its history.

Consumption of cities and within cities is the basis for economic life and production of cities. (Smas, 2008) Consumption relates to the material exchange of goods, services and objects. This active transactional nature influences culture and social aspects of city formation. The people’s relationship with the city is based on transactions in various forms – social transactions within public spaces, economic transactions within markets or human transactions within transportation hubs. Therefore the aspect of sociability is tied to transaction spaces.

The sociability within cities is dependent on the quality of public space that attracts people and allows for the conduction of social and leisure activities, whether individually or in a group.  (Khalilah Zakariya*, 2014) Transactional spaces that allow for a multiplicity of connections beyond consumption are crucial for the city’s vitality. Consumption unites the city experience as people’s experience of the city is by walking and interacting with transactional spaces.

When vehicular connectivity takes precedence within city planning, as evident in the postmetropolis, the city loses this basic function. Transaction spaces within the fragmented periphery of the postmetropolis have increasingly become rigid not allowing organic sociability. Increasing commodification of spaces for transaction has changed the socio-cultural paradigms of urban life. New spaces of transaction emphasize on the economic aspect of transaction while ignoring the sociability arising as a result.

The thesis seeks to nurture, protect and evolve sociability within transaction spaces to enhance the urban life within the emerging postmetropolis. The enhancement of transaction through urban hybridisation is seen as an opportunity to create equitable public spaces by integrating the local economy within global spaces. The strategies include inclusivity of local contexts within global spaces, transaction spaces that allow for various exchanges and allowing spaces for informal interactions within formal settings.

The thesis focuses on connecting the trajectory of economic evolution with the configuration of transactional spaces. Pune is chosen as a rapidly metropolising city with sites that reflected the spatiality of evolution of the city. The sites selected are: Old city core (Peth), Suburban expansion (Kothrud) and Peripheral extension (Hinjewadi)


Smas, L. (2008). Transaction Spaces: Consumption Configurations and City Formation [Stockholm Studies in Human Geography].

Soja, E. (2000). Exopolis: The Restructuring of Urban Form. In Postmetropolis. Routledge.

Zakariya, K., Harun, N., & Mansor, M. (2014). Spatial Characteristics of Urban Square and Sociability: A review of the City Square, Melbourne. AMER International Conference on Quality of Life, Social and Behavioral Sciences, 678–688.

Text & Image Credit: Tanvee Dabir| Krvia – Post Graduate Program | Urban Design


  1. ‘Image of the City’ and ‘Eyes on the street’ should also have been used as theoretical research, as the article talks about transaction spaces, but misses out on the point where Pune citizens still prefer shopping at Tulsi bag instead of a mall. The mention of economic evolution should come at the very beginning in the abstract. Without it the article is more associative of cities like New York, and the relevance of the thesis in Pune feels insignificant till one reads the very last line in the article.


    1. ‘Image of the city’ and ‘eyes on street’ were definately part of the literature review during the course of the thesis. The parameters for analysis have included these units. The article is releted to the overall structure of the thesis, however as pointed, it could have included relevance to the city of Pune. I will keep this in mind for my later writings. Thank you


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