‘Bangalore: A test case for Govt, policymakers, urban planners’ At a Public Policy talk at IIM Bangalore, Dr. Kalpana Gopalan says the city need to be reimagined. R Kaushalendra Rao reports

22 May, 2019: The PGPPM Class of 2019-20, at IIM Bangalore, hosted Dr. Kalpana Gopalan, an accomplished and experienced serving IAS officer and an alumna of IIMB, on May 22. In her talk, she traced the city’s growth story from humble beginnings to a heaving metropolis. She also described the socio-cultural influences that shape the character of the city, which she called “a contested space”.

The focus on urbanization is timely as projections point to the fact that while it took nearly 40 years (from 1971 to 2008) for India’s urban population to rise by almost 230 million; it will take only half that time to add the next 250 million.

The rapid growth and expansion of Bangalore city has few parallels in Independent India’s urbanization history. At various times in history, while cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta became seats of executive power or great trading centers, that evolution took place over a few hundred years. In comparison, Bangalore changed rapidly in just two-and-a-half decades, and such rapid expansion had both its positives and negatives. In terms of positives, it became a hub of Information Technology and services, thus creating opportunities for millions of people in the process, but at the same time putting an enormous strain the city’s infrastructure.
According to Dr. Kalpana Gopalan, urbanization of Bangalore city is a test case for governments, policymakers, urban planners and citizens. “For a better quality of life and sustainable living, cities have to be reimagined and made more inclusive,” she added.

The session saw enthusiastic participation from PGPPM students, researchers and faculty members at IIMB.

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