The logics and realms of small-town territories: the story of Tiruchengode

Raman, Bhuvaneswari (2013) The logics and realms of small-town territories: the story of Tiruchengode. Sarai Reader Projection, 9. pp. 200-209.

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Urban studies view city territories in general and small town ones in particular as projections of either the master plan or the market; territories that do not fit these logics are read through the lens of informality and illegality. Such readings eventually pose urban territories as problems to be fixed through better plans and strict implementation. Small towns are further assumed to be inward-looking enclaves of locally bound economy and politics, their growth shaped by metro city market logic. This reasoning has influenced recent rhetoric of making city plans transparent, and has catalysed the production of digital plans and databases. By contrast, this essay, through its focus on a small town – Tiruchengode in western Tamil Nadu – shows that territory is an assemblage of multiple forces and fields, irreducible to the singular logic of master plans and metro dynamics (Benjamin, 2008, 2012). Further, it shows the incompleteness of the information on which urban projections are developed – not owing to issues of data collection or management, but because of the difficulty of capturing urban territorial dynamism. This paper points to the importance of reading cities from the ground, rather than fixing them within linear projections. The essay has two sections. The first traces the variety of forces and fields that shaped Tiruchengode through
mapping settlement histories and claiming practices in a social context whose fluid politics in place and time make
predicting the trajectory of territoriality difficult. The second section engages with the nature of the information underpinning urban planning, and discusses projections of the transparent city and their demand for incessant information production.India

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Tiruchengode | Tamil Nadu | India | Party Politics
Subjects: Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Social Sciences (General)
Social Sciences and humanities > Social Sciences > Urban Studies
JGU School/Centre: Jindal School of Government and Public Policy
Depositing User: Subhajit Bhattacharjee
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2022 11:05
Last Modified: 14 Apr 2022 11:05
Official URL:


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