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The Urbanization of What?: Metropolitanization and Emerging Bottom Agglomeration Process in India

Abstract : With the special attention given to India's economy after the rapid emergence of top industrial corporates on the global economic scene, a new perspective has emerged on urbanisation in the subcontinent. It now focuses on the metropolitanization process associated with the economic opening and the correlate economic growth.
At the same time, the emerging voice of the New Economic Geography (NEG) of, the Nobel related prize winner Krugman and the focus on the NEG in the World Development Report 2009, confirm this more positive view concerning the Indian metropolitan dynamics.
However this approach had led to the neglect of the secondary and small cities, which significantly represent an essential share of India's present urban dynamics. These contribute to the most intensive population growth of the overall urban system. The number of small agglomerates is burgeoning!
Based on the Geopolis approach [], we qualify precisely all the physical agglomerates over 10,000 inhabitants as urban – agglomerate considering as a contiguous built up area. Mostly the metropolitan bias is a statistical bias; our approach is an attempt to offer another view of Indian contemporary agglomeration process. Based on Geopolis definition we found that, in 2001, 37% of Indian population was leaving in agglomerates over 10,000 inhabitants compared to the 27% for the official urban units.
After the standardization of a diachronic set of data, ground verification and digitalization of each morphological form, we are able to offer a revised or an alternative view of India's urban continuum. Beside the classical analysis of demographic trend, we also consider the urban forms and the existence of the settlement system.
India seems to be characterised more and more by much more diffused demographic urban system that does not apparently affect its strong economic growth. Another model has to be conceived and spatially articulated; it would be certainly much more nuanced than the binary gloze on the polarization effect of the neoliberal transition as its contrary mechanism relative to trickledown effect.
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Contributor : Eric Denis <>
Submitted on : Thursday, October 1, 2009 - 11:59:39 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 1:53:20 PM


  • HAL Id : halshs-00421218, version 1


Eric Denis, Kamala Marius-Gnanou. The Urbanization of What?: Metropolitanization and Emerging Bottom Agglomeration Process in India. Emerging Urban Transformation (Urban Geography Commission - International Geographical Union), Jul 2009, Hyderabad, India. pp.135-163. ⟨halshs-00421218⟩



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