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Urban Governance, diversity and social action in cities of the South

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Urban Governance, diversity and social action in cities of the South

The complexity of a city lies not only in its demographic but also in its physical manifestation. There has been enough research on the diversity and complexity of the city and so on. This paper will focus on the issue of nature of physical space in the city that can be called as ‘public’, and that in essence provides equal opportunity to the city resident, rich or poor, to come together. To my mind, however there are few social institutions that do so. Let us discuss one such social and democratic institution that the city entails. We will discuss the marketplace- the market square as the essential physical urban public space in the Indian city, which is undergoing tremendous transformation in character and form. However it is one entity, whose potential has remained understated and undermined. This paper advocates, alongside stating a live example, about how this tremendous potential could be chanelized.

Manu Goel

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