Dr. Neema Kudva
City and Regional Planning Department
The bulk of urban Indians, indeed urban residents everywhere, live in a range of smaller cities and towns that remain understudied and poorly understood, even by those who seek to plan and govern them. Large economies and diverse polities such as India also have distinct urbanization patterns at the sub-national scale. This paper will focus on two such long-settled yet rapidly growing small city regions in the southern Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Mangalore on Karnataka’s south-western coast, and Coonoor, high in the Nilgiris District on Tamil Nadu’s mountainous north-western periphery, present very different physical landscapes, urban morphologies, and challenges to the urban researcher and planner. Within these, I am particularly interested in the geographies of water and waste. This paper will present work in progress to reflect both on the methodological challenges of studying the spatial production of waste, for instance, and on the challenges of planning for sustainable cities.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Kudva is currently an associate professor in the City and Regional Planning department at Cornell University, and hold a Ph.D. from the University of California–Berkeley.
Her research focuses on international urbanization, particularly issues related to small cities and their regions, and on institutional structures for equitable planning and development at the local level. Dr. Kudva has explored various aspects of the role of public agencies and nongovernmental organizations in planning and development, primarily in South Asia but also in the U.S. Kudva directs the International Studies in Planning program and is the faculty lead for the Nilgiris Field Learning Center, a collaborative program of Cornell University and the Keystone Foundation, India. At Cornell, she is affiliated with the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs, the South Asia Studies Program at the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, the Visual Studies Program, and is a faculty fellow at Carl Becker House. Prior to joining CRP in 2001, she worked as a planning consultant to public agencies in San Francisco and as an architect in India and Europe.
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