Shubhra Gururani
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Situating suburban ecologies in the Global South
Notes from India’s urban periphery
in Turning up the heat
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In situating urban ecologies in the context of extended urbanisation and extreme weather events, this chapter focuses on the disappearance of water bodies in the city of Gurgaon, located in the southern edge of New Delhi. It draws on ethnographic fieldwork and first argues that it is imperative to acknowledge the imbrications of urban and agrarian dynamics in primarily agrarian countries like India and attend to the micropolitics of power that is firmly intertwined with the social and material relations of land, water, class, and caste. Second, the chapter makes a case for paying close ethnographic attention to the processes of social-ecological transformation through which land and water are simultaneously assetised and urbanised, and track how new ecological imaginaries recast the social geography of exclusion and marginalisation in this political-economic moment. The chapter concludes by arguing that it is crucial to rethink the precepts that have historically guided the frameworks of urban planning and eco-restoration, undo the entrenched boundaries that separate ‘nature’ from urban, and highlight how ecology is relationally constituted and constitutive of social-political-material dynamics to address the challenge of climate change meaningfully.

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Turning up the heat

Urban political ecology for a climate emergency


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