Talk by Prof. Dipankar Gupta on “Space and Non-Space: Planning Cities for Citizens”

By Apoorva Rao,
Content Team Volunteer
Dr. Dipankar Gupta presented the Department of Political Science with an avant-garde linkage between geographical town planning and citizenship. He believes that town planning can enhance citizenship if it prioritises the creation of public spaces. To strengthen the linkage, he differentiated between spaces and non-spaces. Spaces consist of the area that a person feels a certain kind of belongingness to while non-spaces consist of those tracts of our post-modern life where we go in and out of to pursue our means. He pointed out how the creation of “spaces” is of utmost importance to town-planners, so much so that they’ve ended up creating cramped enclosed “spaces” that do not invoke the feeling of belongingness. He pointed out that these “ugly” areas are too unaesthetic to provide their purpose. Adding to that, he stated that the formation of accessible public ‘spaces’ will enhance citizenship as it will  provide the citizens with equal opportunity to cultivate their selves through aesthetic means. It’ll provide them with an environment they’ll identify with and which will perhaps, facilitate thoughts. It’ll help in blurring of the lines between the public and the private, between the rich and the poor solely by providing them with accessible public “space”.
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