Sign In

‘World-City’ Planning in Andhra Pradesh: A New Model for Urbanisation?

Urban planning, land acquisition, and infrastructure development are among the most politically contentious issues in India today, with ramifying implications for the trajectory of development, social justice, and sustainability. This research project will address some of these issues through a longitudinal study of an ambitious experiment in planned urban development – the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh. The research will follow the development of ‘Amaravathi’ over the next three years, focusing on the social and economic impacts of the state government’s plan to build a futuristic ‘greenfield’ city in the midst of an agrarian landscape. This ‘world-city’ project has already set in motion diverse processes of urbanisation (both ‘planned’ and unplanned), and attendant social and economic transformations, with profound consequences for all the inhabitants of the capital region. The research will document the variable outcomes of the Amaravathi project for different social classes and communities, tracing changes in livelihood strategies, patterns of mobility, and changing aspirations and visions of the future. By mapping the dynamics of rural to urban transitions, the ‘land pooling’ process the financialisation of land and the operations of a speculative real estate market, and the effects of these processes on the social welfare and economic security of local communities, the project will draw broader conclusions about the implications of this mode of urban planning, land assembly, and infrastructure development for the larger goal of creating sustainable and equitable habitats for all citizens.

Research Report


Dr. Carol Upadhya

Carol Upadhya is a social anthropologist and is a Professor in the School of Social Sciences, National Institute of Advanced Studies (NIAS), Bengaluru. She has researched and written extensively on diverse social transformations in contemporary India, including social and spatial mobilities, the middle class, globalization, capitalist development and class formation, transnationalism and regional diasporas, and the globalisation of Indian cities. She co-directed the Provincial Globalisation research programme, a collaboration with the University of Amsterdam, and anchored the Urban Research and Policy Programme at NIAS.

Prof. Upadhya earlier taught at sociology at SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai. She has been a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Goettingen, Germany and the International Institute of Asian Studies, Amsterdam.

> View Next: Lobbying, Corruption and Economic Development