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Engineering Formality: Flyover and Skywalk Construction in Mumbai

Harris, A; (2018) Engineering Formality: Flyover and Skywalk Construction in Mumbai. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research , 42 (2) pp. 295-314. 10.1111/1468-2427.12525. Green open access

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Abstract

This article investigates the engineering of elevated transport infrastructure in contemporary Mumbai. It argues that the conception, construction and implementation of flyovers and skywalks in Mumbai over the past 20 years has been part of elite efforts seeking to instil a more free‐flowing, predictable and regulated city. The techniques, routines, standards and visualizations comprising these engineering schemes have promised ways of reshaping the socio‐material configurations and everyday landscapes of Mumbai into a more knowable, functional and integrated realm. The article suggests that this can be understood analytically as a means of trying to establish and maintain ‘formal’ ideals, citizens and spaces in Mumbai against wider urban contexts perceived as increasingly ‘informal’. The article thus emphasizes the importance of exploring how the ‘informal’ and ‘formal’ are actively produced and imagined against each other through material practices and procedures, and the central role of urban engineering in attempts at reconfiguring the social and political dimensions of urban life.

Type: Article
Title: Engineering Formality: Flyover and Skywalk Construction in Mumbai
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/1468-2427.12525
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.12525
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 Urban Research Publications Limited. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: informality, infrastructure, elevated transport, Mumbai, engineering, material politics
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1539984
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