I have an undergraduate degree in Life Sciences from St. Xavier’s College and a master’s degree in Habitat Policy and Practice from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS).
For my master’s dissertation, I explored the dynamics of the urban planning process in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, by scrutinizing the vision, the plan, and its implementation of the Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project.My starting point for this research was the case of Gurjari bazaar, a six hundred-year-old weekly market, serving large urban poor populations of the city, which would be obliterated by the riverfront development project.
After I graduated from TISS, I worked at the Urban Design Research Institute. Here, I worked on the project ‘Development Plan of Mumbai’, a spatial planning instrument defining the use of every parcel of land in the city. I worked on creating a participatory platform enabling stakeholders to address the planning authorities. This research helped me make the claim that urban planning in India remains in the domain of technocrats, far removed from the people inhabiting and experiencing the city itself.
In continuing my process of inquiry and engagement with the spatial planning process in Mumbai, I worked with the consultant group appointed by the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai to revise the Development Plan of Mumbai. In doing so, I moved from the domain of civil society into that of the government authority itself. It was here that I learned about the complexities of urban planning processes and tools.
Finally, at TISS, I was involved in a South-South comparative study at TISS titled ‘Countering Urban Violence and Promoting Spatial Justice in Rio, Durban, and Mumbai’ as a research associate. Here I worked on the myriad spatial injustices that have been inflicted by urban planning tools in different cities of the developing world.
Banerji, Sangeeta. (June, 2011) “Role of Megaprojects in Making of a World Class City: The Case of Sabarmati Riverfront Development Project in Ahmedabad.” Tata Institute of Social Sciences. DSpace.
Banerji, Sangeeta. (Forthcoming, May 2021) “Shazia: Proof maker” in Bombay Brokers: Ethnography in the Global Interregnum. Edited by Lisa Björkman. Duke University Press.
Banerji, Sangeeta. (Under review). “Field of Fixing: Following the follow-up boys in the Urban Bureaucracy of Mumbai.” Political Geography. (April 2020)
Banerji, Sangeeta. (Under review). “Māṇḍavlī: Negotiating with Digital Governance in Mumbai.” Urban Geography. (August 2020)
Banerji, Sangeeta. (In preparation). “At the Tracers’ station: Ethnographically studying the Bureaucratic State Apparatus.” Geoforum. (September 2020)
Banerji, Sangeeta (In preparation). “Struggling in Bhim Nagar: Fixing Infrastructure-Induced Displacement and Enclosure of Non-privatized land.” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. (October 2020)