Thinking beyond fairy lights and fountains : lessons from the waterscape of Bengaluru

Unnikrishnan, Hita (2018) Thinking beyond fairy lights and fountains : lessons from the waterscape of Bengaluru. Ecology, Economy and Society - The INSEE Journal, 1 (2). pp. 95-99.

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In March 2013, I was part of a group of researchers participating in a discussion with a nodal agency responsible for maintaining one of periurban Bengaluru's information technology (IT) hubs. The objective was to seek academic collaboration to understand the ecology of two lakes earmarked for rejuvenation and evolve a plan to clear „weeds‟. We quickly found out „weeds‟ included forms of vegetation (like reeds) that were not pleasing to the human eye although they were important resources feeding informal economies integral to this landscape. The discussion included propositions to make these lakes „attractive‟– musical fountains, lights, jogging tracks … – in essence, everything that would fuel aspirations of the urban middle and upper classes but would exclude people whose lives and livelihoods were directly supported by those water bodies – farmers, fishermen, commercial launderers, urban foragers, and livestock owners. For them, the lake was not an embodiment of beauty and pleasure, but something sustaining their ways of life.

Item Type: Article
Authors: Unnikrishnan, Hita
Uncontrolled Keywords: Waterscape, Bengaluru, Urban
Subjects: Natural Sciences > Life sciences; biology > Ecology
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Development
Full Text Status: Public
Publisher URL:

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