Hinduism, Heritage and the Sustainable City
Religion and Urbanisation in Jaipur
Routledge – 2015 – 224 pages
The speed and scale of urbanisation in India is unprecedented almost anywhere in the world and has tremendous implications globally. The sacral influence on the urban experience can be demonstrated to have resonances for all aspects of urban sustainability in India and yet, remains a blind spot while articulating sustainable urban policy.
The book explores the historical and ongoing influence of religion on urban planning, design, space utilisation, and the creation and impact on urban identities and communities. Specifically, it looks at how religious heritage, religious beliefs and religiously influenced planning practices have influenced different facets of development in Indian cities.
Three aspects are critical for sustainable urbanisation policies for Jaipur and Indian cities in general: gender, religious heritage and city planning; the city as a communalised space and caste informed space; and heritage and ecological challenges. The book identifies the challenges that Hindu-based planning and heritage poses for sustainability of the city in these regards. It argues that there are ritualistic and belief resources within the religion that urban planning can – and must – utilise while devising the sustainability of Jaipur.
This book is one of the first case studies linking Hindu religion, heritage, gender, environment and planning in a manner that has clear implications for sustainable urban planning policies. The study has useful policy implications for the sustainable urban planning of many cities in India, the subcontinent as well as major cities of Indonesia, Cambodia and Nepal.
Part 1: Introduction 1. Introduction: Religion, Heritage and Urban Planning Part 2: Hinduism, Spatiality and Urban Planning 2. Space and Symbolism in Hindu City Planning 3. Religious Heritage and Urban Planning in India 4. Hinduism and Other Religions, Hinduism and Modernity Part 3: Jaipur Planning: An Overview 5. Hindu Planning of Jaipur 6. Heritage and Jaipur Master Plans Part 4: Exploring Jaipur's Heritage/Religion/Planning Nexus 7. Gender, Heritage and Planning in Jaipur 8. City as a Communalised and Casteised Space 9. Hinduism, Ecology and Planning in Jaipur Part 5: Cities of the Future in South Asia 10. Urbanisation and the Religious Influence on South Asian Cities
Dr Yamini Narayanan is Lecturer at La Trobe University, Australia.