Imperilled Waterscapes

The Social-Ecological Transformation of Lakes in Bengaluru

Authors

  • Amrita Sen Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur
  • Hita Unnikrishnan The University of Sheffield
  • Harini Nagendra Azim Premji University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.37773/ees.v3i2.229

Keywords:

waterscapes, lakes, urbanization, Bellandur, Bengaluru

Abstract

This paper examines the historical waterscapes of Bengaluru, now imperilled by development. Earlier a garden city, the agrarian landscape of Bengaluru was formerly supplied with water from an interconnected lake system. This system has since been fragmented due to urbanization and changes in land cover, impacting local institutions and livelihoods dependent on the lakes. In this paper, we use the case of the city’s largest lake, Bellandur, to demonstrate the transformation of the waterscape from an open semi-arid landscape pre-dating the city into an agrarian water-dependent landscape characterized by flows of water in pre-colonial and colonial Bengaluru, and finally into a concretized landscape and the individualization of lakes in the “modern” city. Claims to and associations with the lake ecosystem have altered through changing hydrological, institutional, and social relations, leading to shifts in imaginations of the lake as well.

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Author Biographies

Amrita Sen, Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur

Assistant Professor in Sociology, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302

Also, visiting faculty with Azim Premji University, Burugunte Village, Sarjapur Hobli, Anekal Taluk, Bangalore 562125

Hita Unnikrishnan, The University of Sheffield

Newton International Fellow, Urban Institute, ICOSS, The University of Sheffield, 219, Portobello, Sheffield S1 4DP

Also, visiting faculty with Azim Premji University, Burugunte Village, Sarjapur Hobli, Anekal Taluk, Bangalore 562125.

Harini Nagendra, Azim Premji University

Professor of Sustainability, School of Development. Azim Premji University, Burugunte Village, Sarjapur Hobli, Anekal Taluk, Bangalore 562125 

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Additional Files

Published

2020-07-16

Issue

Section

Special Section: New Epistemologies of Water in India