Category: Writings

The slum dweller

Short story in India: the Urban Transition – a Case Study of Development Urbanism, 2014.

Henrik Valeur, 2013

Pawan is 26; he’s a good-looking guy, with a charming smile and eyes that inspire confidence. Furthermore, he holds a university degree in geography and is working for the High Court of Haryana and Punjab as a clerk. It’s only a temporary job but he is also taking classes in the evening to pass the examination to qualify for taking on a higher and steadier position with the government.

Continue reading

Car-free sector (in Chandigarh)

Published in The Global Urbanist

Henrik Valeur, 2013

Chandigarh
In contrast to Bangalore, in the south of India, which has been influenced by both British colonization and contemporary processes of globalization, Chandigarh, in the north of India, is a unique modernist city. It was designed in the early 1950’s by a team of Indian and foreign architects headed by Le Corbusier, one of the “fathers” of the modernist movement.

Continue reading

Car-free campus (in Bangalore)

Published in The Global Urbanist

By Henrik Valeur, 2013

Mobility is crucial for human development and for the functioning of cities but the automobile may not always be the best solution, especially not in cities where it may have detrimental effects on human health, the environment and development.

While evidence of these effects is piling up in a rapidly growing number of academic studies nothing much seems to be done on the ground. Though the following case, from Bangalore, may, perhaps, provide some inspiration.

Continue reading

The horrendous costs of motorized transportation in (Indian) cities

Paper in World Streets, 2013, The Global Urbanist, 2013 andIndia: the Urban Transition – A Case Study of Development Urbanism, 2014

By Henrik Valeur, 2013

It could presumably be argued that it is the combined ability to both move and think that has enabled us, human beings, to achieve the kind of progress we have achieved. Today, however, mobility and thinking often seem to oppose – or even exclude – one another, especially in cities, where the current modes of transportation and traffic behavior are not only threatening the health of the individual but also that of communities and eco-systems.

Read the paper …

Bangalore – the urban schism

Essay in India: the Urban Transition – a Case Study of Development Urbanism, 2014.

By Henrik Valeur, 2013

By the beginning of the 21st century, Bangalore had emerged as a global hub for software development, production and services, with most of the world’s leading IT companies being located there and two of the leading Indian IT companies being headquartered there.

Continue reading

The godfather of the hyper-modern city

By Henrik Valeur, 2011

“I apologize”

Chen breathe

“I apologize to the party, the people and my family”

He sits down. A broken man who has lost everything. The last two years he has spent in prison in Beijing and under house arrest in a distant province. It is spring 2008 and he is now sitting in a courtroom in Tianjin, waiting for his verdict.

He risks the death penalty.

Continue reading