- Globalisation and Urban Restructuring of Bangalore, India :Growth of the IT Industry, its spatial dynamics and local planning responses   click here to open paper content498 kb
by    Aranya, Rolee | rolee.aranya@ark.ntnu.no   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
This paper illustrates with case of Bangalore City, India how a globally footloose industry can polarise local urban dynamics of space and organisation to a single economic sector which has a high productivity.
Globalisation of the urban economy in the south Indian city of Bangalore has in the last decade been associated with the location of a globally footloose Information Technology or more specifically the Software Industry. Though the city has always been a center of innovation and research in advanced technology, the location of the software industry has put Bangalore on the global map of production in this sector. The city with a cumulative investment in technology to the tune of about $1 billion had a turnover of about $ 1.59 billion from software exports in 2000-01 from over 928 companies registered with the Software Technology Parks of India.
In this paper I would like to present the case of Bangalore as an illustration of the urban transformation that such a globally oriented production can bring about in an overall context of a developing economy. The office-based industry is estimated to be employing only 100,000 professionals directly and producing 2% of the national exports. The demand for physical space and infrastructure for a production that is not linked to the local markets has created conditions of suburbanisation and development of ‘edge city’ like phenomena. In a situation where the literacy level of the Bangalore, which is the largest city in the state, was only 76% in 2000-01, the access to this clique of high skills and productivity is restricted to those who can afford specialized technical education. With the planning system and the market being strongly oriented to this sector of high growth, the local urban dynamics have become linked to global business trends, sometimes marginalizing the local interests.
The study is a result of my ongoing Ph.D. research at the Department of City and Regional planning, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim. I will be presenting the final thesis for defense in December this year. The main aim of my research has been to add to the body of knowledge regarding the spatial transformation and required policy responses to integration of city economies in the global network of dispersed production.
This study would be interesting to the participants of this conference because it could form a precursor to studying the impacts of globalization on cities other than in the most advanced economies, as has usually been the case in theory so far. The characteristics of globalization being discussed in studies on urban restructuring has been that of the sites where headquarters of global production are located, but the question I faced in my research was how one addresses the issues in urban areas where this dispersed production finally locates. Does that not constitute globalization? Or are those cities in developing countries not ‘global cities’? And are the physical aspects of transformation produced different from ‘global cities’? These are the questions that imperatively face urban professionals looking for direction to plan for a globalised economy.
Globalisation, Spatial Transformation, Developing Economy
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