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Recent Trends and Future Directions in Urban Geography

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Within urban geography the last decade has seen an explosion in qualitative work in terms of the types of methods utilized, the topic addressed and potential theoretical consequences (for review see Findlay and Graham 1991; White and Jackson 1995; Lawson 1998; Findlay and Li 1999; Graham 1999; McKendrick 1999; Mc Hugh 2000; Graham and Boyle 2001; Boyle 2002; Gober and Tyner 2004; Silvey 2004). The purpose of this paper is to highlight the particular promises, challenges and practically using different methods in urban geography. I begin by addressing how different techniques and research methods answer ongoing problems within the sub-discipline for non-traditional ways of thinking about the problems related to urban geography in the Indian context and articulate further how all the techniques I have considered here are valuable for urban geographers. Then I outline two other promising outcomes of the methods, including the potential and the problem areas, spaces wise distribution, and the potential for the empowerment of researchers, planners, governmental as well as non-governmental organizations and local bodies. I use the rest of the paper to provide a review of some of the methodological details of different techniques, with the idea of encouraging more urban geographers to engage with these techniques. Throughout, I contend that different techniques have the capability to further our understandings of urban processes, and to connect this research to ongoing discussion within the broader discipline. Typically the techniques are an ideal method for both exploratory and confirmatory purposes. In other words, these techniques are useful for gaining background information, clarifying ideas, developing questions and understanding the seriousness of the particular problems processes and patterns. Geographical studies of urban problems and regions in India have made remarkable progress since 1991.

The globalization of urbanization is only a recent phenomenon. Most of the developed countries have already achieved a very high level of urbanization. But the process of rapid urbanization has started only recently in the developing countries. As this process is still unfolding in the developing countries it is revealing special features. Therefore, the study of different aspects of urbanization is very important in order to have a proper understanding of the urbanization phenomenon as well as policies to deal with it.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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