Speculative Urbanism and the Making of the Next World City


This article explores the process of making Bangalore, India into a ‘world city’ by focusing on specific world‐city projects, the parastatal government agencies managing them, the explosive IT industry as the putative engine behind this world‐city making, and the inter‐urban dynamics across world cities such as Dubai and Singapore. Most of these activities are linked to the highly remunerative challenge of transforming rural economies into urban real estate. Land speculation and active dispossession of those working and living in the rural periphery, on land upon which the new world‐city projects are being built, is the main business of government today in Bangalore. This article suggests that this temporary ‘state of exception’, with both its attendant suspensions of civil and human rights as well as their institutionalization into government practices, reflects a shift into new forms of ‘speculative’ government, economy, urbanism and citizenship.