When we talk about cities and urban spaces we are in the habit of using a specific language that we generally believe to provide acceptable descriptions. However, Swati Chattopadhyay believes that the words we use are not specific enough and that our descriptions presuppose a certain view of history and the relationship between natural and fabricated reality. There are two examples used as demonstration. The first is the increase in slums and the difficulties that our language has in identifying the meaning of these places and their connections with cities and rural locations. The second is a focus on rivers, especially in India, and how their changes in shape, size and form over time has an impact on our attempts to control land by making it into landscape. Where are the boundaries of a city? Is it where maps tell us it is, or is it more fluent than that? These are basic questions that Chattopadhyay asks or our usual interpretations of urban spaces.
Anglo-American conference 2009: Cities Swati Chattopadhyay (University of Southern California Santa Barbara) Cities and peripheries