This book is a comprehensive survey of urbanization in South Asia during the last 5000 years. Divided into clear accessible chapters, the book:
- explores ancient cities, including the Harappan or Sindhu/Sarasvati Civilization, the 'second' urbanization beginning in the Ganga River basin of northern India, and the problem of urban decline during the first millennium
- covers the rejuvenation of cities around the year 1000, the central places of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire, and the emporiums within the Indian Ocean trading system
- deals with the period of British colonialism until 1947
- focuses on issues connected with the explosive growth of cities since Independence: urban planning and management of mega-cities, governance, migration, globalization and labour, terror and violence, technology, gender, and the image of the city in cultural production.
The argument of the book traces the interweaving of four themes, including the economic bases of urbanization, the built environment, living in the city, and multi-city networks. With case studies in each chapter focusing on specific cities, and including maps and photographs, the book provides reference for chronological periods and particular places or processes.