Rajeev Chandrasekhar and R Jagannathan in conversation at Swarajya Cityscapes, 2017
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Watch: Rajeev Chandrasekhar, R Jagannathan Talk About The Politics Of Urban Governance

Watch this conversation between R Jagannathan and Rajeev Chandrasekhar about urban leadership and governance in cities, as part of Swarajya Cityscapes.

Over the last couple of decades, Bengaluru has gone from Garden City to India’s Silicon Valley, and this transition has been rather quick. As information technology companies continued to set up base in and around the city, Bengaluru saw rapid urbanisation – some would argue it was perhaps too rapid for the successive governments to keep pace with.

Along with rapid urbanisation came the ever-increasing burden on the city's existing infrastructure. Traffic woes, flooding, poor garbage disposal, inadequate public transport and other such factors began to weigh heavily on the city.

Who should be held accountable for this downward spiral? Is there even a downward spiral, or are things beginning to change for the better, especially in terms of citizen participation?

Swarajya editorial director R Jagannathan and Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Rajeev Chandrasekhar got talking on this and other key issues with a focus on urban development and “reclaiming Bengaluru” as part of Swarajya Cityscapes.

One of the key points raised in the discussion was that despite 32 per cent of Bengaluru’s population being urban, it appears that the woes of the urban centres continue to be neglected. Though there is now greater emphasis on “smart cities”, there is still much to be done to resolve the basic infrastructure problems plaguing our big cities, like Bengaluru, whether it's to do with air and water quality, waste management, traffic regulation or public transport.

Knocking on the doors of the courts seems to have become the last resort for most urban activists as urban development has become too ‘elitist’ a pursuit for the politicians to address.

The riveting panel discussion held at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, throws light on where Bengaluru is headed and how the city's politics has a major role to play in addressing these issues.

Watch the video here: