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UCL Home  /  Geography  /  News & Events  /  News  /  News Archive  /  2020  /  February 2020  /  'Fast Urbanism: Between speed, time and urban futures'

'Fast Urbanism: Between speed, time and urban futures'

Ayona Datta’s UCL Inaugural Lecture

'Fast Urbanism: Between speed, time and urban futures'

On 21st January, Professor Ayona Datta gave her Inaugural Lecture at UCL on ‘Fast Urbanism: Between speed, time and urban futures’.

The lecture noted that speed is widely viewed as fundamental to the modern city. In India, this means that ‘fast urbanism’ is shaping new imaginations of the future city with the ubiquitous use of technology to manage and efficiently organise urban life.

Drawing upon her recent research, Ayona examined what fast urbanism looks like from the margins of the Indian city. What happens when, contrary to the promise of fast and seamless urban life delivering the gifts of time, the urban poor are instead confronted with new struggles affecting mobility about the city, exclusion from digital and physical infrastructures, and the reorganisation of domestic life, as well as the dangers of sexual harassment and assault both online and offline?

About the speaker

Professor Ayona Datta has broad research interests are in postcolonial urbanism, smart cities, gender citizenship and urban futures. In particular, she is interested in how cities seek to transform themselves through utopian urban visions of the future and their impacts on everyday social, material and gendered geographies. She uses interdisciplinary approaches from architecture, planning, feminist and urban geography, combining qualitative, digital/mapping and visual research methods to examine urbanisation and urban development as experiments in urban ‘futuring’.


Fast urbanism