The research that I undertook for my Master's thesis is where my interest in the interactions of society and nature began. The thesis explains how the rapid development of the city of Bangalore, India caused the reduction of its famed greenbelt, and what implications the loss of the greenbelt has for this emerging world city. This interest in the interaction of society and nature has continued into my dissertation work as I seek to understand how South Wilmington will interact with its environment under the effects of climate change. The abstract and full copy of my Master's thesis are available below.
India's 'Garden City'? Bangalore's Disappearing Greenbelt: Green to Gone
Known as ‘India’s Garden City’, Bangalore’s evolution from town to megalopolis has been among the fastest in the world. Over the past 30 years the city has seen exceptional growth and expansion of the number of city inhabitants together with the geographical size of the urban area. The city continues to grow in large part because of its information technology and service centers that provide jobs and income for city residents, as well as investment for the city. However, the rapid urbanization of Bangalore has ushered in more than economic success; it has also severely increased environmental degradation and social inequalities. Of central focus of this paper is the degradation of the Bangalorean greenbelt that was established in 1961 as a protected zone of forest, agricultural, and open space areas but has subsequently begun to disappear as the city transitions from ‘India’s Garden City’ to ‘India’s Silicon Valley’. These greenbelt lands were designed to provide open space and agricultural lands to be preserved for the eight million inhabitants of Bangalore, and future generations to come. However, Bangalore’s greenbelt is decreasing by hundreds of acres per year, while the local, state and national governments fail to act to preserve the lands. Given the current trends of greenbelt destruction, this thesis analyzes the factors that have led to the dismantling of Bangalore’s greenbelt and provides possible solutions that may protect the remaining greenbelt areas.
Downtown Bangalore, 2007.