Museums and Heritage Sites — The Missing Link in Smart City Planning: A Case Study of Pune City, India

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Poonam Gandhi
Chaitanya Ravi
Prasad Pathak
Smriti Jalihal


The process of urbanisation has dramatically increased in India in recent years. The Government of India launched Smart City Mission in 2015 which was intended to transform 100 cities into smart cities. The focus of our research is one such city in India on its path to smartification. Pune’s smart city mission focuses on techno-infrastructural development to increase mobility and digital connectivity. Social-cultural and historical indicators are not considered an integral part of this development. Given this, does the smart city mission of Pune privilege the techno-infrastructural development of a city over its social and cultural development?  In this paper, we identify museums and heritage sites in Pune as signifiers of a city's culture and analyse metro development plans through GIS to understand whether the museums' current geography mentioned above and heritage sites require alignment with Pune’s planned smart city mission. The research shows that the quest to ‘upgrade’ and ‘modernise’ is not adequately aligned with the role of key historic-cultural institutions such as museums and heritage sites. The case of Pune city shows that, without careful and inclusive development plan, a full roll-out of the smart city project will exclude a large number of historical and cultural spaces such as museums and heritage sites from emerging as an integral part of smart cities across the country and render them peripheral to modern urban life.  


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Gandhi, P., Ravi, C., Pathak, P., & Jalihal, S. (2021). Museums and Heritage Sites — The Missing Link in Smart City Planning: A Case Study of Pune City, India. Space and Culture, India, 8(4), 33-47.
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