Lecturer in Geography & Urban Design
Having initially trained in architecture and urban design, Pushpa completed her PhD in Planning from the London School of Economics. In 2008, she joined UCL as a lecturer associated with the inter-disciplinary MSc Urban Studies programme. In addition, she is a co-director of the UCL Urban Laboratory as well as a disciplinary editor (Geography) of the CITY Journal. Since 2003, she has been conducting ethnographic research in the Indian city of Chennai, covering a range of issues from middle-class activism to slum evictions and resettlement. In addition to emphasising the need for researching understudied cities, she has more recently begun to reflect on the meta-theoretical implications of her investigations around the question of specificity of cities, and what kind of analytical conclusions one can draw from Chennai extending to the wider debates in urban studies.
2012, ‘Bajji on the beach: Changing food practices in Chennai’s beaches’, in C. McFarlane & M. A. Weibel (Eds.), Urban informalities: Reflections on the formal and informal, pp. 67-88. Aldershot: Ashgate.
2011, ‘Rhetoric of the ‘slum’: Rethinking urban poverty’. City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action, 15(6), pp. 636-646.
2011, ‘Mobilising for water: Hydro-politics of rainwater harvesting in Chennai’. International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 3(1), pp. 106-126.
2010, ‘City of sand: Stately re-imagination of Marina beach in Chennai’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 35(2), pp. 379-401.
2009, ‘Falling apart at the margins? Neighbourhood transformations in peri-urban Chennai’, Development and Change, 40(5), pp. 879-901.