In the Images of Development

From Urban and Industrial Environments

In the Images of Development

City Design in the Global South

By Tridib Banerjee

The urban legacy of the Global South since the colonial era and how sustainable development and environmental and social justice can be achieved.





The urban legacy of the Global South since the colonial era and how sustainable development and environmental and social justice can be achieved.

Remarkably little of the expansive literature on development and globalization considers actual urban form and the physical design of cities as outcomes of these phenomena. The development that has shaped historic transformations in urban form and urbanism—and the consequent human experiences—remains largely unexplored. In this book, Tridib Banerjee fills this void by linking the idea of development with those of urbanism, urban form, and urban design, focusing primarily on the contemporary cities in the developing world—the Global South—and their intrinsic prospects in city design. Further, he examines the endogenous possibilities for the future design of these cities that may address growing inequality and the environmental crisis.

Banerjee deftly traces the urban legacy of the Global South from the beginning of the colonial era, closely examining the economic, political, and ideological forces that influenced colonial and postcolonial development, drawing from relevant experiences of different cities in the developing world and discussing the arguments for the historic parity of these cities with their Western counterparts. Finally, Banerjee considers essential notions of future city design that are grounded in the critical challenges of sustainable development, equity, environmental and social justice, and diversity, and how such outcomes can be achieved. This book serves as the opening of a long overdue conversation among design, development, and planning scholars and practitioners, and those interested in the urban development of the Global South.


$45.00 X ISBN: 9780262044707 520 pp. | 7 in x 9 in 146 b&w illus.


  • “This book has no peer. Banerjee has mined his own extensive scholarship and his experiences in the theory and practice of urban planning to produce an exceptional volume—at once a provocative, historically grounded reflection on the political economy of urbanization and a masterful compendium on the evolution of urban design across the developing world.”

    Diane E. Davis

    Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism, Harvard Graduate School of Design

  • “By blending dual sensibilities—a critique of conventional development theories with a yearning for a humane built environment in the Global South—Banerjee's book complements Kevin Lynch's classic, The Image of the City. A must-read for critical urban theorists as well as designers in search of good city forms.”

    Bishwapriya Sanyal

    Ford International Professor of Urban Development and Planning, MIT

  • “Exploring spatial forms and development logics in cities of the Middle East, North Africa, South Asia, China, and Latin America, Tridib Banerjee's In the Images of Development delivers a compelling vision of urban histories and futures.”

    Fran Tonkiss

    Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics