This book discusses air pollution in Delhi from scientific, social and entrepreneurial perspectives. Using key debates and interventions on air pollution, it examines the trajectories of environmental politics in the Delhi region, one of the most polluted areas in the world. It highlights the administrative struggles, public advocacy, and entrepreneurial innovations that have built creative new links between science and urban citizenship. The book describes the atmosphere of collaboration that pervades these otherwise disparate spheres in contemporary Delhi.
· Presents an original case study on urban environmentalism from the Global South
· Cuts across science, policy, advocacy and innovation
· Includes behind-the-scenes discussions, tensions and experimentations in the Indian air pollution space
· Uses immersive ethnography to study a topical and relevant urban issue
As South Asian and Global South cities confront fast-intensifying environmental risks, this study presents a dialogue between urban political ecology (UPE) and science and technology studies on Delhi’s air. The book explores how the governance of air is challenged by scales, jurisdictions, and institutional structures. It also shows how technical experts are bridging disciplinary silos as they engage in advocacy by translating science for public understanding. The book serves as a reminder of the enduring struggles over space, quality of life, and citizenship while pointing to the possibilities for different urban futures being negotiated by variegated agents.
The book will interest scholars and researchers of science and technology studies, urban studies, urban geography, environmental studies, environmental politics, governance, public administration, and sociology, especially in the Global South context. It will also be useful to practitioners, policymakers, bureaucrats, government bodies, civil society organisations, and those working on air pollution advocacy.
Table of Contents
- Blindspots and Collaborations
- Science for Advocacy: Thinking with Expert-Advocates
- Governance and Atmospheric Citizenship
- Smart Business: Ecopreneurship and its Dilemmas
- Postscript: COVID-19, Air Pollution and Environmentalism
Rohit Negi is Associate Professor of Urban Studies in the School of Global Affairs at Ambedkar University Delhi, India. He has a PhD in geography from the Ohio State University and an MA in urban planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the co-editor of Space, Planning and Everyday Contestations in Delhi (2016).
Prerna Srigyan is a PhD Researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Irvine, USA. She has an MA in environment and development from Ambedkar University Delhi and a BSc (Hons) in chemistry from Hindu College, University of Delhi. She works on science pedagogy and politics of collaboration, focusing on transnational science and technology studies.
‘This is a story-rich, theoretically framed and very practical guide to air pollution politics in Delhi that points to exciting possibilities for new forms of environmental governance, grounded in extensive collaboration between people working on related sciences, technologies, urban planning, health, policy, education and the arts. The book describes an array of initiatives (many of them notably experimental and creative) to understand and deal with Delhi’s air. The book is also an invitation, calling readers into the collaborative challenges the authors describe.’
Kim Fortun, Professor of Anthropology, University of California-Irvine, USA and author of Advocacy after Bhopal: Environmentalism, Disaster, New Global Orders (2001)
‘Delhi experiences only about 50 days of clean air on an average every year. This reality (nightmare!) has spawned an entire universe — policy making, awareness generation, technology production, political mobilisation — that seeks to solve this problem. Interesting and important as this might be, there is another world that is perhaps even more interesting and important. Certainly very intriguing! This is the vast but hidden backstage of action, activity and negotiation that simultaneously animates this world of air and its pollution even as it is mobilised constantly. Atmosphere of Collaboration is a story of that backstage. Deeply interesting, insightful, provocative and essential reading if the haze has to be lifted!’
Pankaj Sekhsaria, Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay, India and author of Instrumental Lives: An Intimate Biography of an Indian Laboratory (2019)