DAS Diganta Kumar

Assistant Professor

Humanities & Social Studies Education (HSSE)

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Office Telephone Number

Research Interests
(Urban) Policy Mobility, Changing Dynamics of (Urban) Waterscape, High-Tech Space Making and Issues of Human Agency In Urban South Asia, Issues of Liveability and Sustainable Urban Development, Relations Between The Production of Smart Cities

  • Diganta Das is an assistant professor of Geography at Humanities and Social Studies Education Academic Group, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University. He received his B.A.(Hons) in Geography from Cotton College, Masters in Geography from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), India and M.Phil in Planning and Development from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Bombay. He received his Ph.D. in Geography from National University of Singapore (NUS). He is a human geographer. His research interests focus on relations between the production of smart cities, high-tech space making and issues of human agency in urban South Asia; (urban) policy mobility; changing dynamics of (urban) waterscape; and issues of liveability and sustainable urban development. He is currently involved in two research projects; the first one examines urban policy trajectories and their mobility, production of high-tech spaces and grounded realities. The second project intends to provide detailed genealogies of smart cities through in-depth empirical contexts of India and South Africa.

  • Project Title: Asian Cities: Liveability, Sustainability, Diversity and Spaces of Encounter
    Start Date: NOV/2010 End Date: NOV/2013

    This project adopts a multi-disciplinary social science analysis (which includes nature-society approaches, technological considerations, planning and discourses) to examine four Asian cities. It aims to contribute to urban theory and urban studies through providing effective and accurate understandings of what is taking place, and may occur in the future. Through an interdisciplinary approach the project provides holistic understandings of the key workings of urban social, cultural, environmental and technological inter-relationships, processes and transformations. Current social urban studies and environmental urban studies tend to remain separate from each other; on the contrary this study brings both components together.

    Project Title: Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Urban and Regional Studies
    Start Date: JAN/2013 End Date: SEP/2017

    Project Title: Smart Cities: Provincializing the Global Urban Age in India and South Africa
    Start Date: JAN/2018 End Date: DEC/2020

    This project begins with the broad hypothesis that the global circulation of smart cities (new cities from scratch and retrofitted) are translated in different global south contexts through local visions, technologies and built manifestations. This will form the basis of developing an empirical and theoretical research agenda around ‘smart urbanism’ that captures the local historical, political and alternative forms of data-driven urbanism from the grassroots. Through a comparative study of smart cities in India and South Africa, this project will research globally circulating urban development narratives around ICT and data-driven urbanism, its ‘mutations’ in different urban contexts and ‘urban hacking’ at the scale of everyday life. The outcomes of the project will thus move beyond a critical stance to provide prosaic visions of smart urbanism that are alternative, empowering and knowledge intensive.