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Globalization and Layered Spaces: The Case of Hitec City in Hyderabad, India*

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AbstractIn this essay, the area of Hitec City in Hyderabad, India, is analysed through the metaphor of “layered” spaces, in the context of global flows, particularly grobalization—the imperialistic imposition by nation-states and organizations on various geographic areas, involving the transnational expansion of common codes and practices. A layered space refers to multiple layers of actors who share the same space, although not all of them are equally prioritized in its conceptualization. Through a theoretically informed reading of Hitec City, this study highlights spatial polarization in the landscape, where certain actors, the global non-persons, are rendered as invisible as possible, so that they do not interfere with a specific global image, the grobal-as-spectacle, projected through the medium of the landscape. This study draws heavily on the spatial form of Hitec City as a source of data. It is based on observation of this space through detailed mapping, as well as a descriptive analysis of the built forms in the area. While stratification and exclusion are not unique to globalization (or even to the process of grobalization), this study helps to examine particular forms that exclusion and stratification may take in the light of this process.

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