IPHS International Conference in New Delhi

11 – 14 December 2006

The 12th International Conference of the International Planning History Society was held in Delhi 11-14 December 2006, organised by the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, and hosted by IIT Delhi Campus and the International Centre. With upwards of 250 delegates and over 180 papers, with numerous concurrent sessions, it was always going to be difficult to get the full measure of the event. I was honoured to give the keynote address, after the opening ceremonial – my paper (title above) had been printed and distributed to all delegates – so I could concentrate on talking through the power point illustrations – fortunately there were no technical hitches. The presentation was very well received – an Indian delegate told me that I had shown aspects of her home city that she had not appreciated.

Of course, mine was a western perspective, but other sessions included Dinyar Patel’s ‘New Delhi: Battles over Site and Style, 1911-13’, drawing on hitherto untapped important Indian sources. There was also the expected post-colonial analysis in Stephen Legg’s ‘New Delhi: Resistance and Tensions of Empire’, again based on meticulous research, about the power of precedence, which still appears to prevail after 60 years of Indian independence. Altogether a lively event, reflecting the diversity, paradox and dynamism of the host city.

Dr Mervyn Miller