News Karnataka
Monday, June 17 2024

Bangalore Now Spreading Itself Towards Microcities

Photo Credit : Google

Brigade Road in the central business district was for a very long time, and for very apparent reasons, the epitome of Bengaluru culture, complete with bars, walkable streets, food and fashion, and a laid-back community with which to mingle.

Going to Brigade used to be on the monthly schedules of people who lived or worked in the city until the last ten years. We used to go to Brigade Road a lot in the early 1970s. The most fashionable street in Bengaluru during cartoonist Paul Fernandes’ childhood has since been replaced with an enormous mall.

The location still has that feeling, but many city dwellers no longer feel compelled to visit it. They would like to hang out in Whitefield, Yelahanka, Hebbal, Kammanahalli, or their own microcities.

Bengalureans are physically restricted to the areas where they work or reside due to the much-maligned traffic jams and poorly designed public transportation routes. For comparison, a Mumbaikar can use the 390-km suburban train network to avoid the jam-packed roads and travel the whole length and width of the city.

However, because of the BMRCL, the only smooth travel option available to Bengalureans up to this point is between Challaghatta and Whitefield. However, Whitefield has long since established itself as a self-sufficient microcity and may have been Bengaluru’s first microcity.

Going on a picnic to the area of the city that is currently known as Whitefield with his family when they were younger is one of Paul’s favorite childhood memories. “The city’s outskirts have experienced a type of gentrification that did not exist when I was a teenager. Brigade Road has become inferior to many well-known locations, and as an artist, I had the pleasure of capturing these changes in my work,” he says.

Koramangala, Indira Nagar, and Brigade Road are just a few of the posh neighborhoods in the CBD that have quickly risen to prominence. This migration wave is a result of possibilities, aspirations, and other factors. Bengaluru’s urban area, which was only 69 square kilometers in the 1940s, has expanded to 741 square kilometers, making it as large as New York City (783.8 sq km).

What used to be the “outskirts”—such as the food markets in Kammanahalli or the unique tap bars in Hebbal—have evolved into the “innermost,” serving as a hub for social interactions.

Smaller urban areas within a metropolis that have a high population density, adequate infrastructure, and focused economic activity are known as microcities.

According to K Jairaj, a former commissioner of the BBMP, microcities are essential for distributing urban inhabitants without putting undue pressure on the city. In urban areas such as Bengaluru, migration is an unavoidable process. In order to limit this flood, microcities are useful structures that help the city regulate its population.

According to him, these microcities are self-sufficient and provide all the necessities, such as utilities, entertainment, and medical facilities, without needing the support of the larger city. As a result, they mitigate problems such as traffic congestion because human movement in microcities is usually one-way.

Though this strategy helps cities like Bengaluru, inadequate infrastructure in microcities might create additional problems and push them into the category of slums.

According to the former city planner, more places around Bidadi or Kanakpura Road may emerge in the future, creating satellite microcities all around Bengaluru. “It takes planning for good infrastructure to make this happen the correct way.” The urban oases in the northern sections of the city are known as Yelahanka and Hebbal, the northern stars. According to lawyer E Sohail Ahmed, “the growth here has been steady and less haphazard, compared to how the city developed on the eastern periphery.”

Recalling the area where his house now sits, Sohail arrived into Yelahanka 37 years ago and remembers it being encircled by a dense green cover. There weren’t many people living here, and we were all acquainted. Then, places outside of Hebbal weren’t really regarded as being in Bengaluru, the man claims.

The green cover decreased throughout the years, but according to Sohail, nobody seemed to be complaining. “The places gained popularity and were convenient, but many of the older people were uprooted. People did, however, welcome the growth surge. Yelahanka’s previous charm was gone, but a bigger, more contemporary charm has taken its place.

Yelahanka New Town is gaining recognition for its remarkable selection of bars and gathering places. Raj Sammi works for a startup in Bengaluru, although he is not often in the city. I visit this place only a few times a month and work remotely. The social scene in Yelahanka New Town, where I rented an apartment, surprised me the most.

This place has fantastic tap bars and cafes; it’s calm and unpretentious, which adds to the authentic and natural experience,” he says.

A few years ago, Hebbal had a real estate boom due to an increase in demand for reasonably priced property. Owing to the dense population in this area of the city, a large number of bars, cafes, and shopping centers have now appeared. Fun-loving residents of north Bengaluru have another reason to drive less towards the CBD thanks to the mall that debuted last year and made headlines for both positive and negative reasons.

It is a major hit with Gen Z and boomers alike. Suraj, an IT worker from Hebbal, said he is unable to handle the traffic to go to Church Street’s well-liked bars. It takes a lot of time, thus it’s not worth it. Nice to be in Hebbal, especially with so many possibilities available.

Hebbal-based student Manasa Kumar was worried that her social life would not be as flourishing as she had anticipated when she first came to Bengaluru. “Central Bengaluru is consistently portrayed as the area of the city with the most activity. And Hebbal was the only place I could find lodging. I quickly realized that I’m in the greatest area of the city—Hebbal has more vibrant crowds and social circles,” the woman says.

Bengaluru’s center of multiculturalism may very well be Kammanahalli. After being a relatively unknown location surrounded by various popular areas such as Fraser Town, Cooke Town, Cox Town, and Hennur, Kammanahalli saw an abrupt and remarkable transformation. “You won’t find people from all over the world milling around in Bengaluru like you would in Kammanahalli,” says Srinivas, a local shop owner. “People come from the Middle East, South Korea, North America, Africa, and Asia.” The community was dubbed “Kammanhattan” on social media, a combination of Kammanahalli and Manhattan.

Kammanahalli, which was formerly a retiree zone, has seen a notable increase in business endeavors during the last few years. With its own ecosystem of eateries, retail stores, bars, themed cafes, schools, colleges, and restaurants serving a variety of international cuisines, it has developed into a major NRI hub. The area started a growth cycle following the pandemic, according to Srinivas. Consider the fashion retail sector.

New establishments in this region serve the demands of Kammanahalli’s diverse resident population, representing many racial and cultural backgrounds. Supermarkets are loaded with imported goods from America and Korea. According to Srinivas, “Kammanahalli residents have no reason to travel to another part of the city for fun or to shop.”

On weekends, Kammanahalli 100 foot road becomes a traffic jam due to the numerous pubs and breweries lining the street. Srinivas continues, “It’s hardly surprising that Kammanahalli is developing into Bengaluru’s next Koramangala. Christ University student Sharanya claims that Kammanahalli is her favorite restaurant. “I travel to Kammanahalli whenever I want to sample a new dish or restaurant. Although a little tedious, travel is worthwhile. It’s the best street food in Bengaluru right now, and it’s huge, she says.

Bellandur-based techie Manya Pilani visits to Kammanahalli for dinner alone. “There are many of food alternatives in Bengaluru, but there aren’t many places that provide good food. There is great food street in Kammanahalli. You won’t be let down and there is diversity.

My favorite food is Korean, and there are a lot of excellent Korean restaurants in this region,” Pilani says. Describe a microcity. Smaller urban areas known as “microcities” can be found inside larger cities and are characterized by a high population density, adequate infrastructure, and focused economic activity. They frequently serve as centers for certain economic

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