Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences


Fast Urbanism: Between speed, time and urban futures

21 January 2020, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm

Rickshaws in Delhi’s urban margins | © Rohit Madan

Ayona Datta, Professor in Human Geography, Department of Geography, delivers her Inaugural Lecture: 'Fast Urbanism: Between speed, time and urban futures'

This event is free.

Event Information

Open to







UCL Joint Faculties Office


Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre
UCL Wilkins Building
Gower Street

About the lecture

Speed is fundamental to producing the modern city. In India, speed is shaping new imaginations of the future city as ‘fast urbanism’ – the ubiquitous use of technology to manage and efficiently organise urban life in the future. Drawing upon recent research, this lecture will examine what fast urbanism looks like from the margins of the Indian city. It will examine what happens when contrary to the promise of a fast and seamless urban life that delivers the gift of time, the urban poor are confronted with new struggles with mobility, new exclusions from digital and physical infrastructures, reorganisation of domestic life, as well as the dangers of sexual harassment and assault both online and offline.

About the speaker

Ayona Datta is Professor of Human Geography with research interests in gender citizenship, urban futures and smart cities in the global South. She is author of ‘The Illegal City: Space, law and gender in a Delhi squatter settlement’ in 2012, co-editor of ‘Translocal Geographies: Spaces, places, connections’ in 2011 and ‘Mega-Urbanization in the Global South: Fast Cities and New Urban Utopias’ in 2016. Ayona is a public scholar with op-eds in GuardianopenDemocracy and ConversationUK as well as invited presentations at the UN headquarters in Geneva and New York.

Image: Rickshaws in Delhi’s urban margins | © Rohit Madan

Inaugural Lecture Series 2019/20

This lecture is part of the 2019/20 series for UCL's Faculty of Arts & Humanities and Faculty of Social & Historical Sciences. The series provides an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our professors who are undertaking research and scholarship of international significance, and offers an insight into the strength and vitality of the arts, humanities and social sciences at UCL.

All our lectures are free to attend and open to all. You don't have to be a UCL staff member or student to come along.

Lectures begin at 18:30 and are typically one hour long. A drinks reception will follow, to which everyone is welcome to join.

We look forward to meeting you at one of our events.

For information on other upcoming lectures please visit: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/social-historical-sciences/news-events/inaugural-lectures


Other events in this series