Mumbai on Two Wheels
Cycling, Urban Space, and Sustainable Mobility
- PUBLISHED: June 2024
- SUBJECT LISTING: Anthropology, Asian Studies / South Asia
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 240 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 17 b&w illus.
- SERIES: Global South Asia
- ISBN: 9780295752693
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
Mumbai is not commonly seen as a bike-friendly city because of its dense traffic and the absence of bicycle lanes. Yet the city supports rapidly expanding and eclectic bicycle communities. Exploring how people bike and what biking means in the city, Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria challenges assumptions that underlie sustainable transportation planning.Arguing that planning professionals and advocates need to pay closer attention to ordinary people who cycle for transportation or for work, or who choose to cycle for recreation, Mumbai on Two Wheels offers an alternative to the thinking that dominates mainstream sustainable transportation discussions. The book’s insights come from bicycle activists, commuters, food delivery workers, event organizers, planners, technicians, shop owners, and architects. Through ethnographic vignettes and descriptions of diverse biking experiences, it shows how pedaling through the city produces a way of seeing and understanding infrastructure. Readers will come away with a new perspective on what makes a city bicycle friendly and an awareness that lessons for a more equitable and sustainable urban future can be found in surprising places.
Authors & Contributors
Jonathan Shapiro Anjaria is associate professor of anthropology at Brandeis University and author of The Slow Boil: Street Food, Rights, and Public Space in Mumbai.
""By shifting the temporal frame from future to present, Mumbai on Two Wheels focuses on the city as it is and not the city as it could be. Anjaria masterfully does this work by centering the people who cycle instead of privileging the perspective of those who work in the realm of speculation and comparative urban planning. Such an approach to urban anthropology, infrastructure studies, ethnography, and embodiment is a critical intervention in how we understand the lived experience of urban space.""- Maura Finkelstein, author of The Archive of Loss: Lively Ruination in Mill Land Mumbai
"A conceptually sophisticated and ethnographically rich book. Anjaria advances knowledge on urban mobility, infrastructures, and city-making in the twenty-first century. Based on several years of fieldwork in Mumbai, this book makes vital contributions to the study of cycling and its publics. It will appeal to scholars and students of anthropology, sociology, urban studies, geography, and development studies and to cyclists in India and beyond."- Malini Sur, author of, Jungle Passports: Fences, Mobility, and Citizenship at the Northeast India-Bangladesh Border