Most of us harbour romantic notions of retiring to the hills but in our more honest moments we will admit that we are unlikely to ever leave the bustle and convenience of life in our buzzing cities. It’s this idea that underpins our cover story this week as we set off to discover new spaces in which to socialise and network. Our pick of neighbourhoods proves that while urban communities are vibrant ecosystems, they also need flexible planning and oversight to bring out the best in them. Many of these upcoming neighbourhoods are plagued by problems of garbage and sewage disposal, poor access and rapid commercialisation that often displaces long-time residents.
There’s no denying that “things that make life less boring” are important to people, no matter which class they are from—the insight that economists Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee gave us in their book Poor Economics. In cities, and for the more affluent, these things tend to take the form of cafés, boutiques, galleries, performance spaces and bars.
Our list of the country’s upcoming cultural hubs is by no means exhaustive. It has been compiled by a group of city-loving writers who have noticed the growth of, and changes in, localities they are familiar with. These are spaces where people socialise and connect, have fun as well as find pause. We have travelled from Kochi to Guwahati, Lucknow to Mangaluru, rather than confining ourselves to the larger metros. Do keep our guide to India’s hot new neighbourhoods handy so that the next time you are in a new city—or revisiting an old favourite—you will know just where to go and what to do.
And in the rest of this issue, we have some great interviews, shopping guides for everything from a smart TV to a pair of dazzling shoes, reviews of new books and films, and lots of ideas to make your own salads, pizzas and teas, if you are entertaining at home this weekend.
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