Goodbye Gandhi Bazaar: what do we destroy when we demolish illegal structures?

A hundred-year-old street market in Bangalore was demolished in the dead of night last month. The colourful stalls of vendors spilling out onto the streets were illegal encroachments, but how much history and local colour is lost by enforcing the law now after so many years of peaceful coexistence?

What are the memories that stay with you when you first visit a city? Sure, the restaurants, nightclubs, clean and pristine public spaces, malls, the highways, the celebrity sightings etc. are fantastic and they enhance a tourist's experience of a culture in innumerable and valuable ways.

But often the memories that we really cherish and share with our kin or on Facebook are much less glamourous but priceless nevertheless. An exquisitely flavoured kaati roll which cost less than a dollar, a runaway-price Fendi knock-off bought on the street, the colours of a bustling local farmer's market, the sights and smells of city trade on the eve of a festival.

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This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-HABITAT.

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