Neeha Susan Jacob

  • Bio
  • Paper

I am a doctoral student at Centre for Development Studies, Kerala, India. My area of research is on spatial inequality and residential segregation in the urban spaces of Kerala, particularly in the coastal areas of Thiruvananthapuram, the administrative capital of the state. I am trained in Economics. My MPhil dissertation was on the ‘Residential Segregation in South Indian Cities: Patterns and Correlates’. My doctoral research is an extension of this work, but viewing it in particular, context specific and interdisciplinary perspectives. Besides my doctoral research, I am trying to learn about the urban in the Global South - the idea of Global South itself, the multiplicity of urbanism and urban types here and the complexity in theorising. Outside the academic sphere, I paint, draw, learn to play a uke and enjoy mornings. 

City by the Sea in God’s Own Country: Perils of climate change in Thiruvananthapuram*, Kerala

A narrow strip of land in the south of India, Kerala has most of its cities along its 580 km of coastline. Trading centres for merchants across the world since the late fifteenth century, new towns and urban spaces sprouted and grew along its coasts. These cities of Kerala stand as proofs of how real climate change is. From high swells hitting the coasts, rapidly rising sea levels, cyclonic storms devastating the living of many, and flooding due to barriers in draining water from heavy rainfalls, changing climatic conditions have affected the coastal cities of Kerala in debilitating ways. A narrow strip of land in the south of India, Kerala has most of its cities along its 580 km of coastline. Trading centres for merchants across the world since the late fifteenth century, new towns and urban spaces sprouted and grew along its coasts. These cities of Kerala stand as proofs of how real climate change is. From high swells hitting the coasts, rapidly rising sea levels, cyclonic storms devastating the living of many, and flooding due to barriers in draining water from heavy rainfalls, changing climatic conditions have affected the coastal cities of Kerala in debilitating ways. The paper attempts to look at the coastal city of Thiruvananthapuram - the largest city and the administrative capital of the state, studying one particular ward in the city, Vettukadu. Here people live close to the seas and fishing and fisheries form a major part of their livelihood. Most often their houses are destroyed and daily living affected. While some move to new houses a little away from the coast, many stay back, for sea is their home. I try to answer the following questions in the paper: 1. Who are the most affected by changing conditions of the sea? 2. How do they cope up with the ongoing distress - physical and economical? 3. What are the relief measures - temporary and permanent solutions - carried out by state and non-state actors in times of distress? The paper tries to tell the story of those who stay back, often noticed only during times of distress - who view the changing behaviours of the sea as a part of their lives.

Neeha Susan Jacob's picture

Affiliation

Centre for Development Studies, Kerala, India