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|Production of Railwayscape in urban environment: Analysing railway heritage tourism potential in Siliguri City, India
Banerjee I. Production of Railwayscape in urban environment: Analysing railway heritage tourism potential in Siliguri City, India,Regional Sustainability 4 1
|India; catalyst; heritage tourism; railway transport; remote sensing; spatial distribution; urban planning
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|For a long time, it has been argued that the theories and practices devoted to urban planning and management should conform to the fundamental role of planning policies in the production of urban space, but not merely the spatial distribution of the produced services. Towards this wider connotation, this study introduces the notion of Railwayscape, grounded on the theory of ‘The Production of Space’, to examine the role of railway station districts as catalysts of urban development through the social production of urban space. The present research sets out to establish the notion of Railwayscape and apply it in a railway heritage, i.e., the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) and its point of inception, Siliguri City, India. Accordingly, a criteria-based evaluation of four railway station districts (New Jalpaiguri, Siliguri Town, Siliguri Junction, and Sukna) in Siliguri and its surroundings was performed. The information regarding the selected four railway station districts is obtained through field observation and key informant consultation, supplemented by published literature and remote sensing data. This evaluation is succeeded by the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis accentuating the potential strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats associated with the selected four railway station districts and their prospects to become the potential Railwayscape. The results of this research show that there is no railway station district in Siliguri that can fully meet the demands of the locals and tourists, therefore, relfecting a lack of awareness of the historical values of these districts. The results also indicate that there are significant differences in the relative potentials of railway station districts to become the Railwayscape in urban environment. The outcomes of this research, therefore, are expected to encourage policy-making insitutions and practitioners to realise the ‘place value’ of some railway station districts and their potentials to yield better economic, social and structural virtue for a wide range of actors. © 2023 Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography, Chinese Academy of Sciences.