The research project aims to study the intersection of democracy, mapping and community engagement in Indian societies to empower citizens in decision making through the language of maps. If maps are powerful tools in shaping realities, the research project shall enquire and study the shifts in agencies and power of map-making from map-makers to map-users. It shall further investigate the use of this expression of maps to act as drivers of change on the ground with the support of local authorities. Furthermore, it also aims to critically appraise the democratic mapping process and the contestations, negotiations and claims made therein beyond looking into the maps as expressive outcomes.
It is hypothesised that people know their neighbourhood very well through unique markers and shall be able to bring out the nuances of the same in a map. If they are aided with necessary technology from the map-making agencies and follow a democratic participation process in the communities, the outcomes could be rich in detail. Furthermore, this collaboration between the people and map-makers could help in the formation of inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable neighbourhoods leading to sustainable cities.