Dr. Berenice Bon

Dr. Bérénice Bon

Bérénice has a doctorate in geography from Centre d'Études de l'Inde et de l'Asie du Sud (a French research institute in social sciences dealing with the Indian subcontinent) at EHESS (School for Advanced Studies in Social Sciences), Paris, France. She was a visiting PhD candidate at the Centre for Social Sciences and Humanities in New Delhi between 2011 and 2013. She did her PhD in the framework of the ‘Chance2Sustain’ project, funded under the European Commission’s 7th Framework Programme, which focused on the politics of knowledge generation and sharing and the forms of knowledge that are used or ignored in urban policy-making. Since September 2013, she is a member of the International Metropolitan Research Consortium which analyses the relations between public and private players in the shaping of metropolitan development in ten cities. She also received a grant from the Fondation Palladio.

Her doctoral dissertation analysed a transport megaproject in India, the Delhi Metro Rail and the use of land value capture instruments to generate revenues to be reinvested into the infrastructure. That case study was a window for studying urban governance more broadly, the role of powerful State Corporation in urban development, the localized specific regulation of a megaproject vis à vis masterplanning, and the relationships between expert knowledge and policy dynamics. Her work questioned recent theoretical propositions in international literature such as urban 'entrepreneurialism', the 'new generation of megaproject', State territoriality. That case study finally revealed the assertion of a new model of State control in the service of neoliberalism, through the structure of a megaproject and its ad hoc entity. Thus the implementation of the injunction from international development organisations to unlock the land value, the commodification of urban land, the incorporation and diffusion of New Public Management cohabitate with an old sectorial approach in urban development, and the resonance of a culture of statism perpetuated by some individuals and institutions.

Post doc project

Governing with new spatial instruments. Shifting patterns of public and private engagement in mass transport and land development

Three main research areas: – Shifting patterns of public and private engagement in transport infrastructure and land development in East Africa (Nairobi, Dar Es Salaam); – Restructuring of public institutions (Indian Railways and Kenya Railways Corporation); – Questioning political and spatial rescaling in metropolitan regions (Delhi, Nairobi)

Bérénice post doc research will deepen and put into perspective the main results of her previous work, from the cities of Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam. By investigating new models of zoning and land management associated with transport infrastructure, she will analyse the political economy of land rent in those cities, and the empowerment of state and corporate actors to develop large tracts of land owned by transport public authorities and leading to new perimeters of collective action within the city and the reshaping of urban territories. She will also question the process of financialization, managerialization, and introduction of new domains of action (e.g. a real estate portfolio) within a state corporation, here the Kenya Railways.

University Studies and Degrees

2010 – 2015 PhD (Geography), EHESS, Paris, France, summa cum laude
2008 – 2010 MA (Geography & Planning), University Paris Ouest Nanterre La Défense, France
2005 – 2008 Preparatory classes for the Grandes Écoles in social sciences, Janson de Sailly, Paris, France

Research Fellowships and Awards

June 2016 Nominee Thesis Prize – Prix de la Ville, APERAU
2016 Research grant project ENGIND – Engineering India, colonial and postcolonial period funded by the French National Research Agency
2014 – 2017 Member International Metropolitan Metropolitan Research Consortium
2013 – 2015 Grant from the Paris-based Foundation Palladio, Corporate sponsorship, Foundation of France
2011 – 2014 Research fellowship, project FP7 Chance2Sustain, CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research)
2009 – 2010 Research fellowship, project SETUP, ANR, French National Research Agency


Dictionary Entry

  • “Shopping Mall” in F. Landy (ed.), Dictionary of contemporary India, Armand Colin, Paris 2010


  • Bon Bérénice, “Le Rôle des transports collectifs dans l’aménagement des regions métropolitaines. Le cas de Delhi (Inde)”, Bulletin de l’Association des géographes français, November 2016
  • Bon Bérénice, „Métro mode d'emploi: détours sur les chantiers de Delhi“, dossier Mondes Indiens, revue en ligne Urbanités, April 2015
  • Bon Bérénice, “A New megaproject model and a new funding model. Traveling concepts and local adaptations around the Delhi metro„ Habitat International, Elsevier, Vol 45, Part 3, 223-230, January 2015
  • Bon Bérénice, “Urban Mass Transit Rail Systems in India„, European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), FP7 Series, May 2014

Book Chapters

  • Bon Bérénice, Kennedy Loraine, Varrel Aurélie, “Les grands projets dans la stratégie de ville compétitive en Inde. La mobilisation des informations et des savoirs dans la production des espaces urbains”, dans Métropoles en débat: (dé)constructions de la ville compétitive, A. Le Blanc, J.L. Piermay, P. Gervais-Lambony, M. Giroud, C. Pierdet, S. Rufat (eds), Paris, Presses Universitaires de Paris Ouest, April 2014
  • (forthcoming) Bon Bérénice, “Megaprojects, rules and relationship(s) with the law: the metro rail in East Delhi„, in Space, Planning and Everyday Contestations in Delhi, Chakravarty S. & Negi R., Exploring Urban Change in South Asia, Springer India, 2016
  • (under preparation) Bon Bérénice, Kennedy Loraine, Distinguishing spatial and political rescaling in metropolitan Delhi: the cases of mass transit and industrial clustering.

Working papers available on-line (http://www.chance2sustain.eu)

  • Thematic Report, Travelling concepts in Megaproject Building, Loraine Kennedy (dir.), EADI, 2014
  • Thematic Report, Engaging with urban sustainability issues in Delhi, Dr. Sridharan (dir.), EADI, 2013
  • Fieldwork Report, Large-scale projects shaping urban futures, Loraine Kennedy (dir.), EADI, 2013
  • Fieldwork Report, “The development of Kalyan Dombivili; fringe city in a metropolitan region”, par Isa Baud (dir.), EADI, 2011
  • Literature Review, “The politics of large-scale economic and infrastructure projects in fast-growing cities of the South. Examining knowledge management systems and governance”, Loraine Kennedy (dir.), EADI, 2011


Bérénice Bon

Telefon: +49 6151 16 20328

L3-01 Room 311
El-Lissitzky Straße 1
64287 Darmstadt