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Thinking through Heterogeneous Infrastructure Configurations
University of Oklahoma.
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. (HICCUP)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0611-7512
Sheffield University.
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment. (HICCUP)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6415-4821
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2017 (English)In: Urban Studies, ISSN 0042-0980, E-ISSN 1360-063XArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Studies of infrastructure have demonstrated broad differences between Northern and Southern cities, and deconstructed urban theory derived from experiences of the networked urban regions of the global North. This includes critiques of the universalization of the historically-culturally produced normative ideal of universal, uniform infrastructure. We introduce the notion of “heterogeneous infrastructure configurations” (HICs) as a way to analyze urban infrastructure that builds on postcolonial critiques of knowledge, as well as ethnographies of everyday Southern urbanisms. We argue that the notion of HIC helps us to move beyond technological and performative accounts of actually existing infrastructures to provide an analytical lens through which to compare different configurations. Our approach enables a clearer analysis of infrastructural artifacts not as individual objects but as parts of geographically spread socio-technological configurations: configurations which might involve many different kinds technologies, relations, capacities and operations, entailing different risks and power relationships. We use examples from ongoing research on sanitation and waste in Kampala, Uganda- a city in which service delivery is characterized by multiplicity, overlap, disruption and inequality- to demonstrate the kinds of research questions that emerge when thinking through the notion of HICs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2017.
Keywords [en]
infrastructure; provincialising theory; Southern theory; urban political ecology; urban theory
Keywords [zh]
关键词基础设施, 地方化理论, 南半球理论, 城市政治生态学, 城市理论
National Category
Human Geography
Research subject
History of Science, Technology and Environment; History of Science, Technology and Environment
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-216408DOI: 10.1177/0042098017720149ISI: 000425065500003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-8504216514OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-216408DiVA, id: diva2:1150993
Projects
Heterogenous Infrastructure Configurations in Uganda Project HICCUP
Note

QC 20171102

Available from: 2017-10-20 Created: 2017-10-20 Last updated: 2018-06-19

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Publisher's full textScopushttp://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0042098017720149

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