Techniques of infrastructuring for urban infrastructure planning in the global South

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In the current century of accelerated urbanisation cities are exposed to increasing complexities, dynamics and uncertainties. This particularly applies to secondary, fast growing cities in the Global South which face major plan-ning challenges to provide and improve access to infrastructures and services in the changing context of population growth and climate change. Urban studies scholars from the Global South increasingly remind us that, given the differences of Southern cities, established planning and policy models from developed Northern cities cannot be simply transferred to this context, that conventional ways of knowledge generation are insufficient to respond to future urban challenges and that relying on only one knowledge type or discipline will not help us address the upcoming infrastructure challenges. In order to contribute to this debate, this paper 1) unpacks the different knowl-edge with regard to urban infrastructure planning, 2) introduces the Science and Technology Studies’ concept of infrastructuring into planning studies, and 3) and touches upon potentials and limitations of geo-spatial tools (e.g. GIS) for eliciting and producing spatial knowledge in infrastructuring processes. The paper sees infrastructuring as a socio-technical, continuous process of ‘building’ infrastructure, in which the relations between infrastructure compo-nents and users adjust over time, but also as a participatory process in which stakeholders having different knowledges interact on infrastructural ques-tions. It paper presents four techniques of infrastructuring that help 1) elicit alternative modes of knowing and people’s practices, 2) imagine alternative urban futures, 3) prototype urban futures and 3) co-create urban futures. It argues that these techniques are useful analytical devices in transdisciplinary research to better understand the mutual relationship between urban develop-ment, infrastructures, services and people and how interventions can be designed to better address current gaps in infrastructure access and provision while being sensitive to issues of unequal power-relationships and unequal access
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019
EventTRIALOG Conference 2019: Who's knowledge counts? The meaning of co-productive processes for urban development and urban research - Stuttgart, Germany
Duration: 7 Nov 20199 Nov 2019


ConferenceTRIALOG Conference 2019
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