Category Archives: Commentary

Teaching a Situated Environment and Society Class
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Teaching a Situated Environment and Society Class

What does it mean to teach a situated class? The easiest answer to this is to include ‘local’ examples. But for me, being deeply situated in my teaching has also meant starting from and responding to what the students know and helping them make sense of their own world. (In contrast to the typical academic […]

Building discussion around infrastructural labour and livelihoods
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Building discussion around infrastructural labour and livelihoods

Building discussion around infrastructural labour and livelihoods By: Alejandro De Coss and Kathleen Stokes ** Many thanks to participants in our session. While we have endeavoured to capture key points, we also appreciate this summary should not be taken to not reflect everyone’s views. ** On April 18th, 2018, scholars from around the UK met […]

Temporalities of Crisis: On Cape Town’s Day Zero
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Temporalities of Crisis: On Cape Town’s Day Zero

Temporalities of Crisis: On Cape Town’s Day Zero By: Nate Millington and Suraya Scheba Cape Town is currently facing a water crisis. While Day Zero, the day when the city’s water would have been cut off, is apparently no longer a possibility in 2018, scarcity remains a concern. Arguing that water will only get scarcer […]

Maintaining the Mexico City water system
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Maintaining the Mexico City water system

The history of Mexico City can be told through the ways in which water flows both into and away from it. 500 years ago, the then capital of the Spanish Viceroyalty of New Spain was a city undergoing an unparalleled transformation. The conquest of the indigenous lands was set to change not only the politics, […]

Reflections on Situating Urban Political Ecology at the African Centre for Cities’s International Urban Conference
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Reflections on Situating Urban Political Ecology at the African Centre for Cities’s International Urban Conference

As part of the African Centre for Cities‘ International Urban Conference, Kathleen Stokes and Nate Millington organized a series of sessions dedicated to thinking about the relationships between labor, infrastructure, and politics in cities of the global south. We received numerous papers from scholars working in cities all over the world, from Accra to Delhi. […]

Open Doors: Integration and the Impact of Refugee Populations.
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Open Doors: Integration and the Impact of Refugee Populations.

In this commentary Kampala based photographer and film-maker Joel Ongwech reflects on his participation in a recent exhibition at The Square Gallery in the city Most of my work has started with research and then developed into film or photography through a situated approach that allows me to really get to know my subjects and the contexts […]

North Jakarta: Kampung livelihood responses to infringing infrastructures
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North Jakarta: Kampung livelihood responses to infringing infrastructures

‘Maybe, it’s okay for the big people [rich/elite] to live by the sea. But, for us [kampung residents], our rights have run out.’ –Interview with Kampung resident, 11 July 2017, Kampung Kerang Ijo. For traditional fishing kampung (urban villages) along North Jakarta’s coast, there have always been livelihood uncertainties. Residents daily manage how many fish […]

Convenient Informality on the Street in Maputo
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Convenient Informality on the Street in Maputo

In Maputo, absence is felt in the infrastructure. I spend several months away from the city, and the skyline has changed. Banks and technology companies replace old lots that belonged to a friend of a friend’s grandmother’s best friend. Old traditional Portuguese bakeries, or pastelarias, are now serving single espressos alongside Chinese food restaurants and […]

Such is life in the urban tropics
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Such is life in the urban tropics

In 2015, the National Research Institute of Colombia “Alexander von Humboldt” (commonly known as Instituto Humboldt), promoted Urban Nature: Platform of Experiences, a book project giving voice to diverse sets of knowledge that come into play when addressing and managing biodiversity and ecosystem services in Colombian cities. Over 80 authors presented 40 case studies across […]

On the precarity of the global present and its implications for the African city
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On the precarity of the global present and its implications for the African city

The last couple of decades have witnessed a series of regional events that have threatened to shift the tides of global politics. For instance, it was not long ago that the notion of ‘Africa rising’ became such a hot story amidst optimistic accounts of a growing middle class, inclusive technologies, sprawling cities, and budding economies. […]