Category Archives: Commentary

The urban risk machine: Municipal debt and climate change in the city
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The urban risk machine: Municipal debt and climate change in the city

Following Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States will withdraw from the Paris Accord, a number of US cities signaled their intention to symbolically join the agreement and demonstrate their commitment to avoiding more than 1.5 C warming. Cities have a unique relationship to global climate change as the historical locus of greenhouse gas emissions […]

Reflection After a Project: Building Collaborations Beyond The Peer-Reviewed Publication
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Reflection After a Project: Building Collaborations Beyond The Peer-Reviewed Publication

The Ways of Knowing Urban Ecologies (WOK-UE) project started in 2011 and finished in December 2016. Amongst other activities, the project proved instrumental in helping to build the Situated UPE Collective from its early days in 2013. Here PI Henrik Ernstson reflects on this now finished research project to exemplify how projects can act as crucial venues for critical social scientists in building collaborations, projects and […]

Reflections on ‘Opening the Bin’ (and waste research more generally)
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Reflections on ‘Opening the Bin’ (and waste research more generally)

On the 27th April, over fifty scholars met in Helsingborg, Sweden for a three-day workshop dedicated to waste research in the social sciences and humanities. Organised by Lund University, the ‘Opening the Bin’ workshop sought to critically investigate waste perceptions, materialities, politics, and practices. One of the first workshops of its kind, this gathering provided […]

Mary Lawhon reflects on the retirement of Dianne Rocheleau
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Mary Lawhon reflects on the retirement of Dianne Rocheleau

Unable to attend the American Association of Geographers’ Annual meeting due to travel problems, Mary Lawhon reflects on the retirement of geographer and political ecologist Dianne Rocheleau in this commentary. Drawn from notes for a presentation that unfortunately did not happen due to flight delays, this commentary focuses on Dianne’s generosity as a scholar and her contributions […]

The aesthetic politics of graffiti removal in Contemporary São Paulo
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The aesthetic politics of graffiti removal in Contemporary São Paulo

The aesthetic politics of graffiti removal in Contemporary São Paulo In this commentary, postdoctoral researcher Nate Millington comments on the aesthetic politics of Graffiti removal in São Paulo. In his first few weeks in office, the newly elected mayor of São Paulo—Jõao Doria, a businessman and reality tv star whose election was primarily a rebuke […]

Report from ‘Turning Livelihoods to Rubbish?’ Project Workshop
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Report from ‘Turning Livelihoods to Rubbish?’ Project Workshop

Report from “Turning Livelihoods to Rubbish? Project Workshop” with stakeholders at UCT, Cape Town, 17 February 2017 Nate Millington reports from a rewarding and constructive stakeholder workshop in Cape Town on the politics of waste management in South Africa. On 17 February 2017, researchers from the ‘Turning Livelihoods to Rubbish?’ (TLR) project met with researchers […]

“Greening” Spatial Apartheid: Op-ed article on “eco-estates” and urban elite spaces of South Africa
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“Greening” Spatial Apartheid: Op-ed article on “eco-estates” and urban elite spaces of South Africa

Bruce Baigrie and Henrik Ernstson have just published a critique of “eco-estates” in GroundUp (online magazine) based on an initial study in Nordhoek, Cape Town.   In this piece we do a first analysis of the making of an “eco-estate” in Cape Town and its social and ecological effects. These “eco-estates” enroll and depoliticise environmental arguments […]

Political Ecology of Urbanization in Latin America: A fertile ground for more situated and just urban ecologies
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Political Ecology of Urbanization in Latin America: A fertile ground for more situated and just urban ecologies

German Quimbayo Ruiz reports on efforts to develop a Situated UPE approach in Latin America. His co-authored research article in the journal Ecología Política is in Spanish, so  spread the message among our Spanish-speaking scholars and activists. (For a PDF copy, contact the authors. For more SUPE posts on Latin America, see here.) Recently I published a paper […]

Waste management in Cape Town: understanding responsibility and labour
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Waste management in Cape Town: understanding responsibility and labour

Kathleen Stokes reflects on waste management and political ecology in Cape Town. Kathleen is a PhD student in Human Geography at the University of Manchester with a research focus on community responsibility and labour in waste management. She is part of the Turning Livelihoods to Rubbish Project, which is run in collaboration between the University of Cape […]

The Urban Action Lab at Makerere University is in action!
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The Urban Action Lab at Makerere University is in action!

The Urban Action Lab (UAL) at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda has launched their website. The UAL is run by Professor Shuaib Lwasa and his team of urban researchers and students and the Lab will make a crucial contribution from East Africa to pan-African attempts in facing urban challenges of the 21st century. By Henrik […]