Category Archives: Commentary

Ecologies of Urbanism – Engaging diverse urban ecologies of Asia
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Ecologies of Urbanism – Engaging diverse urban ecologies of Asia

Anna Zimmer gives a reflection on a recent workshop organised by Anne Rademacher & K. Sivaramakrishnan at the Hong Kong Institute for Humanities and Social Science, 9-12 June 2014. Last week, I participated in the stimulating workshop on Ecologies of Urbanism with the subtitle ‘Cities, towns, and the places of nature’ organised by Anne Rademacher […]

Disconnecting Detroit
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Disconnecting Detroit

Jonathan Silver reflects on the recent water shut offs in Detroit A police car moves toward water shut off protesters in Detroit  (Picture: Detroit Water Brigade – https://twitter.com/DETWaterBrigade) You might have seen images circulating out of Detroit over the last few weeks of the unfolding humanitarian crisis. Utility company vehicles, highly weaponized police, distressed but […]

The rise of Afro-Smart cities should be viewed with caution
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The rise of Afro-Smart cities should be viewed with caution

Jonathan Silver ponders the meaning of Smart cities across urban Africa. The recent announcement by IBM establishing its twelfth global laboratory in Nairobi has followed a rise in news about Smart cities across urban Africa. These include IBM’s inclusion of Durban and Abuja in its Smarter Cities Challenge, a plethora of summits and conferences, together with planning for a series […]

Small cities, urban environments and governance in India
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Small cities, urban environments and governance in India

In this commentary Anna Zimmer presents her ongoing research project with Natasha Cornea and René Véron on environmental governance in Indian small cities Our project (Oct 2012-Oct 2015) focuses on the patterns and politics of environmental governance in small cities in India. So far, research on the dynamics of environmental change, urbanisation and governance in India […]

Emplacing Urbanisms: Relocating Power and Knowledge in Urban Theory
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Emplacing Urbanisms: Relocating Power and Knowledge in Urban Theory

Anthony Levenda reflects sensitively on how Science and Technology Studies (STS) and Urban Political Ecology (UPE) can be related towards the building of a more situated approach to urban political ecology. We met Anthony at the DOPE conference in Kentucky and this is first contribution to the SUPE Commentaries section. Please follow his lead and […]

Pluralizing or Provincializing Urban Political Ecology? [In a World of Cities]
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Pluralizing or Provincializing Urban Political Ecology? [In a World of Cities]

Henrik Ernstson reflects on the difference between “pluralizing” and “provincializing” urban political ecology. In prompting the contributors to send some bullet points in relation to our special session on “Pluralizing the Approaches to Urban Political Ecology in a ‘World of Cities’”, I made a mistake and wrote the wrong word. In my email, in which […]

With the death of Mandela—Focus on South Africa
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With the death of Mandela—Focus on South Africa

Two top geographic journals have posted links to their articles dealing with South Africa—before and after Apartheid—in remembrance of the death of the freedom fighter and first black South African president Nelson Mandela, both including articles by our own Mary Lawhon. Society and Space: Environment and Planning D headlines Post-apartheid geographies – a virtual theme issue and […]

Infrastructural ideals across African cities
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Infrastructural ideals across African cities

In this commentary Sophie Schramm explains her new research  with Jochen Monstadt on the infrastructural ideal in African cities Translating urban infrastructure ideals and planning models: adaptation and creativity in water and sanitation systems in African cities. The research project is part of a wider programme that focuses on the transfer and thereby translation of […]

Its time to pay the climate debt: Financing a low carbon urban Africa
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Its time to pay the climate debt: Financing a low carbon urban Africa

 Jonathan Silver argues that carbon financing for cities is flawed and is failing to support urban Africa in addressing climate change and development imperatives. At the recent ICLEI Local Climate Solutions conference in Dar es Salaam the Vice President of Tanzania, Mohamed Gharib Bilal addressed the assembled participants at the opening plenary. He argued that […]

Boda-Boda! Rethinking Unregulated Urban Transport in the Global South
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Boda-Boda! Rethinking Unregulated Urban Transport in the Global South

James Evans focuses on boda-boda motorcycle taxis in Uganda to ask how current thinking in Geography might help us re-think the role of informal transport in achieving more inclusive and sustainable urban development. This is of crucial concern as unregulated transport is vital to billions living with poor road access in the Global South, yet […]