Is the grid people or product? Relational infrastructure networks in Cape Town's energy-housing nexus
Informa UK Limited
MetadataShow full item record
Lemanski, C., & Massey, R. (2022). Is the grid people or product? Relational infrastructure networks in Cape Town's energy-housing nexus. Urban Geography https://doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2022.2092306
Although urban infrastructure is widely recognized as a physical-material representation of socio-political processes, infrastructure networks remain overwhelmingly conceived as technological reticulation systems that distribute services. While post-networked infrastructure debates highlight hybrid and heterogeneous infrastructure configurations, debates remain framed by implicit assumptions that the “network” is primarily the physical grid. Furthermore, while the relational nature of infrastructure is acknowledged, highlighting for example how people’s everyday practices are themselves a form of infrastructure, the language of infrastructure networks remains largely physical-material. Using the example of the Ceiling Retrofit Programme in Cape Town (South Africa), this paper reveals how relationships between people, the state, and material infrastructures, are core, but frequently neglected, infrastructure networks. The paper demonstrates how devaluing human networks disrupts these relationships and undermines the effectiveness of physical infrastructure. Consequently, we argue that infrastructure networks require re-theorization to acknowledge and value human-relational networks as equal to, and embedded in, physical-material networks.
Energy, housing, South Africa, Cape Town, relational infrastructural networks, grid
British Academy GCRF Cities and Infrastructure Programme under Grant CI170285: Energy innovation for low-income housing in India and South Africa: strategies for inter-disciplinary and cross-institutional dialogue, led by Charlotte Lemanski (2017-19).
British Academy (CI170285)
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/02723638.2022.2092306
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/338041
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Recommended or similar items
The current recommendation prototype on the Apollo Repository will be turned off on 03 February 2023. Although the pilot has been fruitful for both parties, the service provider IKVA is focusing on horizon scanning products and so the recommender service can no longer be supported. We recognise the importance of recommender services in supporting research discovery and are evaluating offerings from other service providers. If you would like to offer feedback on this decision please contact us on: email@example.com