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Broadening the landscape of post-network cities: a call to research the off-grid infrastructure transitions of the non-poor

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

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Type

Article

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Authors

Lemanski, Charlotte  ORCID logo  https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0982-2329

Abstract

Within urban studies, the emerging post-network approach explores infrastructure transitions towards hybrid mixing of grid and off-grid technologies, resources, services, and actors. However, scholarship addressing off-grid transitions in the global south focuses almost exclusively on the poor as non-networked infrastructure consumers. This paper adopts a landscape perspective to consider broader processes of technological, institutional and behavioural change. Using a case study of Day Zero in Cape Town (South Africa), the paper draws on existing studies to demonstrate how the off-grid infrastructure transitions of non-poor households and businesses have potentially catastrophic (but largely ignored) consequences for cities in terms of environmental sustainability, urban governance and citizenship, network quality, and municipal finance. The paper concludes that broadening the landscape of infrastructure analysis, to consider the off-grid infrastructure transitions of the non-poor in the global south, is crucial to address contemporary global challenges.

Description

Keywords

Infrastructure, landscape, off-grid, post-network, heterogeneous, non-poor, water, Cape Town, South Africa

Journal Title

Landscape Research

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

0142-6397
1469-9710

Volume Title

Publisher

Informa UK Limited

Rights

All rights reserved