Political Ecologies of Urban Water Governance

Julian Yates, Marc Tadaki, Cristy Clark

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookChapterpeer-review


Political ecological analyses of urban water governance are produced by a broad community of researchers and practitioners with the aim of transforming water-based knowledge into policies, programs, and action. This work is often underpinned by a normative commitment to exposing the uneven effects of socio-environmental change, in the hope of realigning socio-natural interactions for the broader good of human societies and natural environments. In this chapter, we point to three current areas in which political ecological analyses of urban waters provide prominent contributions. First, traditional commitments to Marxist approaches to understanding urban water have evolved into an understanding of water-related territories that extend beyond the confines of the city. Second, the materiality of water and the social relations of science intertwine to direct investment into infrastructures that realise certain visions of urban water over others. Third, urban water governance is increasingly acknowledging and attending to a plurality of water-related worlds, knowledge, and relationships, including those of Indigenous peoples. While urban political ecology may be at a current crossroads in terms of its future application, these examples illustrate how political ecological analyses of water continue to be relevant for understanding urbanisation as an ongoing process that unfolds across space.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication Routledge Handbook of Urban Water Governance
EditorsThomas Bolognesi, Francisco Silva Pinto, Megan Farrelly
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Number of pages14
ISBN (Electronic)9781000644593
ISBN (Print)9780367523534
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


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