CfP POLLEN20 – Political ecologies of urban water beyond the pipes

Deadline extended!

The Third Biennial Conference of the Political Ecology Network (POLLEN 20)
Contested Natures: Power, Possibility, Prefiguration
Brighton, United Kingdom
24-26 June 2020

Session organiser

Natasha Cornea (University of Birmingham). Please send abstracts of 250 words or less to  by October 25th by November 10th.

Session description

Over the last two decades (Urban) political ecologists have given significant attention the fragmented, complex and power-infused nature of urban water infrastructures and the governing practices that shape urban hydroscapes. In particular, circulated and/or commoditised drinking water has received significant attention, revealing the multi-scalar processes that shape access to and the control of urban water flows. Far less attention has been paid to theorising the power relations that shape of other urban waters. However, in recent years a rich set of case studies on urban ponds/lakes (Cornea et al 2016, Drew 2019, D’Souza & Nagendra  2011), riverscapes (Follmann 2016, Dahake 2018), wetlands (Campion & Owusu-Boateng 2013), and waste and flood water infrastructures (Batubara et al 2018, Zimmer 2015) has begun to emerge. This session aims to recognise the heterogeneous nature of water (Budds & Sultana 2013) and to contribute to a more nuanced and complex understanding of urban hydroscapes by engaging with water beyond the pipes. Empirical or theoretical contributions on the topic that engage with the Global South or Global North are invited.


Follmann, Alexander. 2016. Governing Riverscapes. Urban Environmental Change along the River Yamuna in Delhi, India. Stuttgart: Steiner.

Batubara, B., Kooy, M. and Zwarteveen, M., 2018. Uneven Urbanisation: Connecting Flows of Water to Flows of Labour and Capital Through Jakarta’s Flood Infrastructure. Antipode50(5), pp.1186-1205.

Budds, J. and Sultana, F., 2013. Exploring political ecologies of water and development. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space31(2), pp.275-279.

Campion, Benjamin, and Godfred Owusu-Boateng. 2013. The Political Ecology of Wetlands in Kumasi, Ghana.  International Journal of Environment and Bioenergy 7 (2):108-128.

D’Souza, R., and H. Nagendra. 2011. Changes in Public Commons as a Consequence of Urbanization: The Agara Lake in Bangalore, India.  Environmental Management 47 (5):840-850. doi: 10.1007/s00267-011-9658-8.

Dahake, S. Taming Godavari River: Navigating through religious, developmental, and environmental narratives. WIREs Water. 2018; 5:e1297.

Drew, Georgina. 2019. Political Ecologies of Water Capture in an Indian ‘Smart City’, Ethnos, DOI: 10.1080/00141844.2018.1541918

Zimmer, Anna. 2015. “Urban Political Ecology in Megacities: The Case of Delhi’s Waste Water.” In Urban Development Challenges, Risks and Resilience in Asian Mega Cities, edited by R.B. Singh, 119-139. Springer.

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