Towards a new infrastructure of dissent: framing knowledge innovation for the future of urban resilience

Authors: Mathieu Feagan*, Arizona State University
Topics: Urban Geography
Keywords: Infrastructure of dissent, knowledge practices, social relations as urban form, urban resilience and sustainability
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/12/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Gallier B, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Making urban infrastructure more resilient to climate change requires looking at the knowledge practices – and their systemic organization – informing current urban planning processes, while asking questions about what it would mean to change these practices to produce different futures. This presentation brings together a range of literatures on changing knowledge practices – from sustainability transitions, political ecology, critical geography, and different ways of knowing – to share an understanding of how knowledge is built into urban form through the power and politics of urbanization as both a driver and consequence of global capitalist development. Different lenses for framing sustainability transitions present different futures, yet all of these differences are in relation to the development of existing urban form and the processes that gave rise to it. Changing knowledge practices, therefore, includes contesting systemic patterns of urbanization, and offering alternative models of urban development that have roots in the present but are part of the process of transitioning toward other modes of production. In particular, the concept of an infrastructure of dissent provides a critical framework for understanding what this contestation might look like. Drawing on experiences from the Urban Resilience to Extremes Sustainability Research Network, the presentation advances the concept of infrastructure of dissent as a space for evaluating changing knowledge practices in relation to the tension between reproducing or challenging the dominant social relations, within the context of making cities more resilient to climate change.

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