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In Hydraulic City Nikhil Anand explores the politics of Mumbai's water infrastructure to demonstrate how citizenship emerges through the continuous efforts to control, maintain, and manage the city's water. Through extensive ethnographic fieldwork in Mumbai's settlements, Anand found that Mumbai's water flows, not through a static collection of pipes and valves, but through a dynamic infrastructure built on the relations between residents, plumbers, politicians, engineers, and the 3,000 miles of pipe that bind them. In addition to distributing water, the public water network often reinforces social identities and the exclusion of marginalized groups, as only those actively recognized by city agencies receive legitimate water services. This form of recognition—what Anand calls "hydraulic citizenship"—is incremental, intermittent, and reversible. It provides residents an important access point through which they can make demands on the state for other public services such as sanitation and education. Tying the ways Mumbai's poorer residents are seen by the state to their historic, political, and material relations with water pipes, the book highlights the critical role infrastructures play in consolidating civic and social belonging in the city.
More than half of the world’s population lives in cities. What are their lives like in very different global and globalizing cities? How can urban anthropologists study and understand the diverse and complex experiences of urban dwellers all over the globe? The latest edition of Urban Life explores questions about how to study urban lives and examines experiences of urban inhabitants in cities across the globe. Authors ask questions such as, how can one study the activities in a huge fish market in Tokyo? How do elderly residents benefit from urban agriculture in New York City? How do people maneuver ever-present traffic jams in Istanbul? How do low-income residents in Cairo manage their lives drawing on neighborhood social networks? How do immigrants fight for green spaces in Paris? How do families manage transnational ties between New York City and Ecuador? The book is organized into six parts: Urban Fieldwork; Communities; Urban Structure, Inequality, and Survival; Immigrants, Migrants, and Refugees; Changing Cities; and Current Topics in Urban Anthropology. The last part addresses issues at the forefront of anthropological research and broader political debates, like environmental justice, disability and accessibility, and access to water supplies. Each part includes an introduction and each chapter is preceded by notes about its context and relevance. The rich ethnographic content of the chapters makes them highly accessible to students while addressing relevant topics and themes.
This book presents a historically situated explanation of the rise of global water governance and the contemporary challenges that global water governance seeks to address. It is particularly concerned with connecting what are often technical issues in water management with the social and political structures that affect how technical and scientific advice affects decisions. Schmidt and Matthews are careful to avoid the pitfalls of setting up opposing binaries, such as ‘nature versus culture’ or ‘private versus public’, thereby allowing readers to understand how contests over water governance have been shaped over time and why they will continue to be so. Co-written by an academic and a practitioner, Global Challenges in Water Governance combines the dual concerns for both analytical clarity and practical applicability in a way that is particularly valuable both for educators, researchers, decision-makers, and newcomers to the complexities of water use decisions.
At publication date, a free ebook version of this title will be available through Luminos, University of California Press's Open Access publishing program. Visit to learn more. Building Green explores the experience of environmental architects in Mumbai, one of the world's most populous and population-dense urban areas and a city iconic for its massive informal settlements, extreme wealth asymmetries, and ecological stresses. Under these conditions, what does it mean to learn, and try to practice, so-called green design? By tracing the training and professional experiences of environmental architects in India's first graduate degree program in Environmental Architecture, Rademacher shows how environmental architects forged sustainability concepts and practices and sought to make them meaningful through engaged architectural practice. The book's focus on practitioners offers insights into the many roles that converge to produce this emergent, critically important form of urban expertise. At once activists, scientists, and designers, the environmental architects profiled in Building Green act as key agents of urban change whose efforts in practice are shaped by a complex urban development economy, layered political power relations, and a calculus of when, and how, their expert skills might be operationalized in service of a global urban future.
Contemporary forms of infrastructural development herald alternative futures through their incorporation of digital technologies, mobile capital, international politics and the promises and fears of enhanced connectivity. In tandem with increasing concerns about climate change and the anthropocene, there is further an urgency around contemporary infrastructural provision: a concern about its fragility, and an awareness that these connective, relational systems significantly shape both local and planetary futures in ways that we need to understand more clearly. Offering a rich set of empirically detailed and conceptually sophisticated studies of infrastructural systems and experiments, present and past, contributors to this volume address both the transformative potential of infrastructural systems and their stasis. Covering infrastructural figures; their ontologies, epistemologies, classifications and politics, and spanning development, urban, energy, environmental and information infrastructures, the chapters explore both the promises and failures of infrastructure. Tracing the experimental histories of a wide range of infrastructures and documenting their variable outcomes, the volume offers a unique set of analytical perspectives on contemporary infrastructural complications. These studies bring a systematic empirical and analytical attention to human worlds as they intersect with more-than-human worlds, whether technological or biological.
Framed by popular and scholarly anxieties about burgeoning cities on one hand, and disappearing water resources on the other, this dissertation is an account of how urban water is made, moved, and subsequently delivered to settlers and other marginalized residents in one of the world's largest cities- Mumbai, India. Based on twenty-two months of ethnographic fieldwork among settlers, engineers of the city's water department, and various other urban experts (plumbers, city planners, social workers), it explores how cities, citizens and their states are made and differentiated through the incremental and continuous extension of the city's hydraulic infrastructure. In theorizing how cities are claimed, inhabited and made livable, particularly for (and by) politically marginalized groups, this research seeks to make a contribution to the literature in political ecology, state formation and citizenship. Where many settlers are formally and substantively denied access to water from the city's public system, I show how they access water through infrapolitics, by drawing on relations with social workers, laws, politicians, pipes, plumbers and policies. By focusing on these everyday practices of making connections, this dissertation shows why we need to reconsider normative distinctions between rights and commodities, persistent in international debates about urban water supply. The everyday practices of settlers in making water connections effect what I suggest are forms of hydraulic citizenship; forms of belonging to the city that are enabled by effective political and material claims to the city's public water system. I show how settlers mobilize hydraulic citizenship through a diverse articulation of political, social and material relations with the city's water pipes and their various authorities. In showing how Mumbai's hydraulic infrastructure constantly and consistently escapes political control, this research also seeks to make a contribution to the scholarship in Science Studies and Political Ecology. I suggest that the materiality of the city's public water system- made through thousands of miles of pipes and employees- makes it especially conducive to the claims of marginalized groups. As settlers and other residents constantly mobilize their votes, favors and money to evaluate and respond to the dynamic flow of water in the city, their connections both elucidate and differentiate the ways in which they are able to make reliable homes in the city despite the predations of states and markets.

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