Urban political ecology (UPE) has provided critical insights into the sociomaterial
construction of urban environments, their unequal distribution of resources, and
contestation over power and resources. Most of this work is rooted in Marxist urban
geographical theory, which provides a useful but limited analysis. Such works typically
begin with a historical-materialist theory of power, then examine particular artifacts
and infrastructure to provide a critique of society. We argue that there are multiple ways
of expanding this framing, including through political ecology or wider currents of
Marxism. Here, we demonstrate one possibility: starting from theory and empirics in the
South, specifically, African urbanism. We show how African urbanism can inform UPE and
the associated research methods, theory and practice to create a more situated UPE. We
begin suggesting what a situated UPE might entail: starting with everyday practices,
examining diffuse forms of power, and opening the scope for radical incrementalism.
There is the belief that Knysna is a perfectly ‘healthy’ and prosperous town and many might wonder why time would be wasted on it while there are so many other, more obvious and needy areas in Southern Africa that require ...
van Schalkwyk, Cornelis Rudolf(University of Pretoria, 2018)
Mamelodi still remains captive in the spatial legacy of Apartheid.
With long travel times and virtually no employment opportunities
in Mamelodi, the status quo is difficult for inhabitants
to deal with. Economic theory ...