Networked Futures: The Politics of Urban Infrastructure

An event hosted by LSE Cities

This workshop examined infrastructure as a site of urban politics, planning, and governance in a global context. Of special interest was how urban infrastructures are managed and experienced in the face of ecological, economic, and political uncertainty. Focusing on the creation of infrastructural connections and disconnections within and between cities, the discussion highlighted the materials, practices, and imaginaries that come together in pursuit of networked futures.

The Urban Uncertainty workshop series is an integral part of LSE Cities’ collaborative investigation into emerging ways of envisioning and governing the future of cities. Each session focuses on a different dimension of urban uncertainty, from health and housing to crime and climate, and brings together scholars from a handful of disciplines whose work converges on common themes.

Event materials


    Adriana Allen

    Adriana Allen is Professor of development planning and urban sustainability at The Bartlett Development Planning (DPU) / University College London, where she leads the DPU Research Cluster on Environmental Justice, Urbanisation and Resilience and is actively engaged in various initiatives promoting trans-local learning and enhanced research capacity, both within UCL and internationally. Originally trained as an urban-regional planner, she specialised over the years in the fields of urban environmental planning and political ecology. She has 30 years of international experience in research, postgraduate teaching and consultancy undertakings in over 20 countries in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Her work focuses on investigating and promoting transformative links between socio-environmental change and justice and sustainability in urban and peri-urban contexts. Her most recent publications include Untamed Urbanisms (Routledge 2015) and Urban Water Trajectories (Springer 2016).

    Nikhil Anand

    Nikhil Anand is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on the political ecology of urban infrastructures, and the social and material relations that they entail. Through ethnographic research, he studies the ways in which natural resources and specific configurations of “the public” are mobilized to assemble urban development and environmental projects in Mumbai.

    Idalina Baptista

    Idalina Baptista is the Sir Nigel Mobbs Research Fellow for the Oxford Programme for the Future of Cities at the University of Oxford. She’s currently working on the project Electric Urbanism: the Governance of Electricity in Urban Africa, which uses the case study of prepaid electricity in Maputo, Mozambique, to examine the challenges of accessing utility services in the global South.

    Lindsay Bremner

    Lindsay Bremner is Director of Architectural Research at the University of Westminster. She was formerly the head of architecture departments in Philadelphia (USA) and Johannesburg (South Africa). She is an award-winning architect and writer on Johannesburg, including the book Writing the City into Being: Essays on Johannesburg 1998 – 2008 (2010). Her current research, Folded Ocean, is investigating the impact of global mobility, transnationalism, and environmental change on the Indian Ocean world.