The ambiguous infrastructural ideal: the urbanisation of water and power in the'golden age'of utility networks

Fionn MacKillop, Denis Bocquet

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

16 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Current debates around networks and urban fragmentation focus on the ownership of the
service to explain processes of socio-technical differentiation in cities (splintering). In this
perspective, integrated public ownership and management historically allowed for service
universalization and the emergence of a “modern infrastructural ideal”, whereas recent
trends towards privatization and unbundling are seen to foster fragmentation. In this paper,
we argue, through an historical appraisal of the rolling out of water and power networks in
very different contexts, that ownership is just one of the factors in urban network service
provision and management, and that the local socio-political context must be taken into
account to understand how and why networks are universalized (or not) and what socio-
spatial effects they produce. Beyond ownership, network provision and management thus …
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Keywords

  • water
  • power
  • infrastructure
  • Urbanization
  • governance
  • history

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'The ambiguous infrastructural ideal: the urbanisation of water and power in the'golden age'of utility networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this