Political ecologies of urbanizing natures in Southeast Asia

Authored by: Kristian Saguin

Routledge Handbook of Urbanization in Southeast Asia

Print publication date:  October  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138681590
eBook ISBN: 9781315562889
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores how urban political ecological approaches to nature-society relations can illuminate current understandings of dynamic urbanization in Southeast Asia. It argues that environmental issues and challenges of the 21st-century city can be enriched through a serious engagement with urban political ecology (UPE) themes, concepts and perspectives. In many cities of the Global South, governance of environmental concerns has aimed to build more sustainable and resilient cities. Working towards sustainable cities, however, requires not only a focus on technological or governance innovations but also an explicit concern for characterizing the kinds of social or socioecological relations that configure urban sustainability. By calling attention to social justice, uneven access, contestations and power relations in city-making, urban political ecology presents a critical lens to urban natures that transcend governance and planning as merely technocratic exercises.

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