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Metabolic Urbanism and Environmental Justice: The Water Conundrum in Bangalore, India
Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute.
Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute.
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2014 (English)In: Environmental Justice, ISSN 1939-4071, E-ISSN 1937-5174, Vol. 7, no 5, 130-137 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Anthropologists, sociologists, geographers, and urban studies scholars have recorded the causes and consequences of inequities that underscore rapidly burgeoning cities in the global South. We argue here that such accounts of urbanism are incomplete without accounting for the inequities in metabolic flows of matter and energy that physically sustains the city. Using the example of domestic household water consumption patterns in Bangalore, we demonstrate how the city's hydrology is shaped by social, political, and economic variables. We present a simple coupled social-ecological framework that allows us to sketch the broad contours of this social hydrology of Bangalore. Our analysis provides evidence for why questions of environmental justice cannot be separated from questions of biophysical sustainability. We show that anthropogenic drivers of groundwater hydrology in Bangalore dominate background biophysical drivers. Unequal spatial distribution of piped water infrastructure is the principal driver of groundwater hydrology in Bangalore, leading us to hypothesize that all urban hydrology is social hydrology.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 7, no 5, 130-137 p.
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Environmental Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-111294DOI: 10.1089/env.2014.0021OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-111294DiVA: diva2:775148
Available from: 2014-12-30 Created: 2014-12-30 Last updated: 2017-12-08Bibliographically approved

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