By 2050, two-thirds of the world’s population will live in urban areas. While cities present opportunities for community building and shared economies that are undeniably promising, they are also beset with compounding issues such as climate change, exclusion and inequality, and migration. Existing infrastructure is unable to keep pace with the growing demand for services. Many cities have aging, absent, or inadequate water, sanitation, and wastewater infrastructure, affecting public and environmental health.
In the global South, local governments are often poorly prepared for the challenges of urbanization and are hard pressed to extend basic services to resource-constrained settlements in urban and peri-urban areas. As decentralization reconfigures urban water governance by transferring responsibilities for service delivery to local institutions and expanding the role for non-state actors, there has been a proliferation of participatory arrangements—typically premised on capacity building in resource-constrained communities to enable them to partner with the state in delivering basic services. Drawing on a cross-case analysis of how three such projects unfolded on the ground in India, this talk examines the coproduction of water supply—a manifestation of the shift in water governance. The findings delineate its role in (re)shaping local-level state-community relations and underscore implications for urban service delivery.
About the Speaker:
Dr. Priyam Das is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. She studies water governance in the global South, focusing in particular on barriers to extending water and sanitation services to settlements outside so-called formal planning systems. Broadly framed by two key questions – to what extent are such barriers related to issues of governance and how do strategies deployed by different actors to improve access to basic services inform planning and policy – her research sharpens focus on problems of inequality, poverty, and disenfranchisement. It has been published in major scholarly journals such as World Development, Environment and Urbanization, Environment and Planning A, International Development Planning Review, and Sustainability. Dr. Das has several years of experience as a practitioner. She holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi, a master’s degree in landscape architecture from Penn State, and a PhD in urban planning from UCLA.
~~ ALL INTERESTED ARE WELCOME ~~
Enquiries: 3917 2721
CENTRE OF URBAN STUDIES AND URBAN PLANNING
THE UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG