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Handle with care: navigating the pluriformity of power

How to navigate the pluriformity of power, to enable actionable knowledge for transitions in informal settlements in the global south? This perspective aims to inform those actively working in sustainability transitions and offers policy and practice recommendations.
 
This Perspective positions urban challenges in informal settlements in the Global South as a question of how to coproduce actionable knowledge for sustainability transitions, and how this relates to power issues. The aim is to inform those who are actively working on sustainability transitions in practice how to navigate the pluriform ways power matters in transitions. Also as a way to reflect on one’s doings and as a starting point to develop research and/or policy programs that enable alternative solutions. This Perspective is based on fieldwork in three informal settlements in Kampala and focuses specifically on sustainability issues related to gaining access to, maintenance and control of water services. We highlight the importance of challenging dominant frames of places and communities, coproducing dynamic maps of power relations and interdependencies related to a specific urban challenge and taking into account the contextualized understanding of power relations within a political system.
 
Policy and practice recommendations:
 

  • Engaging in sustainability transitions requires building actionable knowledge that is power sensitive.
  • Challenging hegemonic frames is a starting point to develop alternative solution options.
  • In-depth understanding of urban challenges should build upon coproduced maps of related power relations.
  • Local challenges are embedded in a broader political system and require innovations that expand the political space for action.

 
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Read the complete article (open access) here.
 
Citation
Schipper, K., Silvestri, G., Wittmayer, J.M. et al. Handle with care: navigating the pluriformity of power to enable actionable knowledge for transitions in informal settlements in the global south. Urban Transform 1, 4 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s42854-019-0004-4


Date
December 10, 2019