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GGRC40 Week 9.docx

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Michelle Buckley

GGRC40 Week 9 Defining Infrastructure  Not just the physical attributes but the social and organizational structures as well  Infrastructural networks o The process of getting the water to us  Infrastructure not just a set of things o Not just the road you drive on, not just the cell phone tower o Think about infrastructure as a process Infrastructure as a process  Not just assemblages of sites  Social things and process based things as well as material things  Infrastructure doesn’t just exist but the way we use it o Ex, slums (plumbing used as a transportation)  One person’s infrastructure is another person’s barrier o In the megacity, it can be dysfunctional for another person  A social process o Only works if you have access to it and can use it  Much more dynamic Lost Vegas  Las Vegas most unemployment problem in the US. Closure rate is high. Hundreds of population losing their homes and end up residing underground  Underneath these casinos, there are networks of plumbing but for some people it is used as a home  They use the infrastructural network as a shelter Graham and Marvin  Defines our contemporary city  It creates overlapping and layered landscape  Megacities as a set of layered landscape when we think of infrastructure All infrastructures is geographical  We use infrastructure without even thinking about it; sometimes taking it for granted Geography of internet  Connection of the internet is underground through fibre optic cables  ‘Invisible infrastructures’  Infrastructures are always geographical Infrastructure as Geography Imagineries  Integrated in the stories on how advanced we are and we are not  The idea of how cities should be planned and how they shouldn’t Infrastructure as the ‘binder’ of urban space  Binds us together and allows us to communicate with one another  All gives us access to similar ways of functioning o The way we all take the bus,  Equalizer of residents in the city  Infrastructure seen as this public good o Capitalist tended to not provide it so government provided it The demise of the ‘infrastructural ideal’  Networks services should be public and accessible to similar tarrifs with one provided or small providers  They argue that this is not the reality anymore o Centrally planned infrastructure networks have become ‘splintered’ where services have been taken over by one or more provider Splintering Urbanism  Emergence of specialized privatized and customized networks and spaces  This is what we used to call monopoly o All the drinking water access was provided with one person  In the megacities, this is not the case anymore  Ex, highway 407. Privatized roads. Owned by a company. Infrastructure as an industry  Infrastructure provision has become a major site in the circulation of global finance o Pensions funds (huge global capital) are becoming big players in infrastructural investments  Privatization of infrastructure is widespread in North America, UK, global south Structural Adjustment Programs  In some states, they have no choice but to privatize their infrastructural services  Bolivia o Facing pressure from IMF to privatize their local services. Privatize water services. o Whether access to clean water should be a service we have to buy or a human right?  Violently contested by local residents due to privatization Infrastructure for global connectivity  We are seeing changes for people that benefit and for people that do not benefit from the infrastructure  Another reason for splintering urbanism Demodernization  Problematic term because modernization isn’t just one meaning Water provision in Mumbai  When we think ab
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