Social Power and the Urbanization of Water: Flows of Power

Hardcover | April 2, 2004

byErik Swyngedouw

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Taking as his case-study the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador, where 600,000 people lack easy access to potable water, Erik Swyngedouw aims to reconstruct, theoretically and empirically, the political, social, and economic conduits through which water flows, and to identify how power relationsinfuse the metabolic transformation of water as it becomes urban. These flows of water which are simultaneously physical and social carry in their currents the embodiment of myriad social struggles and conflicts. The excavation of these flows narrates stories about the city's structure anddevelopment. Yet these flows also carry the potential for an improved, more just, and more equitable right to the city and its water. The flows of power that are captured by urban water circulation also suggest that the question of urban sustainability is not just about achieving sound ecologicaland environmental conditions, but first and foremost about a social struggle for access and control; a struggle not just for the right to water, but for the right to the city itself.

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Taking as his case-study the city of Guayaquil in Ecuador, where 600,000 people lack easy access to potable water, Erik Swyngedouw aims to reconstruct, theoretically and empirically, the political, social, and economic conduits through which water flows, and to identify how power relationsinfuse the metabolic transformation of water as...

Erik Swyngedouw is a Reader in Economic Geography, University of Oxford.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:226 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.71 inPublished:April 2, 2004Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198233914

ISBN - 13:9780198233916

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Table of Contents

I: Flows of Power: Nature, Power, and the City1. Hybrid Waters: On Water, Nature, and Society2. The City in a Glass of Water: Circulating Water, Circulating Power3. Water, Power, and the Andean City: Situating GuayaquilII: Social Power and the Urbanization of Water in Guayaquil, Ecuador4. The Urban Conquest of Water in Guayaquil, 1880-1945: Cocoa and the Urban Water Dream5. The Urban Conquest of Water in Guayaquil, 1945-2000: Bananas, Oil, and the Production of Water Scarcity6. The Water Mandarins: The Contradictions of Urban Water Provision7. The Water Lords: Speculators in Water8. Contested Waters: Rituals of Resistance and Water ActivismIII: Conclusion9. Whose Water and Whose City? Towards an Emancipatory Water Politics