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Edited by Pieter Van den Broeck, Abid Mehmood, Angeliki Paidakaki and Constanza Parra

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Social Innovation as Political Transformation

Thoughts for a Better World

Edited by Pieter Van den Broeck, Abid Mehmood, Angeliki Paidakaki and Constanza Parra

This book is an introduction to the works of a collective of academics on social innovation and socio-political transformation. It offers a critique of the dominance of market-based logics and extractivism in the age of neoliberalism. Calling for systemic change, the authors invite the reader to engage in the analysis and practice of socially innovative initiatives and, by doing so, contribute to the co-construction of a sustainable, solidarity-based and regenerative society.
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Edited by Pieter Van den Broeck, Abid Mehmood, Angeliki Paidakaki and Constanza Parra

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Edited by Richard Sharpley and David Harrison

Tourism is integral to local, regional and national development policies; as a major global economic sector, it has the potential to underpin economic growth and wider development. Yet, transformations in both the nature of tourism and the dynamic environment within which it occurs give rise to new questions with regards to its developmental role. This Research Agenda offers a state-of-the-art review of the research into the tourism-development nexus. Exploring issues including governance, policy, philanthropy, poverty reduction and tourism consumption, it identifies significant gaps in the literature, and proposes new and sometimes provocative avenues for future research.
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Developing Bus Rapid Transit

The Value of BRT in Urban Spaces

Edited by Fiona Ferbrache

Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is a popular mode of sustainable public urban transit given dedicated focus in this timely collection. The effects of BRT are examined in-depth through a range of case studies from cities across six continents, including analysis of BRT planning, implementation, operation, performance and impacts. The contributions from academics and non-academic experts on BRT are framed more broadly within the concept of value and how urban transport investment has and can be valued by and for society.
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C. Erik Vergel-Tovar and William Camargo

More than 200 cities in the world are implementing bus rapid transit (BRT) systems nowadays but empirical evidence on urban development impacts of this type of mass transit system is still limited. The study of land-use and development impacts of BRT requires a time frame that allows changes on the built environment as a result of accessibility benefits introduced by BRT systems. Since the implementation of the BRT system in Bogotá in 2000, the national government of Colombia has been promoting this type of mass transit system in large and medium-size cities, but few studies have examined urban development impacts of BRT systems in the country through a systematic approach. This chapter examines land-use and development impacts of BRT in five cities by looking at planning, implementation and operation stages and the role played by public and private actors in the urban development outcomes related to BRT investments. The analysis examines changes on land use and built-up areas along BRT corridors in Bogotá, Pereira, Cali, Barranquilla and Bucaramanga in order to determine the capacity of BRT systems to promote transit-oriented development and the factors that explain these urban development outcomes in terms of challenges and opportunities.

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Myung-Jin Jun

This chapter applied Rosen’s two-stage hedonic price estimation to derive a demand function for proximity to the bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Seoul, South Korea. Welfare changes from improved BRT accessibility were estimated for illustrative purposes. The major findings of this study can be summarized as follows. First, estimation of spatial hedonic price models presents a statistically significant price premium for BRT proximity, with average marginal implicit prices of $4550–$8208 for a decrease in the distance to a BRT stop. Second, estimation of the inverse demand function shows a downward sloping demand curve for accessibility of the BRT system, implying that people prefer living closer to the BRT system, but that they have a diminishing marginal willingness to pay for this increased proximity. Lastly, residents living in the southern part of the Seoul metropolitan area (cluster 3), including several new-town residents, are likely to receive more benefits from improved BRT accessibility than those living in other areas.

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Joe Williams

This chapter argues that the development of large-scale seawater desalination over the last two decades has been intimately linked to the privatisation, commercialisation and commodification of water services in general, and urban water in particular. It contends that a desalination “plant” should be more accurately understood as a desalination “factory”, which creates a manufactured product (potable water) in a pre-arranged quantity and with a pre-specified quality. The chapter provides a detailed analysis of the convoluted development of desalination as a decentralised and local water supply for San Diego, California. It focuses on two plants on the North American Pacific coast: the 189 ML/day Carlsbad Desalination Plant in San Diego County, which opened in 2015; and a larger facility currently under construction south of the US-Mexico border at Rosarito Beach, Baja California, which is heralded as the first ever “binational” seawater desalination project. My core contention here is that desalination is emerging as an important technology in political and ideological shift towards the neoliberalisation of municipal water supply.

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Suraya Scheba and Andreas Scheba

Desalination is being adopted in South Africa as an emergency ‘quick fix’ to drought crisis. Despite public opposition over potential social and ecological negative effects, small- and large-scale desalination plants are growing in numbers across the country. In this chapter we use a relational Marxist ontology and draw on the case of desalination adoption in the Knysna Local Municipality, Western Cape, South Africa, to argue that proponents’ representation of the drought as nature-induced, urgent and devoid of history created the political space for desalination technology to emerge as the best solution. Powerful actors used a range of communication and legal tools to discursively produce the drought–desalination assemblage, which resulted in the material manifestation of the technology. We then trace the historical materiality of the drought–desalination assemblage to counter the dominant narrative, providing instead an alternative explanation of how human and non-human actors produced the crisis materially.

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Maria Christina Fragkou

Desalinated water production has been celebrated by some as a solution to water scarcity and the barriers this means for social and economic development, as it produces water from an infinite source, the sea. Political ecology studies on the other hand, have now long been concerned by the possible social implications of this technique, but without any tangible evidence so far. In this chapter I critically analyse how the production of desalinated water for human consumption has permitted the growth of the mining sector in the world’s main copper supplier, the Chilean region of Antofagasta, while undermining the quality of life for the urban residents who consume it. The results are based on a survey which examined the perception of potable water quality and the uses of tap water in households, over 10 years after the plant´s functioning. Drawing on these, I demonstrate that the gradual introduction of desalinated water in the city’s metabolism has deepened existing socio-ecological inequalities within an already heavily segregated city, and has failed in overcoming tap water quality concerns for the residents of Antofagasta, maintaining perceptual and economic water scarcities, especially for lower-class households. These analyses do not only advance findings on desalination’s social impacts on the urban scale, but also disclose the importance of examining urban water inequalities at the household level, as the formation of daily practices and uses of tap water generate unequal conditions for urban dwellers, which cannot be grasped by city-wide analyses, usual in the urban political ecology tradition.