21 February 2013

Pathway of production(s): Urban risk reduction in Manila

Soo-Jin Kim, 3rd year PhD Student, UCL, DPU

This PhD research adopts Henri Lefebvre's production of space as an analytical tool. It seeks to offer an account of the emerging relations between disaster’s literatures and urban studies by (1) onceptualizing urban disaster risk management as different pathway of production(s), (2) deconstructing the ambiguous notion of community-based initiatives, thereby regaining its political dimensions, and (3) elaborating the complex role of urbanization for the geography of urban disaster risks. Empirical evidences and contextual narratives is grounded in four groups of low-income communities facing the adverse impacts of urban disaster risks in a changing climate; they formed the grassroots disaster-response organizations as actors of community-based responses or participants of government-led relocation plans in the outskirt of Metro Manila, the Philippines.


Urban Megaprojects, Change and Routine: Making the Everydayness of Big Infrastructure

Anna Plyushteva, 2nd Year PhD Student, UCL Geography

When new infrastructure for urban travel is unveiled, one way of thinking about it is as a disruption of the pre-existing routines of getting around cities. This is the view largely taken in the way infrastructure is planned and appraised, and in many models of urban mobility. In my PhD research, I try to explore those links between transport infrastructure, socio-technological change and everyday movement which are not well captured by a ‘before-and-after’ framework. To do this, I use the case study of the 2009-2013 expansion of the underground rail network in Sofia, Bulgaria.
In the presentation, I will draw on my work-in-progress PhD/MPhil upgrade report to discuss some of the theoretical and methodological questions in my research. I will focus on ideas around individual routines and the social practices of passengering together, as a way of thinking about the way large and complex technical systems are made in the social world of the everyday.