Countries in East Asia are currently undergoing significant urban transformations linked with shifts in various infrastructural systems. For instance, China is modernising its sanitation infrastructure in tandem with the construction of millions of housing units in line with its New-type Urbanisation Plan (2014-2020). Japan, the most highly developed country in the region, recently vowed to update its sanitation infrastructure in view of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. In Mongolia, where some 35 per cent of the country’s urban residents have no access to sanitation, calls for a nation-wide initiative to address severe sanitation challenges are mounting.
However, there are explicit tensions between the apparent need to develop national infrastructures and the possible implications that this may carry for human health, social relations and environmental sustainability. For instance, unequal access to urban infrastructure – from sanitation to communication – can lead to stratified health outcomes. Differing everyday practices associated with competing coexisting infrastructures can result in exclusion and isolation of already marginalised groups. Resource-intensive and polluting modern infrastructures can trigger the degradation and loss of ecosystems and their services.
This conference invites contributions concerned with the design, planning, implementation, maintenance and use of urban infrastructures (including, but not limited to, sanitation, transportation, health care and education); the social meanings underpinning infrastructural systems and their processes; wider environmental effects; and their human well-being outcomes (public health in particular).
We are interested in systems approaches and perspectives that place everyday life at the centre and take into account multiple scales (from the human body to the global climate), critical resources and human social systems to understand and address infrastructure challenges in urban East Asia. We welcome contributions on other experiences or comparative studies from other regions where they fit with the conference themes.
The conference will explore research, policy and praxis on all aspects of infrastructures, their development and outcomes, including – but not limited to – the following:
- Urban infrastructures and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): water, sanitation, waste, or related systems across varying spatial scales
- Uses and experiences: everyday practices, individual and group experiences, well-being outcomes
- Design and planning: circulating knowledges, policy mobilities, development paradigms, cultural bias, global/local relationships, politics and power
- Implementation and maintenance: finance, resources, models
- Transdisciplinarity: conceptual frameworks, research design and methodologies
- Perspectives on urban socio-technical relations which exceed, or bring together, individual infrastructural sectors and systems (transportation, water, etc.)
- East Asian and comparative case studies: historic and contemporary accounts
- Activist and community praxis, including decolonising approaches to infrastructural development, urban change, and resource/waste management
- Education and dissemination: strategies, tactics and lessons learned
If you're interested in participating, abstracts are due September 15th and can be submitted here: http://healthycities2019.com/submission