Investigating infrastructures of urban inequality

Margot Rubin, Melanie Samson, Sian Butcher, Avril Joffe, Stefania Merlo, Laila Smith, Alex Wafer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Infrastructure is often considered to be the pipes, roads and lines that traverse and connect spaces and supply basic services. This chapter considers the operations and effects of infrastructures of inequality from our vantage point as researchers of Southern African cities’ housing, transport, waste, water and cultural infrastructure. It elaborates the four key themes: politics and infrastructure, the relationship between infrastructure and the production of urban space, the question of time and temporality, and the relationship between people and infrastructure. The chapter provides reflections on what conceptual framing and method offers to the study of inequality, as well as considering future questions and pathways of work. It develops between January 2017 and April 2019 by a team of academics from four faculties of the University of the Witwatersrand—Humanities, Science, Engineering and the Built Environment, and Commerce, Law and Management. The chapter conceptualises through a series of writing workshops and on-line engagements, with each scholar contributing their expertise and empirical evidence.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInequality Studies from the Global South
EditorsDavid Francis, Imraan Valodia, Edward Webster
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9780429282447
ISBN (Print)9780367235680, 9780367235963
StatePublished - May 17 2020
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameRoutledge Inequality Studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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