Water Infrastructure and Regional Governance, September 29 - October 2, 2020
The Regional Studies Association’s Research Network on Infrastructural Regionalism (NOIR) is convening three online (Zoom) workshops to showcase empirical and conceptual research at the intersection of water governance, infrastructure, and regionalism. Water infrastructure performs a vital role in making and remaking regions. Watersheds and reservoirs, pipelines and ports, and storm water management and climate change mitigation represent complex political, economic, and environmental challenges. They are essential, if often black-boxed infrastructures that define how regional space is constructed, territorialized, and experienced. As critical urban infrastructures and contested political objects, water systems are fundamental to conversations about sustainability and economic development trajectories for communities across the global South and global North.
We are now accepting registrations for the NOIR Workshops on Water Infrastructure and Regional Governance. This event will assess how water infrastructure shapes formal and informal regional spaces, communities, and governance dynamics and explores how these shape how water infrastructure is developed. We are hosting four public panels that present research on what water infrastructure reveals about the politics and governance of metropolitan regions.
TUESDAY, September 29 | 11am - 1pm ET
Water Infrastructure and Regional Governance in and beyond Western Pennsylvania
11 - 11:10am | University of Pittsburgh/CONNECT Welcome
CONNECT Executive Director Lydia Morin
11:10 - 11:20am | Regional Studies Association Welcome, Keynote Introductions
Michael Glass, University of Pittsburgh
11:20 - 11:50am | Keynote 1: Infrastructures of Inequality
Leila Harris, University of British Columbia
11:50am - 12:20pm | Keynote 2: Thinking Regionally, Acting Strategically: New Approaches to Governing Regional Water Infrastructures
Andy Karvonen, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
12:20 - 12:35pm | Discussant Response
Dan Bain, Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory
- 12:35pm - 1pm | Moderated Audience Q&A
WEDNESDAY, September 30 | 11am - 12pm ET
RESEARCH PANEL 1: Decision-Making and Engagement in Water Governance
MODERATOR: Jen Nelles; Q&A: JP Addie
Regional infrastructures are often taken for granted by the public, with the consequence that infrastructural management and planning is surrendered to experts and institutions that may not be representative of the region overall. By tracing the lines of authority and influence that shape city-region infrastructures, we hope to reveal opportunities for greater engagement of more diverse publics in the deliberations over infrastructural futures.
- Anne Taufen, Lisa Hoffman, Ken Yocom (University of Washington-Tacoma): Unveiling Infrastructures
- Ramazan Sayan & Nidhi Nagabhatla (UN University Institute for Water, Environment, and Health): An Infrastructure Turn in Water Sharing
- Fenna Hoefsloot, Javier Martinez, & Karin Pfeffer (University of Twente): Speculative futures of Lima’s water infrastructure
- Cat Button (University of Newcastle): Governing Water Infrastructure from our Homes
THURSDAY, October 1 | 1am - 12pm ET
RESEARCH PANEL 2: Regional Partnerships Under Threat
MODERATOR: Michael Glass; Q&A: Jen Nelles
Whereas regional infrastructures such as sewer lines, water treatment plants, and water transportation technologies (namely locks and dams) were constructed as part of earlier periods of urban and regional development, shifting patterns of demand threaten to diminish the utility of these assets. We need to ascertain how such changing dynamics are influencing (and being influenced by) the existing governance of those infrastructural networks.
- Andrew Dick & Sara Hughes (University of Michigan): The Multi-City Growth Machine in Regional Governance Networks—the case of the Karegnondi Water Authority
- Dayne Walling (University of Minnesota): Urban Geographies of Fragmentation and Distress: Government Planning, Development, Infrastructure, and Inequality around Deindustrialized US Cities
- Sachin Tiwale (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai): Grabbing Water Resources in Urban Agglomeration—The Case of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR)
- Grete Gansauer & Julia Haggerty (Montana State University): Regionalizing the Rural through Large-Scale water Infrastructure
- Karsten Zimmerman (TU Dortmund): Infrastructure Regionalism as Driver for Metropolitan Governance? The Case of the Ruhr Region in Germany
FRIDAY, October 2 | 11am - 12pm ET
RESEARCH PANEL 3: Emerging Complexities in Regional Water Governance
MODERATOR: JP Addie; Q&A Michael Glass
Health crises, Federal mandates, technological innovation, and exogenous shocks can all disrupt formal and informal governance structures. We seek empirical examples and theoretical advances that can help to conceptualize how city-regions across the Global North and Global South are affected by these complexities, and to seek out best practices whereby specific regions are confronting these complexities.
- Mark Usher (University of Manchester): Hydraulic Territory: Internal colonization through urban catchment management in Singapore
- Filippo Menga & Michael K. Goodman (University of Reading): The Good Samaritan: Capitalism, Religion and the Political Economy of Care in International Water Charity
- Mike Finewood (Pace University), Marissa Matsler, Olivia Pierce, Zenya Lederman, & Ruthann Richards: What does it mean to empower communities? Green infrastructure incentive programs as a form of neoliberal governance
- Scott Raulerson, Richard Milligan, & Ellis Adams (Georgia State University): Urban Water and Hydrosocial Inequalities