Alexis Schaffler

Fellowship Recipient
Department: Urban Planning
Country Expertise: South Africa
Language Expertise:
Fellowship Year(s): 2016
Project/Theme Title: The emergence of multifunctional infrastructure in Johannesburg
Abstracts: This research examines the influence of urban sustainability on water infrastructure in Johannesburg. Thinking and practice around urban sustainability advocate the integration of urban services, such as water supply and sanitation, with goals such as natural resource conservation and climate mitigation. This research terms this a shift towards ‘multifunctional’ infrastructure’ underway in urban governments of Southern Africa. Theapproach is an institutional ethnography of water infrastructure in Johannesburg to assess how government responses to urban sustainability affect water services at the ‘end-of-the-pipe’. By exploring the socio-political contexts of urban sustainability, this research considers how ‘multifunctional’ water goals affect citizens and their access to urban infrastructure. This query is part of a wider study into how urban sustainability emerges in African contexts versus the global North and the practical forms change available through ‘multifunctional’ infrastructure.