Composing Urban Orders from Rubbish Electronics: Cityness and the Site Multiple

Lepawsky, Josh and Akese, Grace and Billah, Mostaem and Connolly, Creighton and McNabb, Chris (2015) Composing Urban Orders from Rubbish Electronics: Cityness and the Site Multiple. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39 (2). pp. 185-199. ISSN 0309-1317

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-2427.12142

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Abstract

What do cities look like when rubbish electronics are the vehicle with which they are explored? This article is an experiment designed to offer a response to that question, and in doing so to productively intervene in the conversation about ‘cityness’, ‘metrocentricity’ and ‘subaltern urbanism’. We intervene by following flows of rubbish electronics and the action that enacts them as waste and value, drawing on fieldwork in Dhaka, Singapore, Accra and Canada’s Greater Golden Horseshoe. Our intervention is an experiment in writing an urban geography of rubbish electronics as a site multiple. We show how following the circulation of rubbish electronics offers a many-folded synopsis of cities: urban enclaves of high finance and the information economy are also industrial waste producers. Peri-urban industrial zones are also managers of brands, legal liability and corporate public relations. Cities off the map are also urban innovation systems, while waste is rekindled as value and accumulated as poison. Thereby we suggest how a sensitivity to the site multiple may be a helpful way of grappling with shifting ontology and the performativity of our research practices in urban studies.

Keywords:electronic waste, urban studies, cityness, metrocentricity, site multiple
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K440 Urban studies
Divisions:College of Science > School of Geography
ID Code:34419
Deposited On:24 Jan 2019 12:14

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