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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

This chapter brings together the physical hydrology of the river catchment and the estuary, population growth and water demand, management of wastewater and polluting behaviours, people’s trust in the government, and the styles of government decision-making to model the possible futures for Shanghai’s water supply using a Bayesian Belief Network. Three scenarios, each with two variants, are modelled: high growth rate with an authoritarian socio-political order; slower growth, authoritarian and inflexible; slower growth, flexible, participatory and pluralist. The variants are environmental states: (a) the environment imposes increasing challenges; (b) the environment is relatively benign. This model combines quantitative forecasting techniques with a qualitative understanding of broader structural changes. The results indicate that lower growth leads to a greater quantity of water in the Changjiang and that more inclusive forms of governance have additional benefits for water quality, water quantity and trust in the water that is delivered.

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

Chapter 9 reinforces the central messages of this book. The Changjiang, government institutions, infrastructures and ordinary people comprise an assemblage of interacting actors. The river is a central actor that depends on inputs from the precipitation system, perhaps modified by land uses, dams, extractions and pollution. The river’s interactions with the tidal system produce a propensity to salt intrusions that can interrupt Shanghai’s water supply. Whether or not people drink this water depends on the cleanliness of the water but more on their willingness to trust the government bureaucracies to supply clean water. In other words, technical choices about forms of infrastructure and water management not only have political bases but also have political consequences. An important consequence of this conclusion is that policy models have different effects in different places: the management of water expresses hydrologic processes, and social–political–economic structures.

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Water Supply in a Mega-City

A Political Ecology Analysis of Shanghai

Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

With the increasing threat of depleted and contaminated water supplies around the world, this book provides a timely and much needed analysis of how cities should manage this precious resource. Integrating the environmental, economic, political and socio-cultural dimensions of water management, the authors outline how future mega-city systems can maintain a high quality of life for its residents.
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Owiti A. K’Akumu

The term ‘urbanization of poverty’ was first introduced into the urban economics literature by Gerard Piel in his work titled The Urbanization of Poverty Worldwide, first presented to the WHO symposium on ‘Urbanization – Global Health Challenge, in Kobe, Japan, March 18, 1996. Piel (1997) used the term to refer to ‘an upheaval in the lives of the world’s poor’. This ‘upheaval’ was discernible in the trend of poverty dynamics in developing countries where poverty had persisted in rural areas among peasant groups immersed in local traditional economy. From the 1950s, these poor rural populations began an exodus from their traditional rural regions to urban areas where they found limited means of livelihood support thereby translocating rural poverty to urban areas. This is the process Piel (1997) termed ‘urbanization of poverty’, that is, giving poverty an urban other than its hitherto known rural face. It is in this context that Ravallion, Chen and Sangraula (2007) see urbanization of poverty as the extent to which ‘poverty is in fact urbanizing in the developing world’. Similarly Ravallion (2002) deems urbanization of poverty as a situation where the poor urbanize faster than the non-poor. It is a type of poverty that was completely different from the ordinary urban poverty experienced in the developed world. By ‘worldwide’ Piel (1997) essentially meant the developing world of which Chen and Ravallion (2007) broke down specifically into: East Asia and Pacific (EAP); East Central Asia (ECA); Latin America and Caribbean (LAC); Middle East and North Africa (MNA); South Asia (SAS) and; Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Urbanization scholars have tackled issues of migratory urbanization and poverty in different regions as specified above (see, for instance, Hossain 2013, on Dhaka, Bangladesh). This chapter mainly focuses on the SSA region. It builds on the contributions of scholars like Amis (1989), Jamal and Weeks (1993), Potts (1995, 2009), and, Onjala and K’Akumu (2016), among others who have debated issues of urbanization and economic growth in SSA. The new and basic question this chapter is asking is: given that Africa has been undergoing urbanization of poverty over the last 70 decades, are there prospects of reversal in the new millennium? Do SSA countries have the potential to urbanize out of poverty with the current economic dynamics? To answer this question the chapter proceeds by looking into the characteristics of urbanization of poverty; discussing the causes of urbanization of poverty; assessing the implications of economic trends on urban development in SSA countries; and concludes that SSA countries can indeed urbanize out of poverty in the coming decades. Essentially, the chapter attempts to forecast the way out of urbanization of poverty for African countries.

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Nahui Zhen

Chapter 7 investigates the relationship between two other actors within the Shanghai assemblage – the water-supplying institutions of the municipal government and the residents of the city. A survey of people in Shanghai indicates that people do not trust the water that is supplied to them – large majorities do not believe that state-owned water companies tell the truth about water quality, treat residents in different places equally or are competent to supply clean water. Larger numbers of aged people than young ones think water companies are fair. People who are less educated and people with rural hukou tend to have more trust in water companies. As a consequence, almost everyone treats water in some way before drinking it – they boil it, or filter it, or buy it in bottles – in order to remove contamination. As a result, drinking water absorbs a high proportion of residents’ disposable incomes.

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

Chapter 4 explains the properties of China’s system of water management, as it relates to water supply in Shanghai. The chapter treats this system as an outcome of scale-making, in which socio-environmental regions – such as basins or jurisdictions – are constructed to serve water politics. The chapter introduces in turn China’s administrative hierarchy, with its divisions of responsibilities between ministries and overlapping responsibilities between different levels of government. New scales of government have emerged, such as river basin commissions and other reorganisations at a more local scale, and new attempts to manage the use of water and levels of pollution. The scales over which governments exercise power are being altered, partially in response to the scales at which corporations, non-government organisations and corporations act.

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

Chapter 6 examines in detail the effects of the interaction of river and infrastructures on the quality of water in Shanghai. The specific risk analysed is that of salt intrusions into the estuary of the Changjiang, through which the water at Shanghai’s intake points becomes more saline than can be made potable in the water treatment plants. The chapter calculates the historical risks of salt intrusions severe enough to threaten Shanghai’s water supply and then examines how the constructions and operation of the Three Gorges Dam and the South–North Water Transfer Project are modifying those risks. Depending on the operating rules of these infrastructures, the risk of an intrusion that could disrupt Shanghai’s water supply has been more than doubled by these constructions.

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Michael Webber, Jon Barnett, Brian Finlayson and Mark Wang

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Andreas Faludi

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The Poverty of Territorialism

A Neo-Medieval View of Europe and European Planning

Andreas Faludi

Drawing on territorial ideas prevalent in the Medieval period, Andreas Faludi offers readers ways to rethink the current debates surrounding territorialism in the EU. Challenging contemporary European spatial planning, the author examines the ways in which it puts the democratic control of state territories and their development in question. The notion of democracy in an increasingly interconnected world is a key issue in the EU, and as such this book advocates a Europe where national borders are questioned, and ultimately transgressed.