Planning Kampala: histories of sanitary intervention and in/formal spaces

Stephanie Terreni Brown (2014). Planning Kampala: histories of sanitary intervention and in/formal spaces. Critical African Studies, Volume 6,  Issue 1, pages 71-90
For rapidly growing cities of the global South, infrastructure is often presented as being in a state of crisis by virtue of its absence or deficiency. There is an imperative for infrastructural projects to manage and hide the defecation of urban inhabitants in order that the post-colonial city is to be thought of as modern, ordered, and worldly. Yet the urban landscape of many cities of the global South also bear the vestiges of colonial attempts to construct sanitation infrastructures that were, and remain, limited to elite spaces of the city. Kampala is one example of such a city where the stamp of colonial heritage is felt and experienced in the material reality of starkly divided sanitation infrastructures. This article takes a historical look at Kampala’s sanitary planning and finds patterns that elucidate the contemporary city’s absence of sanitation infrastructure. A historical approach that highlights the sanitary aspects of the production of Kampala goes some way to explaining why so few inhabitants of the contemporary city are connected to the municipal sewerage system. The article suggests that this historical absence of formal infrastructure has been constantly cultivated to perpetuate informality and abjectivity.

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Publication Type Journal article
Publisher Routledge
Year 2014
Author(s) Stephanie Terreni Brown
DOI 10.1080/21681392.2014.871841
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