Grounding and Worlding Urban Infrastructures: Situated Challenges, Risks and Contradictions of Sustainability through African Cities (GROWL)

Project Details


The Grounding and Worlding Urban Infrastructure project, funded through an AXA Research Award to PI Ernstson, builds research into comparative urban environmentalism (Ernstson and Sörlin 2018). The focus lies on "petro-urbanism," how the Angolan state exploits and sells oil in exchange for large-scale infrastructure and housing project in the capital of Luanda, in particular with Brazilian and Chinese construction companies. This engenders a economic, social, ecological and political dynamics and creates huge challenges for urban planning. The urbanisation of Luanda is thus studied as at once situated and intimate, while depending on and shaped by much wider geographies of resource extraction and capital circulation. The project develops an in-depth, multi-sited case study of ‘petro-urbanism’ in Luanda with linkages to Brazil and China but also compares this with previous studies in Nairobi. The project builds grounded mid-level theory at the intersection of political ecology, urban ecology and postcolonial urbanism.
Short titleR:HDG AXA -Henrik Ernstson
Effective start/end date1/08/1731/07/20

Collaborative partners

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities


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