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The Smart Grid, insecurity and urban governance in Kingston and Rio de Janeiro

March 25, 2022 @ 9:40 am - 10:10 am

By Francesca Pilo (Utrecht University) |

This presentation aims to contribute to recent debates on the politics of smart grids by exploring their installation in low-income areas in Kingston (Jamaica) and Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). This presentation illustrates how, in both contexts, the installation of smart metering is used as a security device that embeds the promise of protecting infrastructure and revenue and navigating complex relations framed along lines of socioeconomic inequalities and urban sovereignty – here linked to configurations of state and non-state (criminal) territorial control and power. By unpacking the political workings of the smart grid within changing urban security contexts, including not only the rationalities that support its use but also the forms of resistance, contestation and socio-technical failure that emerge, this presentation argues for the importance of examining smart grids at the conjunction between urban and infrastructural governance, including the reshaping of local power relations and spatial inequalities, through globally circulating devices.



March 25, 2022
9:40 am - 10:10 am
Event Category:


Arbeitskreis Geographische Stadtforschung im Entwicklungskontext


Transient Spaces and Societies