Contested grounds: Adaptation to flooding and the politics of (in)visibility in São Paulo's eastern periphery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

As flood events become more intense and frequent, cities throughout the world increasingly devise projects for flood management and control, including hard and soft infrastructural solutions. Among these, an emblematic example is the project Parque Várzeas do Tietê (PVT) – or Tietê Lowlands Park – a 75 km-long floodplain restoration scheme proposed by the government of São Paulo, Brazil, to allegedly solve the city's flooding problem. The project's execution, however, is contingent on the removal of approximately 7500 low-income families, raising questions on the intertwined relationship between adaptation to flooding and the exclusion of informal urban settlements. Drawing on urban and feminist political ecology, we use the PVT as a case study to examine the politics and uneven outcomes of adaptation in São Paulo's eastern periphery. We combine archival and ethnographic work to expose the persistent politics of invisibility that sustain the project's exclusionary contours. In the process, we also demonstrate the various ways floodplain residents reshape their invisibility to contest, negotiate, and resist the PVT in the spaces of their everyday lives. As a result, the analysis identifies the project's perverse effects but also opportunities for productive engagements between the government and local communities towards more just, inclusive, and equitable adaptation futures in São Paulo, and beyond.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-192
Number of pages12
JournalGeoforum
Volume104
Early online date7 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019

Fingerprint

politics
natural disaster
environmental policy
restoration
everyday life
low income
exclusion
Brazil
resident
event
management
community

Cite this

@article{b14e443383d841f98a9bf4578f2b5c2f,
title = "Contested grounds: Adaptation to flooding and the politics of (in)visibility in S{\~a}o Paulo's eastern periphery",
abstract = "As flood events become more intense and frequent, cities throughout the world increasingly devise projects for flood management and control, including hard and soft infrastructural solutions. Among these, an emblematic example is the project Parque V{\'a}rzeas do Tiet{\^e} (PVT) – or Tiet{\^e} Lowlands Park – a 75 km-long floodplain restoration scheme proposed by the government of S{\~a}o Paulo, Brazil, to allegedly solve the city's flooding problem. The project's execution, however, is contingent on the removal of approximately 7500 low-income families, raising questions on the intertwined relationship between adaptation to flooding and the exclusion of informal urban settlements. Drawing on urban and feminist political ecology, we use the PVT as a case study to examine the politics and uneven outcomes of adaptation in S{\~a}o Paulo's eastern periphery. We combine archival and ethnographic work to expose the persistent politics of invisibility that sustain the project's exclusionary contours. In the process, we also demonstrate the various ways floodplain residents reshape their invisibility to contest, negotiate, and resist the PVT in the spaces of their everyday lives. As a result, the analysis identifies the project's perverse effects but also opportunities for productive engagements between the government and local communities towards more just, inclusive, and equitable adaptation futures in S{\~a}o Paulo, and beyond.",
keywords = "Climate justice, Displacement, Everyday resistance, Exclusion, Feminist political ecology, Urban political ecology",
author = "Henrique, {Karen Paiva} and Petra Tschakert",
year = "2019",
month = "8",
doi = "10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.04.026",
language = "English",
volume = "104",
pages = "181--192",
journal = "Geoforum",
issn = "0016-7185",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Contested grounds

T2 - Adaptation to flooding and the politics of (in)visibility in São Paulo's eastern periphery

AU - Henrique, Karen Paiva

AU - Tschakert, Petra

PY - 2019/8

Y1 - 2019/8

N2 - As flood events become more intense and frequent, cities throughout the world increasingly devise projects for flood management and control, including hard and soft infrastructural solutions. Among these, an emblematic example is the project Parque Várzeas do Tietê (PVT) – or Tietê Lowlands Park – a 75 km-long floodplain restoration scheme proposed by the government of São Paulo, Brazil, to allegedly solve the city's flooding problem. The project's execution, however, is contingent on the removal of approximately 7500 low-income families, raising questions on the intertwined relationship between adaptation to flooding and the exclusion of informal urban settlements. Drawing on urban and feminist political ecology, we use the PVT as a case study to examine the politics and uneven outcomes of adaptation in São Paulo's eastern periphery. We combine archival and ethnographic work to expose the persistent politics of invisibility that sustain the project's exclusionary contours. In the process, we also demonstrate the various ways floodplain residents reshape their invisibility to contest, negotiate, and resist the PVT in the spaces of their everyday lives. As a result, the analysis identifies the project's perverse effects but also opportunities for productive engagements between the government and local communities towards more just, inclusive, and equitable adaptation futures in São Paulo, and beyond.

AB - As flood events become more intense and frequent, cities throughout the world increasingly devise projects for flood management and control, including hard and soft infrastructural solutions. Among these, an emblematic example is the project Parque Várzeas do Tietê (PVT) – or Tietê Lowlands Park – a 75 km-long floodplain restoration scheme proposed by the government of São Paulo, Brazil, to allegedly solve the city's flooding problem. The project's execution, however, is contingent on the removal of approximately 7500 low-income families, raising questions on the intertwined relationship between adaptation to flooding and the exclusion of informal urban settlements. Drawing on urban and feminist political ecology, we use the PVT as a case study to examine the politics and uneven outcomes of adaptation in São Paulo's eastern periphery. We combine archival and ethnographic work to expose the persistent politics of invisibility that sustain the project's exclusionary contours. In the process, we also demonstrate the various ways floodplain residents reshape their invisibility to contest, negotiate, and resist the PVT in the spaces of their everyday lives. As a result, the analysis identifies the project's perverse effects but also opportunities for productive engagements between the government and local communities towards more just, inclusive, and equitable adaptation futures in São Paulo, and beyond.

KW - Climate justice

KW - Displacement

KW - Everyday resistance

KW - Exclusion

KW - Feminist political ecology

KW - Urban political ecology

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85065141156&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.04.026

DO - 10.1016/j.geoforum.2019.04.026

M3 - Article

VL - 104

SP - 181

EP - 192

JO - Geoforum

JF - Geoforum

SN - 0016-7185

ER -