|Review of "Concrete Cities: Why We Need to Build Differently"
Read our book review here.
|Accomodate diverse livelihoods
This short essay is part of the last volume in the Future Cities Laboratory Indicia Series. It contributes to the principle of 'Stimulating Diverse Economies' in designing sustainable future cities. The paper is an invitation for various social and institutional actors to accommodate diverse livelihoods. It suggests that for cities to become genuinely resilient, their design and development need to pay attention to the plural and entangled forms of work that are crucial in creating a sustainable condition for both human and earth others to flourish.
|Making a living in the diverse economy of concrete: Commoning in a contested quarry
Abstract: The rapid expansion of urban development in Asia over the last 50 years has seen a rise in demand for building materials. From large construction companies to squatter settlers seeking to improve their housing, concrete is the building material of choice. In the Philippines there is plentiful supply of the limestone and aggregate (sand and gravel) required for concrete production. Alongside the large quarries owned by major corporations are small, often illegal quarries, supplying aggregate to the construction industry. In these shadow places informal miners scratch out a precarious livelihood. They are members of a vast artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) workforce that is global in extent. This paper situates informal aggregate mining in the diverse economy of concrete in the Philippines and within the context of global ASM studies. With a detailed study of one quarry on the edges of Metro Manila, it reveals how mining contributes to the survival portfolio of poor households. Without romanticising the lives of quarry labourers, we identify a range of negotiations by which informal miners create a community of commoners in a contested quarry site. This research provides insight into the capacities that informal miners could bring to designing more sustainable development pathways within and beyond the extractive industry.
|Informal mining labour: economic plurality and household survival strategies
Modern-day mining is now highly mechanized and provides regular employment to highly paid workers in many parts of the world. However, there also exist millions of individuals who gain a livelihood from informal, artisanal and small-scale mining. From a diverse economies point of view, mining is as much non-capitalist as it is capitalist. The chapter aims to depart from the binary framing of informality and formality which situates informal mining labour only as ‘other’ to formal work in the capitalist mining industry. The author positions informal mining labour as part of the survival portfolio of poor and landless households to argue for a more dynamic view that opens up different possibilities for livelihood-making. The chapter draws on research with informal miners in the Philippines who quarry mundane materials including construction aggregates to underscore that informal miners are not only involved in the extraction of valuable minerals such as gold, diamonds or coal.
|Community economies in Monsoon Asia: Keywords and key reflections
The paper has been collaboratively written with co‐researchers across Southeast Asia and represents an experimental mode of scholarship that aims to advance a post‐development agenda.This paper introduces the project of documenting keywords of place‐based community economies in Monsoon Asia. It extends Raymond William’s cultural analysis of keywords into a non‐western context and situates this discursive approach within a material semiotic framing. For Open Access, click here.