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Water Infrastructure and Regional Governance - Workshop Speaker Lineup and Registration

At long last, the workshop that we had originally scheduled to take place in Pittsburgh in May is now going to take place online from September 29-October 2, 2020. We are now convening free online (Zoom) workshops and a keynote session in partnership with the Regional Studies Association to showcase empirical and conceptual research at the intersection of water governance, infrastructure, and regionalism. We hope that what these sessions lack in in-personness they make up for in enabling a broader spectrum of participation. See below for a description of the session and speaker lineup.

Water infrastructure performs a vital role in making and remaking regions. Watersheds and reservoirs, pipelines and ports, and storm water management and climate change mitigation represent complex political, economic, and environmental challenges. They are essential, if often black-boxed infrastructures that define how regional space is constructed, territorialized, and experienced. As critical urban infrastructures and contested political objects, water systems are fundamental to conversations about sustainability and economic development trajectories for communities across the global South and global North. This event will assess how water infrastructure shapes formal and informal regional spaces, communities, and governance dynamics and explores how these shape how water infrastructure is developed.

Keynote Panel: Practice meets Research

Tuesday, September 29th, 11am-1pm EDT

11am-11:10am: University of Pittsburgh/CONNECT welcome (CONNECT Executive Director Lydia Morin)

11:10am-11:20am: Regional Studies Association welcome, keynote introductions (Michael Glass)

11:20am-11:50am: Keynote 1: Infrastructures of Inequality - Professor Leila Harris (University of British Columbia)

11:50am-12:20pm: Keynote 2: Thinking Regionally, Acting Strategically: New Approaches to Governing Regional Water Infrastructures - Professor Andy Karvonen (KTH Royal Institute of Technology)

12:20pm-12:35pm: Discussant Response - Professor Dan Bain (Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory)

12:35pm-1pm: Moderated audience Q&A

Research Panel 1: Decision-Making and Engagement in Regional Water Governance Wednesday, September 30th, 11am-12pm EDT

Moderator: Jen Nelles

Regional infrastructures are often taken for granted by the public, with the consequence that infrastructural management and planning is surrendered to experts and institutions that may not be representative of the region overall. By tracing the lines of authority and influence that shape city-region infrastructures, we hope to reveal opportunities for greater engagement of more diverse publics in the deliberations over infrastructural futures.

Anne Taufen, Lisa Hoffman, & Ken Yocom (University of Washington-Tacoma): Unveiling Infrastructures

Ramazan Sayan, Nidhi Nagabhatla, & Marvel Ekwuribe (UN University Institute for Water, Environment, and Health): Soft Power, Discourse Coalitions, and the Proposed Interbasin Water Transfer Between Lake Chad and the Congo River.

Fenna Hoefsloot, Javier Martinez, & Karin Pfeffer (University of Twente): Speculative futures of Lima’s water infrastructure

Cat Button (University of Newcastle): Governing Water Infrastructure from our Homes

Research Panel 2: Regional Partnerships Under Threat

Thursday, October 1st, 11am-12pm EDT

Moderator: Michael Glass

Whereas regional infrastructures such as sewer lines, water treatment plants, and water transportation technologies (namely locks and dams) were constructed as part of earlier periods of urban and regional development, shifting patterns of demand threaten to diminish the utility of these assets. We need to ascertain how such changing dynamics are influencing (and being influenced by) the existing governance of those infrastructural networks.

Andrew Dick & Sara Hughes (University of Michigan): Risk in State-Led Regional Governance Networks—the case of the Karegnondi Water Authority

Dayne Walling (University of Minnesota): Urban Geographies of Fragmentation and Distress: Government Planning, Development, Infrastructure, and Inequality around Deindustrialized US Cities

Sachin Tiwale (Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai): Grabbing Water Resources in Urban Agglomeration—The Case of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR)

Grete Gansauer & Julia Haggerty (Montana State University): Large-Scale, Regional Infrastructure as a Solution to Rural Water Insecurity: Literature Review and Future Research Opportunities

Karsten Zimmerman (TU Dortmund): Infrastructure Regionalism as Driver for Metropolitan Governance? The Case of the Ruhr Region in Germany

Research Panel 3: Emerging Complexities in Regional Water Governance

Friday, October 2nd, 11am-12pm EDT

Moderator: JP Addie

Health crises, Federal mandates, technological innovation, and exogenous shocks can all disrupt formal and informal governance structures. We seek empirical examples and theoretical advances that can help to conceptualize how city-regions across the Global North and Global South are affected by these complexities, and to seek out best practices whereby specific regions are confronting these complexities.

Mark Usher (University of Manchester): Hydraulic Territory: Internal colonization through urban catchment management in Singapore

Filippo Menga & Michael K. Goodman (University of Reading): The Good Samaritan: Capitalism, Religion and the Political Economy of Care in International Water Charity

Michael Finewood, A. Marissa Matsler, Ruthann Richards, Olivia Pierce, & Zenya Lederman (Pace University): What Does it Mean to Empower Communities? Green Infrastructure Incentive Programs as a Form of Neoliberal Governance

Richard Milligan, Ellis Adams, Chris Wheeler, & Scott Raluerson (Georgia State University): Urban Water and Hydrosocial Inequalities: Atlanta's Situation in a Regional Water Governance Conflict


Click here to register for the entire program or individual sessions.


· Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT)

· Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory

· Center for Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies

· Urban Studies Program

· Regional Studies Association


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