Blog | Thematic Focus Citizenship

16. April 2021

Fluid boundaries of urban living spaces

(By Melissa Bayer) In the city of Antofagasta in Northern Chile, 16,396 people live in around 62 so-called informal settlements which lack basic service provision – with water access being the residents’ main concern. Drawing on extensive qualitative fieldwork carried out between 2018 and 2020, this blog post offers a hydro-social analysis of the informal practices of water acquisition employed by the residents of Antofagasta’s informal settlements. By taking into account both the material elements of these practices as well as their underlying logics and rationalities, the author aims to shed light on the reciprocal relationship between official water access and social belonging, paving the way for a more nuanced discussion of urbanisation processes.

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