I just finished attending this years Dimensions of Political Ecology (DOPE) conference in Lexington, KY. I used this experience, and my talk, to really try to convince myself that urban research needs to engage with ideas from this growing field, especially its urban counterpart, urban political ecology, or UPE. Doing this led me to think through some of the interconnections between my fields of interest, urban studies, STS and now UPE. I have been heavily influenced by readings of Erik Swyngedouw, Matthew Gandy, Maria Kaika, and of course Neil Smith & David Harvey, amongst others. Some of these authors directly engage with STS theory/frameworks, but they would not call themselves STSers. I think this reaches a point where UPE folks need to more thoroughly engage in discussing, theorizing, and critiquing the material and technical assemblages of the city. STS can help deepen this analysis and provide further critique and realization of alternatives. Addressing environment-energy-urban-infrastructure issues demands this approach. I have some thoughts on this issue, especially relating to the emplacement of scientific knowledge that I wrote up in a blog post over on situatedecologies.net . Here is the link .
politicizing urban ecological processes