Producing an urban hazardscape beyond the city


Saguin, K. (2017). Producing an urban hazardscape beyond the city. Environment and Planning A.


Urban socioecological risk, like other urban metabolic processes, embodies relations between the city and the non-city. In this paper, I trace the production of urban risk within and beyond the city through the lens of the hazardscape using the case of Metro Manila and Laguna Lake in the Philippines. Building on recent interventions in urban political ecology that seek to map the terrains of extending urban frontiers, I examine the processes that construct city and non-city spaces in urbanization through flood control. I synthesize narratives of the material-discursive production of risk mediated by infrastructure with histories of landscape and livelihood change in an urban socioecological frontier to make two related arguments. First, discursive constructions of city and non-city and the material flows that connect them shape the production of urban ecological risk, with material consequences for non-city vulnerabilities. Second, infrastructure plays an important mediating role in the production of hazardscapes. The intersection of flows of water, discursive urban imaginaries in state plans, and livelihoods in Metro Manila and Laguna Lake exemplifies metabolic relations that reveal the spatio-temporal connections of cities with landscapes that make their functioning possible.