CEDLA Events 2020



Urban floods and the political ecology of the state in Brazil

Robert Coates, Wageningen University

The governance of hazardous urban environments has become a critical area for state intervention across Latin America and worldwide. Brazil is no exception, with significant flood and landslide disasters blighting many cities and especially those in the heavily urbanised Atlantic Forest biome. In this presentation, Robert Coates questions what hazardous urbanisation means for processes of citizenship building and the exercise of state power. Drawing on longstanding research in inland Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere, he asks why the failures of past urban engineering, population displacements, and environmental monitoring continue to justify the same interventions as solutions. And why is state citizenship without a reappraisal of urban nature likely to continue reproducing hazards and disasters?