Project Description

Infrastructural Insurgency

K Stiphany (2021) Infrastructural Insurgency: Constructing Situated Data at Brazil’s Urban Periphery. PlaNext Next Generation Planning Journal. Special Issue: Planning Theories from the Global South. Vanessa Watson, Chandrima Mukhopadhyay, and Feras Hammami (eds.). English Portuguese


This paper focuses on how insurgencies are continually recast in parallel to State-led redevelopment or ‘upgrading’. It brings attention to communities that shape and are reshaped by inclusion of data in processes through which citizens participate in city-making. Drawing on a comparative case study of intensively upgraded informal settlements in São Paulo, Brazil, findings show that data-based insurgencies have been forged from prior collective action. The resultant co-created or situated data challenge the State’s legitimacy as sole arbiter of informal settlement representation and infrastructure transformation in cities. In this context, the term infrastructural insurgency is proposed as a way that socio-material agencies iterate over time and in space, and to stimulate discourse about the future of upgrading. It reflects on which interactions between data and redevelopment can inform planning in post-redevelopment conditions across global south.

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