Urban transformations and public health in the emergent city examines how urban health and wellbeing are shaped by migration, mobility, racism, sanitation and gender. Adopting a global focus, spanning Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America, the essays in this volume bring together a wide selection of voices that explore the interface between social, medical and natural sciences. This interdisciplinary approach, moving beyond traditional approaches to urban research, offers a unique perspective on today’s cities and the challenges they face. Edited by Professor Michael Keith and Dr Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos, this volume also features contributions from leading thinkers on cities in Brazil, China, South Africa and the United Kingdom. This geographic diversity is matched by the breadth of their different fields, from mental health and gendered violence to sanitation and food systems. Together, they present a complex yet connected vision of a ‘new biopolitics’ in today’s metropolis, one that requires an innovative approach to urban scholarship regardless of geography or discipline. This volume, featuring chapters from a number of renowned authors including the former deputy mayor of Rio de Janeiro Luiz Eduardo Soares, is an important resource for anyone seeking to better understand the dynamics of urban change. With its focus on the everyday realities of urban living, from health services to public transport, it contains valuable lessons for academics, policy makers and practitioners alike.
history of comparative studies in the social sciences, but for the purposes of this volume it is perhaps most important to emphasise how different chapters make visible similar logics in rapidly changing empirical contexts. The emergence of four decades of exponential growth in China since Deng’s ‘opening up’ qualifies any suggestion that the country’s urbantransformation constitutes a form of urbanism of the global south. The ‘modernisation’ of cities in Brazil and South Africa qualifies the extent to which urbantransformation can be seen straightforwardly through a
A Toilet Revolution and its socio-eco-technical entanglements
provision of affordable housing, education and, much neglected in the scholarly literature, universal sanitation and the handling of human waste. As rural-to-urban migrants agglomerate in older and impoverished neighbourhoods without access to sanitation in private homes, they have to rely on public toilets as municipalities struggle to develop appropriate responses to their sanitation needs (Iossifova, 2015 ; Zhou and Zhou, 2018 ).
In this context, rethinking sanitation – under conditions of rapid urbantransformation – seems sensible. The percentage of urban
Urban transformation and public health in future cities
Michael Keith and Andreza Aruska de Souza Santos
the concluding chapter of the volume we go on to consider a fourth dimension of this new configuration. The implications of new urban sciences that engage social scientific and medical knowledges simultaneously demand a new urban imaginary. To consider how they collectively open up different scenarios of the healthy city implies thinking experimentally about optimising public health interventions in global processes of urbantransformation. Such a disposition consequently also implies a newly engaged form of urban scholarship.
Uncertain futures and complex
Nick Manning on questions of mechanisms (for more details see Manning, 2019). In addition to this, the chapter draws on research supported by the following grants: the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme funding for the Human Brain Project under Grant Agreement No. 720270; ESRC Award ES/L003074/1: A New Sociology for a New Century: Transforming the Relations between Sociology and Neuroscience, through a Study of Mental Life ; ESRC-NSFC Award ES/N010892/1: UrbanTransformations in China; and an award for Mental Health, Migration and the
Reinventing depression among Rio de Janeiro urban dwellers
Leandro David Wenceslau and Francisco Ortega
Recent epidemiological surveys have shown an important prevalence of depressive and anxious symptoms in the Brazilian population, especially in its urban metropolises. In the past two decades, primary health care in Brazil has increased its coverage, becoming the main reference in public mental health care. Social determinants of mental suffering represent a challenge for patients and professionals in search of more comprehensive approaches to mental health. This chapter presents an ethnographic study conducted in the city of Rio de Janeiro with twenty-two patients who presented depressive symptoms and were treated in primary health care. Primary care physicians used the native categories of ‘hill’ and ‘asphalt’ to typify the patients´ depressive presentations. This categorisation has important consequences for the diagnosis and treatment of these symptoms. ‘Hill’ and ‘asphalt’ are analysed as ‘moral economies’ (Didier Fassin), and their meanings are contrasted with the individual therapeutic experiences of two patients. The singularities of these experiences evince that even approaches based on a broader understanding of these problems may hinder a comprehensive approach to the patients' suffering experiences in those expanding therapeutic scenarios.
The case of community initiatives promoting cycling and walking in São Paulo and London
Tim Schwanen and Denver V. Nixon
Recent years have seen extensive interest in the relationships between urbanisation and city living and wellbeing as a subjectively experienced state. This chapter proposes firstly that for cities characterised by trenchant socio-spatial inequalities, wellbeing is best conceptualised in terms of capabilities, and secondly that capabilities need to be understood in a more dynamic and process-oriented manner and with greater consideration for experience than is common in most research on capabilities. The arguments are first elaborated in conceptual terms for the case of people’s everyday mobility in the city and then illustrated empirically, using a study about how community-led initiatives to support walking and cycling contribute to the wellbeing of marginalised social groups in São Paulo and London. The findings show the importance of focusing attention on the ongoing and dynamic interweaving of capabilities, practices and experiences in research that seeks to understand the relationships between wellbeing and mobility in highly unequal cities.
Transnational reflections from Brazilians in London and Maré, Rio de Janeiro
Cathy McIlwaine, Miriam Krenzinger, Yara Evans, and Eliana Sousa Silva
This chapter examines the ways in which violence against women and girls (VAWG) affects women’s health and wellbeing in cities. In a context whereby one in three women globally experience such violence, with arguably higher incidence in cities, it explores these processes in relation to wider debates on the gender-blindness of right to the city discourse and the importance of considering gender justice in cities from a relational perspective. The chapter draws empirically on the transnational nature of urban VAWG among Brazilian migrant women in London and those residing in the marginalised slums of one of Rio de Janeiro’s largest favelas, Complexo da Maré. It shows how VAWG is diverse across multiple spaces of the city and how it fundamentally undermines women’s wellbeing and health outcomes. However, it also illustrates that although the roots of VAWG lie in unequal gendered power relations, the challenges of living in cities can both exacerbate and ameliorate such violence.
Analysing the linkages and exploring possibilities for improving health and wellbeing
The ‘food environment’ of a city can be defined as the location and type of food sources found in an urban area, as well as the broader environmental factors that affect the production, retail and consumption of food in the city. The food environment of cities has an enormous impact on food security and on the health and wellbeing of residents, but this relationship has been under-recognised and under-studied, particularly in the global south. Drawing on work undertaken as part of an ESRC-funded project, Consuming Urban Poverty, on governing food systems to alleviate poverty in secondary cities in Africa, as well as other work undertaken by the African Centre for Cities, this chapter explores the multi-faceted ways in which the food environment of cities can impact on human health and wellbeing. First, the chapter examines the food environments of African cities, with a focus on the built environment, highlighting the diverse range of food outlets and complex patterns of food access. Second, it explores the multi-faceted ways in which the food environment of cities can affect human health and wellbeing. Finally, the chapter discusses possibilities for how food environments that are more conducive to health and wellbeing can be created and sustained.
More than three centuries of slavery have left a painful and visible scar on Brazilian society, and racism continues to shape the deep social and economic inequalities that Brazilians experience to this day. Even after the institution of slavery was abolished, by the end of the nineteenth century class exploitation and rapid urbanisation meant that racism was a structural and permanent feature of Brazil’s cities. Every dimension of society reveals this fracture. Ongoing lethal police brutality and the process of mass incarceration have to be understood within this historic frame.