This essay foregrounds the political constituencies assembling around the problem of climate change in cities. Recent experiments in urban climate governance in Bogotá, Colombia, are shown to challenge liberal democratic notions of the “public” by linking a redistributive economic agenda to the technical project of adaptation. An analysis of interventions aimed at building social infrastructure throughout the city’s hydrological systems reveals how the inclusion of the urban poor is enacted through practices of measurement. While urban politics in Latin America has long revolved around popular demands to be counted, climate change adaptation is the most recent idiom in which claims to recognition-through-enumeration are being articulated.
Adaptive Publics: Building Climate Constituencies in Bogotá
Austin Zeiderman is an assistant professor of urban geography at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and a research associate at LSE Cities. He holds a PhD in anthropology from Stanford University and specializes in the cultural and political dimensions of cities in Latin America. His forthcoming book, Endangered City, focuses an ethnographic and historical lens on the politics of security and risk in Bogotá, Colombia.