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Geologising urban political ecology (UPE): the urbanisation of sand in Accra, Ghana

Dawson, Katherine (2021) Geologising urban political ecology (UPE): the urbanisation of sand in Accra, Ghana. Antipode, 53 (4). 995 - 1017. ISSN 0066-4812

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Identification Number: 10.1111/anti.12718


This paper makes a call for an urban political ecology (UPE) which engages more extensively with Earth’s geological formations. As a material at the centre of global urbanisation process, sand is offered as a geological entry point. The paper presents an analysis of the urbanisation of sand, or the ways in which sand is brought into the urban realm, grounding this reading in Accra—a growing city on Ghana’s Atlantic coast. Drawing from 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork, the paper charts the socio-natural politics through which sand is first unearthed from the edges of the city—an extractive processes otherwise known as “sand winning” in Ghana. By examining the forms of power which govern uneven revenue flows to communities, the displacement of farming groups, the widespread loss of farmland and a contested regime of governance, the analysis exposes the socio-natural politics through which the city’s geological baseline is first unearthed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 The Author
Divisions: ?? FLIA ??
Geography & Environment
Subjects: J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2021 10:45
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2024 17:30

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