Fossil urbanism: fossil fuel flows, settler colonial circulations, and the production of carbon cities

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Abstract

This paper considers how urban space is produced and structured by the fossil fuel energy regime in ways that deepen and extend racial, colonial, capitalist power, and logics of accumulation. While existing literature emphasizes how fossil fuel consumption shapes urban environments, this paper foregrounds how urban space is likewise ordered in accordance with the demands of fossil fuel circulation. Cities are important hubs of collection and redistribution of fossil fuels as they pass through urban space along a global hydrocarbon commodity chain. Drawing on the case of Vancouver, British Columbia, I demonstrate how the demands of fossil capital to ensure the smooth flow of fossil fuels across global capitalist space places urban populations and unceded Indigenous lands and waters at risk. However, the case of Vancouver also shows that moments of infrastructural reorientation provide strategic opportunities for those wishing to disrupt fossil fuel flows and assert decolonized post-carbon urban futures.
Original languageEnglish
JournalUrban Geography
VolumeLatest Articles
Early online date13 Nov 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Logistics cities
  • Supply chains
  • Infrastructure
  • Fossil capital
  • Pipelines
  • Settler colonial city

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