Meeting Social Challenges in Developing Sustainable Environmental Infrastructures in East African Cities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The slum population in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow from 101 million in 1990 to 313 million in 2015. Modernizing sanitation therefore has to adapt to the context of cities with high densities of poor people under the conditions of absent or fragmented environmental infrastructures and services. Addressing this problem requires an integrated approach that deviates both from the Western large-scale, high-technological, and grid-based systems, as well as from the small-scale, low-tech, decentralized alternative options. A Modernized Mixtures approach should be developed that combines the strong elements from these opposing alternatives. This chapter presents the Modernized Mixtures approach and its contribution to sustainability. It discusses the contribution this approach can make to improving accessibility of urban infrastructures for the poor, while strengthening flexibility and resilience. It is argued that the successful introduction of a Modernized Mixtures approach to urban environmental infrastructures in East African cities requires the careful consideration of social and political factors next to technological innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial Perspectives on the Sanitation Challenge
EditorsB.J.M. van Vliet, G. Spaargaren, P.J.M. Oosterveer
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages242
ISBN (Print)9789048137206
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • dar-es-salaam
  • developing-countries
  • urban areas
  • water
  • sanitation
  • management
  • governance
  • uganda
  • tanzania
  • services

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