Social Perspectives on the Sanitation Challenge

B.J.M. van Vliet (Editor), G. Spaargaren (Editor), P.J.M. Oosterveer (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportBook editingAcademic

15 Citations (Scopus)


In developed countries the sanitation challenge is to initiate a transition from strongly centralized, water-based infrastructure regimes towards more sustainable, source-separation oriented, sanitation regimes. This calls for social scientific research and demonstration on different levels and scales, including concept development, institutional learning and governance building. In the developing world the sanitation challenge is to provide sanitation services to the poor and the very poor, without compromising on sustainability. New configurations employing the best practices of sanitation technology and management for rural and urban contexts are needed. The sanitation challenge in both worlds is to go beyond traditional dichotomies between ‘small, appropriate’ and ‘modern/advanced’ technologies and to develop rural and urban sanitation with a mix of scales, strategies, technologies, payment systems and decision-making structures, that better fit the physical and human systems for which they are designed.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationDordrecht
Number of pages242
ISBN (Electronic)9789048137213
ISBN (Print)9789048137206
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • sanitation
  • sociology
  • sustainability
  • sewage
  • waste water
  • urban areas
  • developing countries
  • developed countries

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