June 5th, 2021

Phenomenal Works: Laleh Khalili

Decolonizing infrastructure

“What if infrastructure is designed, financed, and adopted into the habits of everyday lives of its users in such a way that it is not a harbinger of apocalypse?” In a recent essay, Laleh Khalili notes a key dilemma of infrastructure projects—in both colonial and postcolonial contexts, and even in the service of revolutionary ideals, infrastructure, a key feature of economic development models, carries destructive environmental impacts. Khalili argues in favor of a conception of infrastructure beyond the bounds of Rostow’s stages of growth, instead looking to projects that are redistributive, participatory, and egalitarian.

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