Water resistance: a study of environmental justice, resilience and citizen science activism in Mexico City            

Year of award: 2017


  • Emilie Glazer

    University College London

Project summary

The concept of resilience is central to public health and climate change discourse, but is rarely critiqued. Addressing this omission is crucial: resilience frameworks can conceal social inequalities, uphold political status quo, and overlook local experience. Equally, few anthropological studies have examined resilience and urban water insecurity.

This research will explore resilience and environmental justice, with a focus on water insecurity in Mexico City. It is the third most water-stressed city in the world and low-income neighbourhoods have limited access to water. Communities often protest in response. Drawing together an ethnographic study with the digital participatory methods of citizen science, the goals of this research are to understand the meaning and practices of resilience among people who experience water insecurity. We will also investigate the role of digital technology and citizen science and inform future uses of resilience in environmental justice research, design and policy.

Our findings will contribute to anthropological theory and knowledge, opening the potential for transdisciplinary collaborations, and bring a more sensitive and ethical perspective to the overlap of climate change and health.