Providing a global overview of experiments around the transformation of cities' electricity networks and the social struggles associated with this change, this book explores the centrality of electricity infrastructures in the urban configuration of social control, segregation, integration, resource access and poverty alleviation. Through multiple accounts from a range of global cities, this edited collection establishes an agenda that recognises the uneven, and often historical, geographies of urban electricity networks, prompting attempts to re-wire the infrastructure configurations of cities and predicating protest and resistance from residents and social movements alike. Through a robust theoretical engagement with established work around the politics of urban infrastructures, the book frames the transformation of electricity systems in the context of power and resistance across urban life, drawing links between environmental and social forms of sustainability. Such an agenda can provide both insight and inspiration in seeking to build fairer and more sustainable urban futures that bring electricity infrastructures to the fore of academic and policy attention.

chapter 1|17 pages


part I|45 pages

The Uneven Geographies of Urban Energy Networks

chapter 2|24 pages

The American South

Electricity and Race in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, 1900–1935

chapter 3|19 pages


(De-)racialising Electricity Access? Entanglements of the Material and the Discursive

part II|67 pages

Rewiring the Urban Grid

chapter 4|19 pages

Rio de Janeiro

Regularising Favelas, Energy Consumption and the Making of Consumers into Customers

chapter 5|26 pages


Questioning Urban Planning in the Electrification of Irregular Settlements

chapter 6|20 pages


Fluid Flows of Power and Electricity – Prepayment as Mediator of State-Society Relationships

part III|80 pages

Social Movements and Protest in the Electric City

chapter 7|20 pages


Cooperative Power and the Transformation of Citizens’ Roles in Energy Decision-Making

chapter 8|21 pages


Metropolis of Darkness: The Politics of Urban Electricity Grids

chapter 9|21 pages


Municipal Engineers and the Solar Guerrillas

chapter 10|16 pages


Switching the Power Off, Turning the Power On – Urban Crisis and Emergent Protest Practices