Learning about the nexus from vulnerable urban communities

Leandro L. Giatti, Susanne Börner, Monteiro de Carvalho Carolina

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Urban communities in socio-environmental vulnerable conditions constitute places of constant processes of creation and reproduction of social practices and knowledge, related to finding alternatives to mitigate the scarcity of essential resources for survival. The water-energy-food nexus thinking, in turn, consists of a fundamental perspective for reducing vulnerabilities, contributing to equating interdependent scarcities, expanding the supply of resources and social inclusion. In this context, social practices and common sense knowledge in local communities are self-organized and in constant dialogue with water, energy and food scarcity. These practices can point to legitimate alternatives for synergies that mitigate nexus trade-offs or even contradictions in the form of situations that corroborate unsustainability scenarios. This chapter explores community-based studies conducted in vulnerable urban peripheries of the Global South in the Sao Paulo Metropolitan Region, Brazil. We find that there are forms of isolation of social practices synergistic to the nexus, which must be understood and incorporated in interaction with management promoted by local governments. Such structural coupling can make public policies more assertive, efficient and legitimate from the point of view of local to global relations. Hence, we recognize the need for cognitive inclusion through participatory approaches within nexus thinking to achieve transformations to sustainability.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWater-energy-food nexus and climate change in cities
Subtitle of host publicationSustainable Development Goals Series
EditorsLira Luz Benites Lazaro, Leandro Luiz Giatti, Laura S. Valente de Macedo, Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira
PublisherSpringer, Cham
ISBN (Electronic)9783031054723
ISBN (Print)9783031054716, 9783031054747
Publication statusPublished - 16 Nov 2022

Publication series

NameSustainable Development Goals Series
ISSN (Print)2523-3084
ISSN (Electronic)2523-3092


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