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Publication Detail
Bypassing the flush, creating new resources: analysing alternative sanitation futures in London
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
    Article
  • Authors:
    Teh T
  • Publisher:
    Taylor and Francis
  • Publication date:
    25/10/2013
  • Pagination:
    1, 15
  • Journal:
    Local Environment: the international journal of justice and sustainability
  • Keywords:
    actor–network theory, coevolution, sanitation, flush toilet, sustainability, urban design
Abstract
The flush toilet is an illogical form of sanitation from the point of view of water conservation, nutrient recovery and water pollution. Places such as London, with one of the oldest flushing toilet and sewer systems in the world, bears witness to the limits of its universal applicability through dwindling freshwater resources and polluted waterways. It is therefore important to develop new forms of sanitation infrastructure. An actor–network theory coevolution framework is used to explore and gain insights into the coevolution pathways for new types and paradigms of sanitation in London, where waterborne sanitation is currently prevalent. This approach shows that while flushing toilets are currently stable network configurations, there are coevolution pathways that would shift the system towards dry sanitation. The quantity of freshwater resources available for toilet flushing was the main actant cited for the development of these coevolution pathways.
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