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Open AccessArticle

Advancing Water Sustainability in Megacities: Comparative Study of São Paulo and Delhi Using a Social-Ecological System Framework

1
School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
2
Justice and Social Inquiry, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(19), 5314; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195314
Received: 1 July 2019 / Revised: 31 August 2019 / Accepted: 17 September 2019 / Published: 26 September 2019
In this paper, we frame the problem of urban water sustainability in megacities as a social-ecological system (SES) to examine the underlying coupling of social and ecological factors and processes. Based on our empirical research of two major megacities of the global south, São Paulo and Delhi, we have developed an urban water SES module within the broader SES framework proposed by Ostrom. The module’s multilevel nested structure consists of the following four subsystems: water resource and infrastructure, settlements, governance, and actors. A distinct advantage of our module is that it enables us to capture the plurality of settlements patterns (from formal to informal settlements), actor networks, and governance patterns found in cities of the global south and how these uniquely shape and are shaped by the process of rapid urbanization. We use this module as: (a) an analytical tool to identify the different variables and processes within each subsystem, which through their interactions, have influenced the trajectory of water systems in these cities; (b) a diagnostic tool in a comparative setting to examine why desired goals in terms of service delivery and/or governance were achieved (or not); and (c) a prescriptive tool to identify cross-learnings and practical lessons. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban sustainability; water governance; social-ecological systems; global south; informality; São Paulo; Delhi urban sustainability; water governance; social-ecological systems; global south; informality; São Paulo; Delhi
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MDPI and ACS Style

Aggarwal, R.M.; Haglund, L. Advancing Water Sustainability in Megacities: Comparative Study of São Paulo and Delhi Using a Social-Ecological System Framework. Sustainability 2019, 11, 5314. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195314

AMA Style

Aggarwal RM, Haglund L. Advancing Water Sustainability in Megacities: Comparative Study of São Paulo and Delhi Using a Social-Ecological System Framework. Sustainability. 2019; 11(19):5314. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195314

Chicago/Turabian Style

Aggarwal, Rimjhim M.; Haglund, LaDawn. 2019. "Advancing Water Sustainability in Megacities: Comparative Study of São Paulo and Delhi Using a Social-Ecological System Framework" Sustainability 11, no. 19: 5314. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11195314

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