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The Governance of Infrastructure Interfaces: Cities, Technical Systems and Institutional Connections

This project investigates the governance of urban infrastructure interfaces in two Ethiopian cities, the capital Addis Ababa and the second-largest city, Dire Dawa.


The interfaces or connection points bring together different technical characteristics (e.g. large/small scale), governance regimes (e.g. formal/informal) and disciplinary expertise (e.g. engineering/social policy). Understanding the boundaries between infrastructure interfaces tends to be neglected in urban praxis and research. Yet it is here where many critical questions for cities arise: who governs, who decides, who funds?

Based on comparative case study methods, this project examines two interfaces: transport (rail/local transport) and sanitation (city-wide/local) infrastructures in each of the two case-study cities. Combining socio-spatial analysis with institutional analysis of infrastructure governance, it aims to better understand the relationship between development goals and the contribution made by infrastructure roll out, and also generating a typology of infrastructure interfaces across sectors.

Principal Investigator: Dr Philipp Rode, London School of Economics & Political Science  

Co-Investigators: Professor Jo Beall, British Council; Dr Marco Di Nunzio, London School of Economics & Political Science; Dr Nuno da Cruz, London School of Economics & Political Science

Project part of

Cities & Infrastructure

The Cities & Infrastructure Programme funds interdisciplinary research projects that address the challenge of creating and maintaining sustainable and resilient cities, with the aim of informing relevant policies and interventions in developing countries.


We foster international collaboration in the humanities and social sciences, and promote the sharing of international perspectives on global challenges.

Other projects in this programme