‘Tradescapes’ in the forest: framing infrastructure’s relation to territory, commodities, and flows

Nov 12, 2021
Pilar Delpino Marimón, Denise Humphreys Bebbington, Anthony J. Bebbington, Laura A. Sauls, Nicholas Cuba, Avecita Chicchon, Susanna Hecht, JohnRogan, Rebecca Ray, Oscar Diaz, SusanKandel, Tracey Osborne, Madelyn Rivera, Viviana Zalles



Pressure to facilitate the flow of commodities and capital across global and national markets has translated into narratives and programs prioritizing integration and development of forested regions. The 2009 World Bank Development Report argues that to reduce distance, infrastructure development is crucial. The infrastructure imperative, however, reworks a broader array of investment flows, property regimes, forest cover, and socio-political rights across scales as it drives increases in the speed of commodity extraction, production, mobility, and consumption. With illustrations from Amazonia and Selva Maya, the paper proposes ‘tradescapes’ as a useful framework to analyze infrastructure projects as part of multi-scalar mega-corridor networks and financial flows. Tradescapes transform relations between society, territory, and environment, with implications for infrastructure governance, resilience, and sustainability.

Read the full article in Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability

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