Conference paper
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Abstract: The provision and location of critical urban infrastructure (i.e. energy, water, transport and communications) are intimately connected with national security ambitions around settlement growth and development. Yet despite a broader ‘infrastructure turn’ within Australian cities (see Dodson, 2009), a detailed understanding of how and why critical urban infrastructure becomes framed as a key security issue has been little explored within Australian urban research. This paper positions the (national) security focus around critical urban infrastructure in critical tension with growing parallel imperatives for democratic governance processes that are able to reduce social vulnerability and build community resilience. Better understanding the democratic possibilities and dimensions of this agenda include a focus on the important role of non-state actors and empowerment of those most marginalised within the Australian city context.

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