SITUATED ECOLOGIES gathers art, design and research collaborations to contest and democratise ecologies.

Key outputs and publications from GROWL

GROWL OUTPUTS (2018-2023)

Read about reflection on some of the insights from the project.

Published peer-reviewed articles based on the Luanda case study

  1. Cardoso, Ricardo, Jia-Ching Chen, and Henrik Ernstson. 2023. Blocos Urbanism: Capitalism and Modularity in the Making of Contemporary Luanda. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. Online.
  2. Kimari, Wangui, and Henrik Ernstson. 2022. The Invisible Labor of the “New Angola”: Kilamba’s Domestic Workers. Urban Geography :1–18.
  3. Cardoso, R. 2022. Seeing Luanda from Salvador: Lineaments of a Southern Atlantic Urbanism. Antipode 54 (3):729–751.
  4. Kimari, W., and G. Lesutis. 2022. Infrastructure as Symbolic Geopolitical Architecture: Kenya’s Megaprojects and Contested Meanings of Development. In The Rise of the Infrastructure State: How US-China Rivalry Shapes Politics and Place Worldwide, eds. S. Schindler and J. DiCarlo, Policy Press: Bristol.

Film based on the Luanda case study

  1. Ergon J. and H. Ernstson (2023) Blocos Urbanism: From Oil to Infrastructure in Luanda. 2023. Script written together with R. Cardoso, JC Chen, and W. Kimari. [Documentary film, 24 minutes, HD] The Situated Ecologies Platform: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. Available Open Access at:

Published articles on comparative urban dimensions: Nairobi, Kampala, Luanda, and urbanization in/from China

  1. Ernstson, Henrik, and David Nilsson. 2022. “Towards Situated Histories of Heterogenous Infrastructures: Oral History as Method and Meaning.” Geoforum 134: 48–58.
  2. Kimari, W. 2021. The story of a pump: life, death and afterlives within an urban planning of “divide and rule” in Nairobi, Kenya. Urban Geography 42 (2):141–160.
  3. Kimari, Wangui. 2021. ‘Under construction’: everyday anxieties and the proliferating social meanings of China in Kenya. Africa 91, no. 1 (2021): 135-152.
  4. Kimari, W., and H. Ernstson. 2020. Imperial Remains and Imperial Invitations: Centering Race within the Contemporary Large-Scale Infrastructures of East Africa. Antipode 3 (52):1–22.
  5. Kimari, Wangui (2020) “War-talk: an urban youth language of siege in Nairobi.” Journal of Eastern African Studies 14, no. 4 (2020): 707-723.
  6. Kimari, Wangui, and Jessica Parish. (2020) “What is a river? A transnational meditation on the colonial city, abolition ecologies and the future of geography.” Urban Geography 41, no. 5 (2020): 643-656.
  7. Sseviiri, Hakimu, Shuaib Lwasa, Mary Lawhon, and Henrik Ernstson. 2020. “Claiming Value in a Heterogeneous Solid Waste Configuration in Kampala.” Urban Geography 43 (1):59–80.
  8. Chen, J.-C. 2019. Refiguring the Rural: Eco-urbanization in Yixing City. In Grounding Urban Natures: Histories and Futures of Urban Ecologies, eds. H. Ernstson and S. Sörlin, 323–362. Cambridge: MIT Press
  9. Brook, Makonnen (2019). “Political Ecology of Infrastructures in Africa Through Chinese Capital: A case study on the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) project in Kenya,” Master thesis, Department of Geography, The University of Manchester  (Supervised by Henrik Ernstson and co-supervised by Wangui Kimari)


Other publications related to the project

  1. The Urban Re‐Arrangements Collective, A. Abdullah, R. Cardoso, S. Dasgupta, S. Pati, R. Plueckhahn, T. Shafique, A. Simone, S. S. K. Teo, J. Ye, and Y. Zhao. 2023. Re‐arranging the urban: Forms, rhythms, politics. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers :tran.12604.
  2. Ernstson, H., and P. Mukwaya. 2021. Kampala: City Scoping Study. Manchester, UK.
  3. Ernstson, H. 2021. Ecosystems and urbanization: A colossal meeting of giant complexities. Ambio 50:1639–1643.
  4. Ernstson, H. 2020. Urban Plants and Colonial Durabilities. In The Botanical City, eds. M. Gandy and S. Jasper, 71–81. Berlin: Jovis
  5. Chen, Jia-Ching. 2019. “Refiguring the Rural: Eco-Urbanization in Yixing City.” Pp. 323–62 in Grounding Urban Natures: Histories and Futures of Urban Ecologies, edited by H. Ernstson and S. Sörlin. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  6. Ernstson, Henrik and Sverker Sörlin (2019) “Toward Comparative Urban Environmentalism: Situating Urban Natures in an Emerging ‘World of Cities.’” Pp. 3–53 in Grounding Urban Natures: Histories and Futures of Urban Ecologies, edited by H. Ernstson and S. Sörlin. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  7. Ernstson, Henrik and Sverker Sörlin (2019) “Grounding and Worlding Urban Natures: Configuring a New Urban Ecology Knowledge Project.” Pp. 356–90 in Grounding Urban Natures: Histories and Futures of Urban Ecologies, edited by H. Ernstson and S. Sörlin. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  8. Ernstson, Henrik and Erik Swyngedouw (2019). “Politicizing the Environment in the Urban Century.” Pp. 3–21 in Urban Political Ecology in the Anthropo-obscene: Interruptions and Possibilities, edited by H. Ernstson and E. Swyngedouw. Abingdon & New York: Routledge.
  9. Lawhon, Mary, David Nilsson, Jonathan Silver, Henrik Ernstson, and Shuaib Lwasa. 2018. “Thinking through Heterogeneous Infrastructure Configurations.” Urban Studies 55(4):720–32.
  10. Swyngedouw, Erik and Henrik Ernstson. (2018). Interrupting the Anthropo-obScene: Immuno-Biopolitics and Depoliticizing Ontologies in the Anthropocene. Theory, Culture & Society. 35(3): 6-30.

Drafts and ideas for future publications based on our field work in Luanda (to be submitted)

  1. Kimari, W., H. Ernstson, and R. Cardoso. “Not only in the Bairro”: New Centralities and the Promises and Realities of Infrastructure in the New Luanda. Draft developed for the journal City & Society
  2. Kimari, W., H. Ernstson, J.-C. Chen, and R. Cardoso. Accelerated Urbanization vs Decelerated Urbanization in Luanda: Kilamba, Sector 5 Fios, and the Intentional Stagnation of Peripheral Musseques. Draft developed for the journal Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography.

Presentations, talks, conferences, workshops, and workshop participation


  • Cardoso, Ricardo (2023) Presentation “Seeing as an Oil City: Planning challenges in the midst of a global energy transition”, at the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning Conference in Chicago, 19-21 October 2023.
  • Ernstson, Henrik (2023) Invited speaker at Uppsala University’s Institute for Housing and Urban Research (IBS). “Blocos urbanism: Transforming oil to city and the modularity of capitalism in the making of contemporary Luanda,” based on paper with R Cardoso, JC Chen, and H Ernstson.
  • Ernstson, Henrik (2023) Seminar: “Invisibilization of domestic in Luanda’s petro-urbanism,” based on paper with Wangui Kimari. Environmental Science Department at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 4 May 2022.



  • Ernstson, Henrik (2021) Invited speaker to the panel on “Urban-Rural Dialogues on Degrowth”, 8th International Degrowth Conference on Caring Communities for Radical Change, 24-28 Aug 2021, The Hague, The Netherlands.
  • Chen, J.-C. (2021) “Energy and Ecology for the Majority: The Political Economy of Renewable Energy and Low Carbon Value.” Presented at Historical Materialism East Asia: Capital and Labor Mobilities in the Era of Ecological Catastrophe, 2021/08/22.
  • Cardoso, Ricardo (2021) Throughout 2021 Ricardo Cardoso has been participating in a multi-month workshop organized by the Urban Institute at the University of Sheffield towards a series of publications on the general theme of Urban Re-Arrangements.
  • Ernstson, Henrik (2021) Invited Speaker and Panelist EADI Conference, Rotterdam. European Association of Development Research and Training Institute EADI 2021, Erasmus University, Rotterdam, International Institute of Social Studies (IAS), 5-9 July 2021 (online)


  • Ernstson, Henrik, Ricardo Cardoso, Jia-Ching Chen. (2020) “Blocos Urbanism: On the Materiality of Luanda’s Petro-infused Urban Transformations,” Political Ecology Network POLLEN Biennial Conference, 2020/09/23.
  • Ernstson, Henrik (2020). Invited Speaker at Cambridge University (online). “Grounding Urban Natures: An Invitation to Do Comparative Urban Environmentalism.” Seminar on Urban Ecologies, Department of Geography, Cambridge University. Invited by Dr Maan Barua. 13 Nov 2020.
  • Chen, J.-C. (2020) China’s Rural Capitalism: Land, Labor, and Environment. Critical China Scholars Series. 2020/09/30 Available online:
  • Ernstson, Henrik with paper by Ricardo Cardoso, Jia-Ching Chen & Wangui Kimari. (2020) Seminar presentation at Geography Seminar, The University of Manchester (online). “Blocos Urbanism: On the Materiality of Luanda’s Petro-infused Urban Transformations,” Geography Seminar Series, The University of Manchester, 9 December 2020.


  • Kimari, Wangui and Henrik Ernstson* (2019) “Imperial Remains and Imperial Invitations: Theorizing Racialized Disposability within the Infrastructures of African Cities.” RGS-IBG Conference London.
  • Chen, J.-C. (2019) “Solar Energy Infrastructure and Environmental Justice.” Presented at Solar Array, the Mellon Sawyer Seminar, Santa Barbara. 2019/03/01.
  • Ernstson, Henrik and Jacob von Heland. (2019)  “Svarta ljud/Black Noise.” Henrik Ernstson and Jacob von Heland organised a film screening and conversation with African and Africa-based urban artists on the role of art, hip hop and story telling to make peripheries central. ABF huset Stockholm 20191009 with Issraa El-Kogali, Emile Jansen and Mixed Mense.
  • Kimari, Wangui and Henrik Ernstson (2019) “Kilamba Life: Domestic visions of China in Angola” China in Africa conference in Nairobi, October 27 – 28
  • Chen, J.-C. (2019) “Global, Area Studies and Comparative Studies and Transregional China” China Rising in Africa, Middle East and Latin America, University of California, Santa Barbara 2019/05/03.