Some other urban energy transitions: switching to natural gas in emerging metropolises, the cases of Cairo, Istanbul and Sfax
Urban energy governances, North and South
2013-09-16 / 2013-09-18
energy, natural gas, urban energy transition, Istanbul, Cairo, Sfax, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey
The aim of this article is to analyse one ordinary energy transition underway in three Mediterranean metropolises in which urban natural gas networks have been implemented in the past twenty years: Istanbul in Turkey, Cairo in Egypt and Sfax in Tunisia (the country's second largest agglomeration). To do so, we will define an analytical framework based on a few studies which have focused primarily on low carbon energy transitions and argue that despite the differences in terms of technology it is interesting to view these transitions in relation to the urbanization of energy issues, thus allowing us to escape from the unsatisfying dichotomy between cities and countries that are "advanced" and "behind". In doing so, this article aims to relativize technological determination by showing its geographically and socio-economically based nature and to return a certain number of political issues to the forefront of analyses of transitions. We will begin by presenting the case cities and underscoring their specificities as emerging cities. Secondly, we will define an analytical framework based on research into energy transitions in cities while also taking into account research into urban infrastructure networks. Then we will analyse the cases based on the previously defined criteria. The final section will look at what we can learn from these cases.