In Sofia, the food-water-energy-environment Nexus unfolds within a struggle to reconcile an outdated/inadequate infrastructure for meeting EU sustainability targets, coupled with the highest energy poverty and vulnerability rates in the EU. As a city in transition from a planned economy towards a devolved market economy, Sofia provides useful points of comparison with Kampala and Guarulhos that have also experienced marketization of basic services in the last two decades.
Guarulhos, São Paulo, Brazil
Guarulhos is the second biggest municipality in São Paulo metropolitan area. Guarulhos is characterized by deep social inequalities and environmental injustices, which can be observed in its sanitation infrastructure that poses serious pollution risks for the city’s water supply. The challenges are not restricted to water and sanitation, but also apply to the provision of energy and nutritious food, particularly in the informal settlements. Furthermore, Guarulhos shares its municipal borders and some of its service provision with other municipalities in the São Paulo metropolitan region, which makes it a compelling case for analysing the spatial trans-boundarly challenges of the urban Nexus.
Kampala, East Africa
In Kampala, increasing urbanisation is threatening clean water provision, not least because the water system risks contamination by larger waste streams, which in turn puts pressure on an already-constrained energy supply. Access to food continues to be insecure for many, as revealed by the 2011 food riots. Kampala is also a site of innovative governance. The Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) is stimulating bottom-up sustainability initiatives, for instance through street festivals.