This interdisciplinary project, combining engineering and social sciences, addresses a global environmental challenge that is visibly dominant in African streetscapes: the ubiquity of end-of-life tyres (ELTs). Focusing on Lagos, the fastest growing city in Sub-Saharan Africa, ‘Pneuma-city’ explores the multifaceted impact of used tyres on road ecologies, while examining the urban economies of tyre repair and repurposing. The project ultimately aims to promoting social and technical solutions to create more sustainable urban environments that in turn improve the well-being of workers and residents.
‘Pneuma-city’ more specifically addresses (1) the gendered informal cultures, livelihoods and technologies of tyre-related work; (2) the complex place of waste tyres in street/road ecologies; (3) the circular economies of repurposing.
The project bridges formal and informal infrastructures by conceptually tracing the role of tyres as ‘frictional’ within urban contexts where automobile transport is hegemonic, with the ambition to put ELT challenges and opportunities at the heart of a vision for a sustainable future.
This project is funded by the British Academy and is part of the wider GCRF ‘Urban Infrastructures of Well-Being’ research programme.