Financialising urban water infrastructure

7th Dec 2017

Financialising urban water infrastructure: Extracting local value, distributing value globally

A new paper by Michael Pryke and John Allen is now available online

This paper is part of a forthcoming Special Issue entitled Funding, financing and governing urban infrastructures



Since the insertion of urban infrastructure into the risk-taking world of financialisation, techniques for capturing added value from underlying revenue streams, from securitisation and derivatives to the structuring of bond and equity returns, have come to the fore. A value model, based on extraction through interest and dividends paid, as well as multiple fees, in our view, has benefited investors and financial intermediaries alike. Through the example of Carlsbad desalination plant in San Diego, California, the paper sets out to show how a piece of drinking water infrastructure was translated as a value asset to match the needs of institutional investors in the USA and beyond. The geography of value capture and its distribution globally is shown to be not simply financially innovative, but also spatially innovative and perhaps best understood through its topological spaces.


You can access and read the full paper here


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