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A research agenda for a people-centered approach to energy access in the urbanizing global south

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  • Joshua Daniel Kirshner
  • Vanesa Castan Broto
  • Lucy Stevens
  • Emmanuel Ackom
  • Julia Tomei
  • Priti Parkikh
  • Iwona Bisaga
  • Long Seng To
  • Yacob Mulugetta


Publication details

JournalNature Energy
DateAccepted/In press - 28 Jul 2017
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 2 Oct 2017
Early online date2/10/17
Original languageEnglish


Energy access is typically viewed as a problem for rural areas, but people living in urban settings also face energy challenges that have not received sufficient attention. A revised agenda in research and practice that puts the user and local planning complexities centre stage is needed to change the way we look at energy access in urban areas, to understand the implications of the concentration of vulnerable people in slums and to identify opportunities for planned management and innovation that can deliver urban energy transitions while leaving no one behind. Here, we propose a research agenda focused on three key issues: understanding the needs of urban energy users; enabling the use of context-specific, disaggregated data; and engaging with effective modes of energy and urban governance. This agenda requires interdisciplinary scholarship across the social and physical sciences to support local action and deliver large-scale, inclusive transformations.

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