'The Journal of Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies' (TES)
Volume 1, Number 2, Dec. 2002

ISSN 1602-2297

Towards Heterogeneous Sanitary Engineering:
A Study of Sanitation Specialists’ Perceptions of Users

Birgitta Rydhagen, PhD student
Technoscience Studies, Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden
E-mail: birry@tema.liu.se

Abstract: When ecological sanitation alternatives are introduced in urban areas, the technological changes have consequences for the users of these technologies. This is a change compared to the past decades where the focus has been on sewage treatment plant processes to reduce environmental effects of sanitation systems. It is therefore of interest to study how sanitation specialists perceive the users and the relationship between users and specialists. In this paper, I present an interview with a group of sanitation specialists regarding their perceptions of the users. A main conclusion is that specialists tend to continue to regard the development and use of the systems as distinct activities. Although there were some differences between the interview participants, the majority seemed to regard themselves as problem solvers, responsible for the development of technologies that are easy to use in the “correct” way..

Key words: Ecological sanitation, user participation, heterogeneous engineering, specialists’ perceptions

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