Oil and gas pipelines bring attention to the importance of public participation in the management of large-scale infrastructure projects. Participation transforms how communities understand benefits and risks, and can result in safer and more resilient projects. However, participation can be hindered by procedural injustices in planning processes and lack of industry transparency. Based on a survey of 103 civil society groups conducted in 2021, this paper investigates how groups mobilize technical projects and expert knowledge to overcome these barriers. We frame these mobilizations as expressions of civic technoscience, and argue their pivotal role in building capacity for effective engagements with pipelines. To this extent, we furthermore suggest that civic technoscience is fundamental to building civic infrastructures for reforming participatory governance gaps. We conclude with recommendations for how civic technoscience can better support the intentions of civic infrastructuring by coordinating activities across coalitions, as well as by shifting the scales at which groups engage with the governance of pipelines.
Read more about JPB Fellow Kirk Jalbert’s research.