Untangling Infrastructure Networks Through Critical Cartographies: Mapping the Port of Trieste, Italy

Leonardo Ramondetti
In Annals of the American Association of Geographers 2024, Advanced online publication
Ramondetti, L. (2024). Untangling infrastructure networks through critical cartographies: The Port of Trieste, Italy. Annals of the American Association of Geographers. Advance online publication.
DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2023.2289985

This article illustrates how to research complex infrastructure networks using critical cartography. Maps, infographics, and datascapes are employed to study how contemporary flows of goods, people, and money are redefining a specific location. This topic has been widely investigated in science and technology studies; however, it has seldom been addressed by applying visual methods. Cartography, in particular, is generally regarded as a subject of analysis, rather than an investigative tool. Conversely, this contribution discusses the theory and explores critical cartography as a speculative and artistic practice for problematizing the spatialization of policies, financial interests, and trade flows. It adds another level of understanding to the field of inquiry, and can help in developing counternarratives. This method is adopted to investigate the Port of Trieste, Italy, where radical transformations have been driven by international investment and infrastructural programs. Critical cartography can help to unravel this tangle by unveiling the cross-scalar dimension of contemporary global trade and the complex landscape of infrastructural networks.