Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science


Urban Studies

First Advisor

Garth Myers

Second Advisor

Jim Trostle


Is dengue fever an urban disease as public health literature suggests? And what does this literature mean by urban? To answer these questions, I compare perceptions of the urban and dengue risk from residents who I interviewed across different sites in Esmeraldas Province, Ecuador. I ground my analysis in four urban frameworks: the bounded city theory, postcolonial theory, assemblage urbanism, and urban political ecology. I find that residents in Esmeraldas Province think about urban spaces very differently from how the Ecuadorian government defines what is urban. In particular, residents discuss government investment in infrastructure and services as an important dimension of urbanity and dengue risk. Overall, residents think of rural areas as having higher dengue risk, directly contradicting the accepted principle that dengue is an urban disease. Based on these data, I propose dengue studies would benefit from using a combination of assemblage urbanism and urban political ecology to rethink the ways they define space.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor of Science in Urban Studies.