Logo South Asian Disaster Knowledge Network
Site Search Google   GO
Bullet Urban Risks
Home » Themes &Issues » Environmental » Urban Risks

With disaster becoming a recurring feature, it has become increasingly important to modify the Urban built environment that are both socially acceptable and economically viable as well as environmentally sustainable pose an immense challenge for all. There is an urgent need for radically new approaches to space formation and transformation and ways of working and creative engaging with design in order to respond to rapidly growing urban populations.

For the first time a considerable amount of human population reside in urban areas. While such urban growth is substantially transforming the planet, cities are shaped by liberalization of policies and exogenous transformation marked lead forces that increment vulnerabilities of urban poor’s and marginalized communities. However, Climate changes tend to concentrate disproportionately in poorer urban districts with the least adequate provision for protective infrastructure and services. Poverty is the principal driving forces for increasing loss of life and socio-economic vulnerability. The result of these activities is due to lack of urban planning and that urban spaces have increasingly become fragmented, while inequality and vulnerability has increased.

The unplanned expansion of the cities to accommodate rapid population growth, combined with inappropriate land use planning and the failure of urban authorities to regulate building standards increase vulnerability of the urban population. In addition, inadequate living conditions of poor populations – including poor health, inadequate nutrition, poverty, illiteracy, and deficient or non-existent sanitation – constitute a permanent threat to their physical and psychological security and create “everyday risks” which cause small-scale disasters on an ongoing basis. Disaster risks from extreme natural hazards are compounded by these everyday risks, resulting in a process of “risk accumulation” specific to urban areas, where risk is amplified by human activities. Urbanization, therefore, often increases the exposure of people and economic assets to hazards and creates new patterns of risk, making the management of disasters in urban areas particularly complex.

Disaster risks in urban areas may be slightly different from the other general disaster risks; this is mainly because some of the issues are specific to cities. As the size of these urban centers increase more and more people will be exposed to natural hazards. The density of the people and the changing economics changes the risk equation and the economics of disaster risk reduction strategies. There are several factors that affect the city’s vulnerability to climate impacts and natural disasters. The other factors include city management which include the existence of an early warning and disaster response system in order to reduce the existing vulnerabilities and working towards an urban settlement free of disaster.

If managed well, cities have huge potential for influencing improvements in risk management. Cities have huge potential for influencing improvements in risk reduction and management. Urban population in general is more literate, better informed with powerful economic and political interest groups controlling economic resources, all of which are potential amplifiers of DRR efforts.

Weekly Disaster Updates
Software Developed by Tata Consultancy Services Limited. Copyright © 2009 SADKN, All Rights Reserved                     
  Concurrent Users:
Number of hits: