Urban risk or resilience? Improving informal settlements in urban Africa
International Alert’s Shreya Mitra joins a discussion hosted by the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program on urban settlements and resilience in Africa.
How can development projects help urban communities balance their short-term needs with their long-term resilience?
Researchers and practitioners from International Alert, Kounkuey Design Initiatives, King’s College and the US Agency for International Development discuss the interaction between environmental, development and social dynamics, and the implications for effective urban development.
The discussion was held as part of the project, Urban Africa Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK), a three-year programme aimed at reducing disaster risk in urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa by breaking the cycles of ‘risk accumulation’.
- Blair A. Ruble, Distinguished Fellow
- Tegan Blaine, Senior Climate Change Adviser, Africa Bureau, US Agency for International Development
- Shreya Mitra, Conflict Adviser, Natural Resource Management and Climate Change, International Alert
- Joe Mulligan, Associate Director, Kounkuey Design Initiative
- Mark Pelling, Professor of Geography, King’s College, London
About the project
Urban ARK was a three-year programme aimed at reducing disaster risk in urban areas in sub-Saharan Africa by breaking the cycles of ‘risk accumulation’.
This project aimed to generate evidence on how multiple hazards and vulnerabilities interact and overlap to both create and exacerbate risk in under-researched urban African areas. The generated knowledge will enable better informed and designed urban development and humanitarian interventions.
Alert’s role in the project was to provide guidance to help avoid any negative effects of the efforts on local conflict dynamics and to prevent conflict-related issues becoming obstacles to the work. Urban ARK focused on six cities: Dakar (Senegal), Ibadan (Nigeria), Karonga (Malawi), Mombasa and Nairobi (Kenya), and Niamey (Niger).