Urban risk or resilience? Improving informal settlements in urban Africa

How can development projects help urban communities balance their short-term needs with their long-term resilience? International Alert’s Shreya Mitra joins the discussion.

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 in this discussion hosted by the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program on urban settlements and resilience in Africa.

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