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Nairobi, off Naivasha Road

There are a growing number of national and international research programmes in Nairobi focused on disaster risk and climate change. The Urban ARK consortia and ForPAc: Towards Forecast Based Preparedness Action, are interacting in various ways to further strengthen collaboration and synergies for their related research being undertaken in Nairobi. 

Le lundi 30 octobre 2017, dans la salle de réunion de l’hôtel terminus de Niamey, se sont déroulées les activités de la première journée de l’atelier de renforcement de capacités des acteurs. Cet atelier s’inscrit dans le cadre du projet « Connaissance des Risques en Afrique Urbaine (URBAN-ARK) mis en œuvre au Niger par l’ONG Save the Children International en collaboration avec la Faculté d’Agronomie de l’Université Abdou Moumouni de Niamey. 

Adriana Allen and Emmanuel Osuteye (University College London, Development Planning Unit)  conducted a series of 2-day Action Planning workshops, in Karonga, Malawi (27-28th July 2017), followed by another in Freetown, Sierra Leone (3-4th  August 2017).

In June 2017 a collaboration was initiated between the AXA Research funded project “Risk in Informal Settlements - Community Knowledge and Policy Action” and Urban ARK's Work Package 3 (led by Mark Pelling and Hayley Leck, King’s College London) to facilitate a strategic action planning process in the light of research findings. The AXA project is led by Urban ARK consortium members Cassidy Johnson and Emmanuel Osuteye, Development Planning Unit at University College London.  

The idea of a Special Planning Area might not immediately be alluring. But for the residents of Mukuru, one of the largest ‘slums’ in Nairobi, this mundane phrase hides the potential for a radical transformation in their homes and lives

The Urban ARK programme hosted a session at this year’s RGS-IBG Annual International Conference titled ‘Understanding everyday risks through methodological innovations’.

Urban centres can be among the world's most healthy places to live and work – but many are among the least. How healthy they are is powerfully influenced by local government competence, local information, and support for local action. 

Resilience is a word that’s thrown around a lot these days. It means different things to different people, but generally alludes to the ability of people or systems to bounce back from shocks, and, increasingly find ways to emerge stronger than before. Shocks might be acute – like floods or cholera outbreaks – or chronic – like stress because of poverty or insecurity. The term, that emerged from ecological literature, is concerned with how systems work. It has grown to be used in many fields including engineering, psychology, development studies and geography.

For the billion urban dwellers living in informal settlements, there are many risks. Those who are more susceptible to these risks, or less able to cope, are termed vulnerable. But they are not vulnerable if the risks are removed. We need to focus more on removing the risks and less on endless lists of 'vulnerable groups', argues David Satterthwaite. 

Informal Settlement, Dar es Salaam

Whose lives are most at risk in urban areas of the global South – for instance from preventable diseases and disasters? And what are the most serious risks they face? We need a fuller picture/better data/more evidence on urban risk to inform governments and aid agencies and to guide their investment in risk-reducing infrastructure and services (such as safe, sufficient, affordable water, and good-quality sanitation, electricity, healthcare and waste collection).

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