Looking backwards to reduce future risk in small African cities

The past may reveal local patterns and triggers of urban risk, highlighting the importance of long-term exposure to everyday events and barriers to risk reduction. A historically grounded response to risk will ensure greater legitimacy and enhance effectiveness of local actions to secure urban resilience. This briefing draws on research conducted under the Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK) project into the histories and trajectories of risk in Karonga, Malawi and Nairobi, Kenya, as well as recent work on urban palimpsests and on accumulation of risk through colonial infrastructure investments.