WP4 - Governance and Planning

WP4 on governance and planning brings this learning together with an action research agenda to work with key actors to better understand and help inform contemporary decision-making and planning for the future. Four connected sub-WPs focus on a range of governance spaces and actor types that together mark out the emerging structural forces shaping urban futures in Africa.

WP 4.1 Landscape of urban development investment and significant urban risks in African cities 

This sub work-package investigates the landscape of investments in the city in infrastructure, construction and planning; understanding how these are influencing and addressing risks for the urban poor.  City cases willl soon be finalised with work likely to be undertaken in Karonga and Ibadan and possibly Nairobi and Niamey.

WP 4.2 Addressing risks through urban planning policies, regulatory frameworks and through the planning, design and delivery of urban infrastructure and developments 

Key questions for WP4.2 include:

(1) How are the current urban planning policy and related regulatory frameworks addressing urban risks?

(2) How do planning methods and technical/institutional capacity impact on risk awareness/management in project planning?

(3) How is risk, from everyday and extreme events, addressed through the planning, design and delivery of urban infrastructure or other urban development interventions?

 (4) How do decision makers use risk information in planning, policy and project decisions?

This phase will work collaboratively with WPs 2 and 3.

Fieldwork will also be carried out to understand the broader context relating to the planning of the project through its inception and development, and impact on:

a) those directly affected by (dependent on) the project;

b) the impact of the project on the city-wide risk profile (e.g. downstream implications of groundwater extraction).

WP 4.3 Incremental change in neighbourhoods of African cities 

Key questions for WP4.3 include:

(1) What are the underlying power dynamics between stakeholders that guide urban development African cities?

(2) How do these dynamics inhibit or facilitate dealing with issues of risk?

This phase will look at the incremental ways that African cities are changing over time and aims to understand how these changes influence the production and accumulation of risks for the urban poor. The work will be done through area-based case studies (longitudinal over project, or forward-looking-backward looking), in small localities in each city. We plan to look at where, for example:

1) small scale private sector interests is driving force of development in the area;

2) where collective action by informal settlers is the driving force;

3) where large infrastructure project is changing the local dynamics.

This work will expand on WP3.2.

WP4.4 Urban Resource Hubs: Grounding the action learning process 

This sub-WP will manage the establishment of urban resource hubs in each city; this will be a physical space. 

The purpose of the urban resource hubs is to:

(1) deepen the understanding where and why episodic and everyday risks manifest in informal settlements, the impacts that such risks have on the lives, livelihood and assets of poor women and men, and the way in which they respond to these risks individually and collectively.

(2) Anchor the production of actionable knowledge and restitution of gradual findings and nurture the collective learning process, seeking to reach further groups and organisations across the city.

(3) Through participatory mapping and participatory video to develop local capacities to apprehend and monitor episodic and everyday risks, who is affected and how this changes over time and why, and to assess what actions and investments devoted to mitigate, reduce or prevent risk work, why and how these could be enhanced.

This publication covers a range of disaster risk management (DRM) themes, from community participation in DRM data collection to risk mapping and from urban waste management to hazard accumulation


Mark Pelling

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