Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Current issue: Understanding the full spectrum of risk in urban areas

This issue of Environment and Urbanization is on the full spectrum of risk in urban areas of the global South and their contribution to premature death, serious injury, illness or impoverishment. The papers show the large spectrum of risks from infectious and parasitic diseases, pollution and physical hazards. “Small” disasters and every-day hazards that often receive less attention than disasters actually pose greater risks, especially among low-income groups and those living in informal settlements. City-specific studies in this issue explore the nature and measurement of local risks, in Karonga, Malawi; Niamey, Niger; Bandung, Indonesia; Bangkok, Thailand; and Nairobi, Kenya. The issue also includes papers that interrogate the concept of risk resilience, calling for greater attention to rights, justice, and concrete community-led action. The papers propose new directions for classifying and collecting information on risks, which is the first step towards reducing risks for the most vulnerable urban residents. Several of these papers emerged from Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK), a research and capacity-building programme seeking to reduce risk in urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

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Book notes

Asian cities are on the frontline of climate change. A third of all low-elevation coastal zones in the world are located in Asia, where two-thirds of the world’s urban population reside. A number of Asian cities have been involved in climate change adaptation and resilience-building initiatives, focusing on the capacity of local governments to assess vulnerabilities and implement effective mitigation strategies. One such initiative is the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN).

Common Space: The City as Commons is the first of its kind, providing a theoretical approach to problematizing space in the city as commons and not only as a state-managed space or commodity. Based upon Lefebvrian tradition as well as engaging with theorists like Foucault, Bourdieu and Zibechi, Stavros Stavrides draws upon historical and contemporary examples to answer questions around the practice of doing in common (or commoning). In particular, he uses cases from Athens, Greece and cities in Latin America among others.

Latest blogs

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.
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.
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?

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E&U's sister journal  Medio Ambiente y Urbanizacion focusses on Latin America

E & U Latin America