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Profiling informal settlements for disaster risks

Source(s):  Procedia Engineering

Informal settlements, where mostly the urban poor reside, tend to be located in hotspots of natural hazards such as floods, fire, earthquakes and tsunamis. Conceptualizing a detailed risk profile, in the context of informal settlement characteristics presents a starting point to which the impacts posed by environmental hazards can be addressed effectively. This paper develops a theoretical framework through literature review coupling the concepts of “disaster hazards”, “vulnerability” and “informal settlements”.

The findings suggest that the policy environment (environmental/land use planning and communication) impacting the informal settlement characteristics (demographic, financial, social/poetical and locational/environmental) is key to managing disaster risk profile in informal settlements. The paper concludes by identifying three theoretical propositions that can assist in disaster preparedness:

  1. Increasing population density increases hazard vulnerabilities in informal settlements;
  2. Vulnerability  reduction  should  be  the  centre  of  policies  and  strategies  for  building  resilience  in  informal settlements;
  3. Disaster risk communicated by a team of experts and community leaders increases positive reception from receivers in informal settlements.



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  • Profiling informal settlements for disaster risks
  • Publication date 2020
  • Author(s) Abunyewaha, Matthew; Gajendrana, Thayaparan; Maunda, Kim
  • Number of pages pp. 238–245
  • ISBN/ISSN 10.1016/j.proeng.2018.01.031 (DOI)

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