Paper/Poster/Presentation Title

Assessing the vulnerability of informal settlements in the context of rapid urbanization and climate change using participatory systems mapping in Durban, South Africa

Keywords

Participatory systems mapping, Vulnerability, Flooding, Informal settlements, Vulnerability

Start Date

27-6-2018 10:40 AM

End Date

27-6-2018 12:00 PM

Abstract

Rapid urbanization and climate change collectively increase the vulnerability of poor urban communities to flooding, undermining urban resilience. It is therefore critical to identify and deepen our understanding of the main variables, and the complex interactions between them, which produce and shape the vulnerability of poor urban communities to natural hazards.

It is also important to reflect on how communities organize themselves in response to floods and how they adapt to them. Identifying factors which undermine or support their efforts in responding to floods is also helpful in policy making for urban resilience. To develop this understanding, it is necessary to conduct detailed research at the local scale. However, this raises the question of how knowledge produced through empirical research in particular places, which identifies, understands and maps these variables of vulnerability and risk, can be scaled up to form generalizable understandings and principles which contribute to global policy making and change.

This paper aims to contribute to this knowledge by applying participatory systems mapping a particular case study of an informal settlement in Durban, to elucidate how this detailed empirical research can contribute to broader theoretical knowledge on urban vulnerability and resilience in the face of climate change and rapid urbanization. The informal settlement chosen represents similar conditions as we might find in other growing urban areas in the global south.

Stream and Session

C11: Integrated Methods and Tools for Flood Risk and Water Supply Management

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Jun 27th, 10:40 AM Jun 27th, 12:00 PM

Assessing the vulnerability of informal settlements in the context of rapid urbanization and climate change using participatory systems mapping in Durban, South Africa

Rapid urbanization and climate change collectively increase the vulnerability of poor urban communities to flooding, undermining urban resilience. It is therefore critical to identify and deepen our understanding of the main variables, and the complex interactions between them, which produce and shape the vulnerability of poor urban communities to natural hazards.

It is also important to reflect on how communities organize themselves in response to floods and how they adapt to them. Identifying factors which undermine or support their efforts in responding to floods is also helpful in policy making for urban resilience. To develop this understanding, it is necessary to conduct detailed research at the local scale. However, this raises the question of how knowledge produced through empirical research in particular places, which identifies, understands and maps these variables of vulnerability and risk, can be scaled up to form generalizable understandings and principles which contribute to global policy making and change.

This paper aims to contribute to this knowledge by applying participatory systems mapping a particular case study of an informal settlement in Durban, to elucidate how this detailed empirical research can contribute to broader theoretical knowledge on urban vulnerability and resilience in the face of climate change and rapid urbanization. The informal settlement chosen represents similar conditions as we might find in other growing urban areas in the global south.