Profiling Informal Settlements for Disaster Risks

Matthew Abunyewah, Thayaparan Gajendran, Kim Maund

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


Informal settlements, where mostly the urban poor reside, tend to be located in hotspots of natural hazards such as floods, fire, earthquakes and tsunamis. The devastating impacts of these natural hazards on such settlements can be attributed to the higher levels of physical, economic, social and environmental vulnerability in conjunction with inadequate and poor level of disaster preparedness. 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 five theoretical propositions that can assist in disaster preparedness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProcedia Engineering
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
Event7th International Conference on Building Resilience, ICBR 2017 - Bangkok, Thailand
Duration: 27 Nov 201729 Nov 2017

Publication series

NameProcedia Engineering
ISSN (Print)1877-7058


Conference7th International Conference on Building Resilience, ICBR 2017


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