Urban Disasters and Approaches to Resilience

Atta-ur Rahman, Rajib Shaw, Akhilesh Surjan, Gulsan Ara Parvin

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Globally, the intensity and frequency of disasters are escalating and urban areas, where half of the world population lives, have been exposed to numerous disasters. Extreme events have hit urban areas in both developing and developed locations, but cities in the developing world have high vulnerability and low resilience. In the past, numerous cities were damaged by natural and human-induced disasters, with thousands of inhabitants either buried under debris or washed away by gushing water. Such disasters had impacted residential activities and put unprecedented impacts on city budgets because urban centers are the hub of industrial and commercial activities. Whenever a disaster hits an urban area, it creates widespread damage, and redirects budget allocation from development to emergency response. Currently, of 20 megacities in the world, 13 are in Asia, predominantly in the developing world. Cities in developing world are growing at an alarming rate, and as a consequence increases its vulnerability to numerous disasters. During the same period, the total population of Karachi, Pakistan, has grown by 80%, a remarkable increase. In these cities, over 37% of residents are living in slums and squatter settlements. As a consequence, the intensity and occurrences of urban disasters has increased, and authorities have been hard-pressed to cope with and build urban resilience to such events. The analysis in this chapter reveals that urban resilience is largely a reflection of resilient and resourceful citizens. The strong and committed involvement of citizens at the grass-roots level may result in cities that can withstand and react well to disasters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationUrban Disasters and Resilience in Asia
    EditorsRajib Shaw, Atta-ur-Rahman , Akhilesh Surjan, Gulsan Ara Parvin
    Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)9780128023778
    ISBN (Print)9780128021699
    Publication statusPublished - 2016


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