• Monday 17 Oct 2016
  • Reducing Relocation Risk in Urban Areas

    Side Events
    Venue: R8
    Lead Organization:
    • Indian Institute For Human Settlements.
    Partner Organizations:
    • And Makerere University,
    • The Bartlett Development Planning Unit (DPU) At UCL,
    • The Latin American Social Science Faculty (Facultad Latinoamericana De Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO).

    Densely‐populated urban centres are often exposed to multiple climate‐related hazards. Floods, heat waves, cyclones, landslides and other events often have significant impacts on people’s lives and livelihoods, particularly those of the poor. Risks are exacerbated by the changing climate and unplanned urbanisation. If unmanaged, these risks can undermine hard‐won development gains. Many national and local governments are resettling people who live in areas affected by climate‐related disasters. Resettlement can occur as part of national level programmes to move people out high‐risk areas, or as part of a local government development plan. This is often accompanied by the upgrading of vacated areas to reduce risk, change land use, with implications for those left behind or still living in the surrounding area. Relocation and resettlement (R&R) may reduce a region’s future climate‐related disaster risk, but can also increase people’s poverty and vulnerability. The processes for making and implementing decisions on post‐ disaster relocation, pre‐emptive resettlement and on‐site upgrading play a large part in determining whether outcomes are socially just, and whether they actually reduce future risks for individuals, urban regions and society as a whole. While urban resettlement programmes widespread, the social and economic impacts of resettlement and relocation on individuals, society and urban regions are not well understood either by experts or by those enacting them. The research carried out in the last 18 months examines the various social and economic implications of climate‐risk related resettlement and relocation policies in cities across three geographies: India in Asia, Uganda in Africa, and Peru, Mexico and Colombia in Latin America. It seeks to understand the political, economic and institutional contexts in which resettlement takes place; the costs benefits of resettlement from both the government and individual’s perspective; and how resettlement impacts people’s well‐being and resilience over different time frames. The research has compared approaches and attempted to identify climate‐related resettlement policies and practices deliver the most beneficial outcomes. The framing and approach to policy engagement is tailored for each country and informed by a steering committee including relevant government representatives. This event will share the findings from this research and urge the participants to reflect based on their own experiences towards more holistic and sustainable development planning.