Inserting rights and justice into urban resilience: a focus on everyday risk

Gina Ziervogel, Mark Pelling, Anton Cartwright, Eric Chu, Tanvi Deshpande, Leile Harris, Keith Hyams, Jean Kaunda, Benjamin Klaus, Kavya Michael, Lorena Pasquini, Robyn Pharoah, Lucy Rodina, Dianne Scott, Patricia Zweig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Citations (Scopus)
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Resilience building has become a growing policy agenda, particularlyfor urban risk management. While much of the resilience agenda has been shapedby policies and discourses from the global North, its applicability for cities of theglobal South, particularly African cities, has not been sufficiently assessed. Focusingon rights of urban citizens as the object to be made resilient, rather than physicaland ecological infrastructures, may help to address many of the root causes thatcharacterize the unacceptable risks that urban residents face on a daily basis.Linked to this idea, we discuss four entry points for grounding a rights and justiceorientation for urban resilience. First, notions of resilience must move away fromnarrow, financially oriented risk analyses. Second, opportunities must be createdfor “negotiated resilience”, to allow for attention to processes that support thesegoals, as well as for the integration of diverse interests. Third, achieving resiliencein ways that do justice to the local realities of diverse urban contexts necessitatestaking into account endogenous, locally situated processes, knowledges andnorms. And finally, urban resilience needs to be placed within the context of globalsystems, providing an opportunity for African contributions to help reimagine therole that cities might play in these global financial, political and science processes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages15
JournalEnvironment and Urbanization
Issue number1
Early online date20 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


  • African cities / rights and entitlements / risk / social justice / urban resilience


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