Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Book notes

The magnitude of urban disasters in areas with high population densities – combined with complex social, political, economic and institutional environments – has challenged the manner in which humanitarian agencies are used to working.

This anthology emerged from the 2014 Ørecomm Festival of communication and development. The book is an attempt to bolster the field of communication for development, particularly its theoretical underpinnings (or ComDev). It has three distinct sections:

The magnitude of urban disasters, high population densities, and a complex social, political and institutional environment have challenged the manner in which humanitarian agencies are used to working. Humanitarian agencies are now grappling with how to change their approaches to this reality.

Traditionally, the humanitarian sector has responded to emergencies in rural contexts; however, an increasing number of urban crises has necessitated a re-evaluation of standard procedures.

Urbanization offers substantial opportunities to reduce poverty, in part because it is more cost-effective to meet many basic needs in cities than in rural areas.

Lebanon’s refugee crisis has highlighted the need for much closer coordination among the various organizations and local authorities involved in the response. This paper analyses existing collaboration mechanisms in relation to the Syrian crisis in Lebanon.

On 8 November 2013, the city of Tacloban was devastated by Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest typhoon on record to make landfall. Despite crippling damage, the local government strove to coordinate recovery efforts towards a better, more resilient city.

Food and Urbanism, by Susan Parham, explores the interconnections between food and cities using the lens of urbanism. She analyses how transforming spaces of food and cities contributes to convivial and sustainable living, and may affect these attributes in a largely urbanized future.

The City in the Making, by Marcel Hénaff, explores the making of the future city. In doing so it bridges the fields of anthropology, philosophy and urbanism, whilst providing a poetic read. It starts by looking at the ancient cities of the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia.

Men, Masculinities and Disaster brings into view the place and role of masculinities, how they are socially constructed, and how they enter into all phases of the disaster cycle.