Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Current issue: Understanding the full spectrum of risk in urban areas

This issue of Environment and Urbanization is on the full spectrum of risk in urban areas of the global South and their contribution to premature death, serious injury, illness or impoverishment. The papers show the large spectrum of risks from infectious and parasitic diseases, pollution and physical hazards. “Small” disasters and every-day hazards that often receive less attention than disasters actually pose greater risks, especially among low-income groups and those living in informal settlements. City-specific studies in this issue explore the nature and measurement of local risks, in Karonga, Malawi; Niamey, Niger; Bandung, Indonesia; Bangkok, Thailand; and Nairobi, Kenya. The issue also includes papers that interrogate the concept of risk resilience, calling for greater attention to rights, justice, and concrete community-led action. The papers propose new directions for classifying and collecting information on risks, which is the first step towards reducing risks for the most vulnerable urban residents. Several of these papers emerged from Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK), a research and capacity-building programme seeking to reduce risk in urban areas of sub-Saharan Africa.

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Book notes

Paradoxes of Green is an unusual kind of scholarly book. Conceptually, it brings together urban studies concerns with the young field of design anthropology, which means that Doherty is as comfortable reflecting on the aesthetic aspects of colour as he is describing the ecological implications of property development. The book is structured as a series of vignettes, based loosely around colours. Blue represents the island nation’s relationship with the sea; beige corresponds to the desert landscape.

In India, peri-urban areas are too often neglected. They are fraught with institutional ambiguity, unplanned growth, poor infrastructure and environmental degradation. Many peri-urban inhabitants live in poverty and face increasing marginalization and food insecurity. Efforts to address malnutrition are decoupled from urban development initiatives, policy and planning. There has been a major decline in public funding and support for agriculture. Yet peri-urban agriculture could be a major contributor to poverty alleviation and food security.

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Sister journal

E&U's sister journal  Medio Ambiente y Urbanizacion focusses on Latin America

E & U Latin America