Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal


Current issue: Towards more effective humanitarian response in urban areas

This issue of Environment and Urbanization explores the growing field of humanitarian activity in urban areas of the global South. The papers showcase current and emerging thinking around urban humanitarian methods, from working in consortia (as in Eastern India) to area-based approaches. While certain methods are proving more effective and participatory than old models, some aspects of urban post-disaster aid lack easy solutions. For instance, humanitarian organizations in urban Haiti face the difficult question of whether they should work with armed gangs, and risk losing moral credibility, or sidestep armed groups, and risk losing access to areas of need. Overall, the issue underlines the importance of working with community organizations and locally embedded groups.

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Book notes

In surveying how recent famines differ from those in previous eras, Mass Starvation makes some provocative points. One is that the incidence of modern famine is exaggerated, partly because of media cycles and political calculations. Another is that famine is political, not ecological – a matter of governance and policy, rather than droughts and climate change. This means that famine is absolutely avoidable.

Children driven from their homes — by conflict, poverty or other difficulties — are a particularly vulnerable group, with a range of urgent physical and emotional needs. Our research into protecting children on the move seeks to improve their quality of care in urban environments, particularly in the context of a humanitarian crisis. We suggest this can be achieved by identifying and strengthening “endogenous child protection practices” (PEP): the approaches established and implemented by local people and communities themselves.

Latest blogs

How can cities in poor countries raise funds for major infrastructure projects? Sarah Colenbrander and Denise Chan look at two success stories and suggest how local governments can build their financial skills and credibility with investors. 
From 'natural disasters' causing large-scale destruction to slow-onset crises such as droughts, through to conflict and persecution, the number of people around the world needing humanitarian assistance is growing – and increasingly, they are found in urban areas.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is comprised of the most water scarce countries in the world. Since 2011, the wave of violent conflicts and protracted crises hitting MENA has badly aggravated the situation. A new study looks at how to improve resilience of water services in the region.

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

E & U Latin America