Natalja Wehmer


Cities and tows are places with the highest population numbers and densities on the planet. They have been the centres of conglomeration, politic, culture, innovation and connectivity within the globalized world. Globally, cities consume more water, food, vast array of raw materials and consume up to 67% of all energy and contribute 71% of all greenhouse gas emissions. They also exhibit the contrast of poverty and wealth in close physical proximity, with slums located right next to the shining high-rises and gated elite communities. This continuous urbanization mainly swells the numbers of low-income households leading to what some experts have termed by “urbanization of poverty”. However, Cities and towns are also entities whose functioning mostly depends on higher order, interrelated systems. The dynamic nature of urban environments and bad inter-relationships between infrastructure, institutions and ecosystems can lead to cascading failures or “complex disasters”. This characteristic makes the urban areas different from surrounding countryside especially in vulnerabilities. The resilience here is defined as the ability to withstand, recover from and reorganize in response to crises to improve by strengthening “resilience characteristic” such as robustness, redundancy and resourcefulness and “resilience performance” such as risk reduction/preparation, response and recovery of various population groups and urban subsystems.


Cities And Towns; Centre; Poverty; Complex Disaster; Resilience

Full Text:



ADB (2012) Fast Facts: Vulnerable Cities – WakingUp to the Need for Urban Disaster Risk Management, .

David Dodman and David Satterthwaite (2008) Institutional Capacity, Climate Change Adaptation and the Urban Poor, IDS Bulletin Volume 39 Number 4, .

David Satterthwaite (2011) Editorial: Why is community action needed for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation?, Environment and Development, Vol 23(2), pp. 339-349

ESCAP (2010) Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2009

ESCAP (2011) Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific 2011

ESCAP (2012) Trends and progress in the field of environment and development: emerging and persistent issues in sustainable urban development, E/ESCAP/CED (2)/ 6,

IFRC (2010) World Disasters Report 2010: Focus on Urban Risk

Jo da Silva (2012) Shifting Agendas: Response to Resilience, ICE, 9th Brunel International Lecture Series, .

New York Times (2010), Environmental Refugees Unable to Return Home, By Joanna Kakissis, published: January 3, 2010,

R. Djalante (2012), Adaptive governance and resilience, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst.Sci., 12, 2923–2942,

Saudia Anwer (2012), Climate Refugees in Bangladesh: Understanding the

migration process at the local level, .

UN Habitat (2009), State of the World’s Cities Report 2008/ 2009: Harmonious Cities.

World Bank (2011), Climate Change, Disaster Risk and the Urban Poor: Cities Building Resilience for a Changing World, editor Judy L. Baker

World Economic Forum (2013), Global Risks 2013: An Initiative of the Risk Response Network, Eighth Edition,

Bai, Xuemei and Imura, H. (2000) A comparative study of urban environment in East Asia: Stage model of urban environmental evolution, International Review for Environmental Strategies, vol.1 No.1, 2000, Hayama, Japan, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, pp. 135-158. .



  • There are currently no refbacks.


Indexing and Abstracting :



Journal of Architecture & Environment is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License


View JoAE Stats