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Workshop: Resilience and Environmental Justice in the Urban Global South

09:30 12 September - 00:00 26 September 2013

Location: DPU Room 101, 34 Tavistock Square, London WC1H 9EZ

Lima - Cerro San Cristobal

Picture Credit: Rita Lambert 2013

Conveners: Adriana Allen, Liza Griffin and Cassidy Johnson, Environmental Justice, Urbanisation and Resilience (EJUR) Research Cluster.

In recent years, urban hazards have been gaining increasing media exposure - capturing the attention of commentators worldwide for their unpredictability and high death tolls. While many of these disasters are attributed to natural causes, their socio-economic impact is often felt more strongly by vulnerable and marginalized groups, especially in the global south., Attempts to make cities more resilient to such disasters are interwoven with existing power structures and their associated injustices. This begs the question; when injustices are prevalent in a city, do they have an impact on its resilience? We might also ask if attempts to govern for greater resilience in southern cities can actually undermine the conditions of justice.

The answer to these complex questions may only become evident when one steps away from the city as a unit of analysis, taking into account the governance of urban resilience, and the actors and relations involved in its governance. It is hoped that this process can provide the building blocks upon which urban resilience can be critically understood and then reconstructed in more just ways.

The interstice between justice – particularly environmental justice – and resilience is, then, the focus of this workshop. We aim to explore the ways in which such tensions play out, as well examining their potential for transformative change.


Susan Parnell, African Centre for Cities - University of Cape Town

Mark Pelling, Department of Geography - King's College London

Mark Swilling, Sustainability Institute - Stellenbosch University

You can download a PDF summary of the programme here.