Urban Africa: Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK)

Duration: 01/15 - 01/18

In the context of rapid and often unplanned growth, many African cities face the prospect of increased disaster risk, particularly the urban poor. Urban African Risk Knowledge (Urban ARK) is a three-year programme focusing on six cities in sub-Saharan Africa – Dakar (Senegal), Ibadan (Nigeria), Karonga (Malawi), Mombasa (Kenya), Nairobi (Kenya) and Niamey (Niger) – that explores the relationship between natural hazards in urban areas and social vulnerabilities such as inadequate housing, lack of sanitation and crime.

By adopting a holistic understanding of risk that connects environmental vulnerabilities with social factors such as poverty and exclusion, the project aims to extend the current evidence base on urban disaster resilience in Africa while also building local capacity through workshops, meetings and knowledge sharing. The findings will support policy makers in the six study areas and cities elsewhere in the region to anticipate and respond to future environment threats.

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Mark Pelling (Principal Investigator, Professor of Geography)
Ibidun Adelekan (Senior Lecturer)
Adriana Allen (Professor of Development Planning and Urban Sustainability)
Alex Barcena (Risk and Resilience Adviser)
Soumana Boubacar (Research Professor)
David Dodman (Teaching Fellow)
Nick Hall (Head of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation)
Patricia Holly Purcell (Senior Strategic Partnerships Advisor at UN-Habitat)
Chris Jack (Principal Scientific Officer)
Cassidy Johnson (Senior Lecturer)
Rita Lambert (Teaching Fellow)
Hayley Leck (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Caren Levy (Senior Lecturer)
Bruce Malamud (Professor of Natural and Environmental Hazards)
Mtafu Manda (Lecturer in Urban and Environmental Planning)
Blessing Mberu (Head of Urbanisation and Wellbeing)
James Millington (Lecturer)
Shreya Mitra (Senior Programme Officer, Environment, Climate Change and Security)
Susan Parnell (Professor, Environmental and Geographical Sciences)
Lorena Pasquini (Lecturer)
David Satterthwaite (Teaching Fellow and Visiting Professor)
Jo da Silva (Director, Arup International Development)
Faith Taylor (Postdoctoral Research Associate)
Janani Vivekananda (Head of Environment, Climate Change and Security)

Improved data collection methodologies for disaster risk assessments in urban Africa, drawing on a range of variables.

Multi-stakeholder participation in case study areas through workshops, science meetings and other activities.

Establishment of local resource hubs in selected cities to undertake data collection, interpretation and knowledge sharing.

Urbanization in sub-Saharan Africa: trends and implications for development and urban risk
14 December 2015

How risk accumulates in African cities – and ways to break the cycle
17 February 2017

Urban risks: Where are the top five biggest blind spots?
4 May 2017

Addressing the needs of vulnerable groups in urban areas
10 May 2017

Fighting injustice helps in creating resilient urban spaces
12 May 2017

A Special Approach to Slum Upgrading: The Special Planning Area in Mukuru, Nairobi
13 October 2017