This paper introduces the state of informal settlements in Latin America and the Caribbean, and it explores potential relationships between informal settlements and national policies on urban development and disaster risk reduction, especially on how risk governance and disaster resilience are conceived and practiced by governments.
17 Habitat III National Reports issued during the preparatory process toward the New Urban Agenda in 2016 are analyzed using statistics and qualitative methods. Some quantitative variables, such as access to drinking water and sewerage in the region, are combined with qualitative data from references to the Sendai Framework and national urban policies in the mentioned reports. Countries in the study include Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay.
Results show that the situation of informal settlements in the region is complex and presents two different realities that coexist: one group of countries in which provision of basic urban services poses great challenges for a significant proportion of the urban population, while the other group in which urban informality and precariousness persists despite better statistics. Risk governance and disaster resilience principles are scarcely articulated in existing urban development discourses in the region.
The preparatory process toward the New Urban Agenda allowed to conduct an original updated cross-country analysis and to identify cross-cutting issues on informality, risk reduction, and urban development in the region.
Sandoval, V. and Sarmiento, J.P. (2020), "A neglected issue: informal settlements, urban development, and disaster risk reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean", Disaster Prevention and Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/DPM-04-2020-0115Download as .RIS
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