Risk Is Multiplied By Poverty

“Poorly built urban environments, and the low incomes of many urban dwellers, significantly increase vulnerability to natural hazards. This increases the risk that disasters will devastate both the built environment and the social economy, resulting in longer term and more extensive setbacks to development… On the positive side, most urban environments have considerable strengths in terms of economic production and distribution, human resources, social capital and civil society. Cities by definition are resource-rich and€“ the wealth of human and social capital in cities is part of what draws people to them, and should be used to support humanitarian response, recovery and development throughout disaster-response efforts.” -- ALNAP Responding to Urban Disasters

Situations of extreme poverty and extreme devastation can both be characterized by a failure of normal structural services and urgent need. Building resilience, the ability to adapt to and recover from disaster, is critical in such circumstances, through balanced and diverse means, including social, economic, cultural and physical means. The challenges of informal settlements, in both normal and disaster states, call for integrative cross-sectoral strategies and solutions to maximize impact from scarce resources.



Hainan, Haikou, China


Research Projects



Executive Director:

Thom Mayne


Eui-Sung Yi