Reading Development

Random readings on society, politics and change – Jorge Carrillo

The clash between “risk management” and informal urbanisation

This article examines how the idea of “risk” has become one of the most significant frameworks to determine which land is appropriate; which land is unsuitable and which land is desirable for human occupation. Looking at the context of informal urbanisation in the Global South, this text intends to provoke a reflection on how risk-oriented practices have dominated governmental planning and what consequences this framework has for social and ecological justice. Evidence from numerous “urban upgrading” projects shows that risk management has monopolised democratic debates and, indirectly, created obstacles for the right to the city by substantially undermining citizen participation in the decision-making process. While this text does not intend to provide definitive answers, it intends to discuss the challenges of informal urbanisation in hazardous areas, such as landslide and flood-prone sites, and suggests ways of reconsidering land occupation beyond traditional risk-oriented views. The conclusion points to authors and practitioners that have been questioning the monopoly of centralised risk analysis and planning by looking at alternative models to incorporate diverse perspectives towards environmental hazards. This article intends to show that challenging traditional risk management can reshape how planners understand land and, as a result, support active civic participation in land regulation and planning.

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This entry was posted on Saturday, 21 November 2020 by in Urban issues and tagged , .
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