This paper addresses the crucial need to gather more in-depth knowledge on the social construction of hazard by exploring risk exposition in informal settlements. The confluence of certain hazard conditions and inherent or contextual vulnerability configurations increases exponentially the risk of damages in the case of calamitous events. This suggests that the eradication of urban informality may contribute to reduce the vulnerability to natural hazards as well. This study proposes the use of the Geography of Opportunity and the Basic Liveability approach to understand the processes triggering the (re)production of informality and, more specifically, the factors driving settlements localisation into hazard-exposed areas. Two Chilean cities have been taken as case studies, as they constitute a paradigmatic example of social construction of hazard in Latin-America. The proposed case studies allow us to analyse the residential deficit and informality eradication policies in Chile. As a result, we observed that informal settlements are strategically located in relation to the structure of metropolitan opportunities, but the trade-off for this is the occupation of marginal and hazard-exposed areas. The conclusions give some recommendations in order to support policymakers to provide more comprehensive urban planning and risk management strategies to face future challenges, involving issues as urban poverty, social inequality and housing policy in addition to aspects related to pure hazard exposition.

Natural disaster and informality (re)production in Chile

Poletti A.
2019

Abstract

This paper addresses the crucial need to gather more in-depth knowledge on the social construction of hazard by exploring risk exposition in informal settlements. The confluence of certain hazard conditions and inherent or contextual vulnerability configurations increases exponentially the risk of damages in the case of calamitous events. This suggests that the eradication of urban informality may contribute to reduce the vulnerability to natural hazards as well. This study proposes the use of the Geography of Opportunity and the Basic Liveability approach to understand the processes triggering the (re)production of informality and, more specifically, the factors driving settlements localisation into hazard-exposed areas. Two Chilean cities have been taken as case studies, as they constitute a paradigmatic example of social construction of hazard in Latin-America. The proposed case studies allow us to analyse the residential deficit and informality eradication policies in Chile. As a result, we observed that informal settlements are strategically located in relation to the structure of metropolitan opportunities, but the trade-off for this is the occupation of marginal and hazard-exposed areas. The conclusions give some recommendations in order to support policymakers to provide more comprehensive urban planning and risk management strategies to face future challenges, involving issues as urban poverty, social inequality and housing policy in addition to aspects related to pure hazard exposition.
Geography of opportunity; Hazard; Risks; Urban informality; Vulnerability
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11311/1125377
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