On 9 January, 2019, UNU-EHS expert Dr. Matthias Garschagen will deliver a public lecture on urbanization as a driver of disaster risk or opportunity for climate resilience as part of the International Civil Protection and Disaster Risk Reduction Lecture Series in Bonn. The series has been organized by the The Bonn Network for International Civil Protection and Disaster Risk Reduction and the lecture will take place at the University of Bonn. The lecture will be in English.
9 January, 2019, 6.15 – 7.45 p.m.
Geozentrum, University of Bonn, Hörsaal II, Meckenheimer Allee 176, 53115 Bonn
Focus of the lecture:
Urban disaster risk is shaped by two colliding megatrends of global change:
urbanization and climate change. The growth of cities, particularly in coastal areas, is
therefore increasingly framed as a risk driver. However, cities grow for good reasons,
as they continue to carry the hopes for economic growth, enhanced quality of life and
social development. Hence, urbanization provides, in principle, strong opportunities
for strengthening the capacity to reduce risk and face environmental hazards. Yet,
this side of the equation is often neglected in the current scientific and political
debates. This presentation therefore contrasts the positive and negative effects of
urbanization on the different elements of risk, including exposure to hazards such as
floods and cyclones, the susceptibility of urban infrastructures and societies, shortterm coping capacities for navigating acute disaster situations, and long-term
capacities to enable the adaptation of cities to future environmental and climatic
hazards. The presentation then discusses the barriers that persist in many countries,
especially of the Global South, to turn urbanization from a driver of disaster risk into
an engine of risk reduction. The talk combines first-hand global analysis based on
statistical data with empirical case studies from Asia and Africa.
For further information please refer to the event flyer.