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Title: Urban risk communication in Ahmedabad, India : between slum dwellers and the municipal corporation
Author: Woiwode, Christoph
ISNI:       0000 0004 2672 6299
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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Since rapid urban growth forces poor households to settle in highly congested urban areas, slum dwellers are increasingly vulnerable due to a multiplicity of hazards rooted in the environment, nature, health, society and the urban economy. Hitherto, the understanding of urban risks and the vulnerability of inhabitants has been an underrepresented subject in urban planning. The different reasoning and rationales of slum dwellers, municipal authorities and other actors provide each with different perceptions of risks. This study focuses on the communication of urban risks between two slum communities and the Municipal Corporation of Ahmedabad by examining endeavours in slum improvement and more responsive urban governance. In using a conceptual framework that synthesises socio-cultural approaches to risk, communication theories and collaborative planning theory, the thesis points out the deficiencies and potentials of risk communication in long-term urban development planning. Currently urban risk management is not recognised as an integrated, cross-sectoral topic by the Municipal Corporation. Due to the structural fabric of the administration and the lack of capacity and guidance, the notion of risk is based on conventional approaches to disaster risk management with responsibilities spread across various departments. By contrast, slum dwellers have a much more integrated understanding of the micro-level risk conditions in which they live and work. The findings of this study suggest that a meaningful two-way communication process can only take place if the interaction of stakeholders is understood in terms of human relationships that go beyond techno-bureaucratic co-ordination and the prevalent notion of mono-directional communication. This concept of communication is underpinned by values such as trust, fairness, credibility and justice in interaction in the context of urban governance. The research approach and the findings suggest areas for improved policy making and further research. The outcome of the research especially contributes to a better understanding of urban risk situations in the social and cultural contexts of poor communities in India. Hence this investigation may be viewed as a potential basis for generating practical guidelines for mitigation policies and their links to urban governance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available