Does Understanding Urban Growth Build Resilient Cities?

As urban growth pushes more people into larger areas, it is vital to understand how a city’s expansion exposes its citizens to new dangers.

As the world’s cities continue to expand they become more vulnerable to destructive forces such as earthquakes, flooding, and air pollution. With India’s urban population expected to swell by an additional 400 million by 2050, and China forecasted to have an additional 300 million city dwellers, this is a pressing problem that spatial planning is helping to address. We need to know where the risks are in a city, and which populations are vulnerable to them.

Professor Deborah Balk, supported by the AXA Research Fund, is looking at urban growth through a spatial lens. Her work emphasizes that understanding how a city grows will help to identify its vulnerabilities. It stresses that knowing which areas are exposed to what threats enables more effective preventative solutions to be put in place. Citizens want their cities to be more resilient and more liveable, and the more we understand our cities the more we can do to improve them.

This is the last of five short films with the AXA Research Fund to inspire understanding of the hazards faced by urban areas, and the ways in which we are working to minimize their impact and make the world’s cities safer.

Other films in this series cover urban data & spatial planning, flooding, air pollution, and earthquakes.

Learn more HERE.

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