Urban Risks and Resilience in India
Risk in urban India is often experienced differently from risk in rural areas, and needs to be understood in the context of urbanisation and the associated socio-economic, political and environmental processes. Despite the global shift from a hazard-centric response approach to a more holistic risk reduction approach, India’s policy, infrastructure, capacity and financing still prioritises emergency response and rehabilitation. Therefore, its policy and programmatic focus needs to move from the idea of ‘disasters’ to the concept of ‘risk’, which is a composite of hazards, vulnerabilities, exposure and capacities. While examining the causes and areas of risk concentration in urban India, the authors of this commentary look at the challenges to resilience building, including limited resources, lack of data, and the lack of a multi-hazard governance approach. They analyse existing international frameworks for their suitability, and recommend how risk reduction practices could be integrated in existing national programmes, to achieve disaster risk reduction, greater resilience and overall sustainable development.