Probing political paradox: Urban expansion, floods risk vulnerability and social justice in urban Africa

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Urban managers in sub-Saharan Africa have recently come under intense pressure to prepare for and adapt to the footprints of rapid peri-urbanization and increased climate-related risks. Addressing spatial planning integral with the urban expansion is not only because climate variability is becoming more prominent. Further, within peri-urban zones, people most often live and work in physical areas of hazard that are commensurate with their economic stability. This makes the need for adaptation amidst inadequate resources imperative. These concerns find expression at the local level, where stakeholders’ priorities focus on the gap between adaptation needs and existing adaptation efforts. Drawing insights from our study in Accra, which combines the perspectives and experiences of practitioners, academics, and citizens, we show how decisions constructed around flood vulnerabilities, people’s actions, and planning processes are seldom neutral. We infer how prioritizing efforts to adapt to floods may privilege some residents and compromise others’ support, agency, and capacities to recover. We call for increased attention to how city authorities can creatively move urban planning toward more informed, inclusive, and supportive recovery visions in response to the consolidation of urban peripheries and increased climate exacerbated flooding in the quest for social justice for all.
TidsskriftJournal of Urban Affairs
Udgave nummer3
Sider (fra-til)505-521
StatusUdgivet - 2023

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