The role of 'connection' in participatory management of landslide risk in low-income settlements in Medellin, Colombia

Harry Smith, Maria Soledad Garcia Ferrari, Gabriela M. Medero, Helena Rivera

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

Informal settlements are often located on steep hillsides, exposing residents to the hazard of landslides. This paper will discuss the implementation of a participatory action research project in Comuna 8 of Medellin, Colombia, which has the following objectives: (a) to analyse perceptions of landslide risk among the community and public sector organisations; (b) to pilot participatory monitoring and mitigation approaches in a case study community; and (c) to explore the potential for negotiated strategic landslide risk management. In addressing these objectives the project is establishing and/or developing several layers of connections between the community in the informal settlement and other actors, both in the Global South and in the Global North. The potential of these connections to be transformative are analysed in this paper focusing on the following types of relation: (1) between community and academia – including both local and foreign academia, with an approach having been developed in Medellin based on the ‘dialogue of knowledges’; (2) between community and public sector agencies – aided by the development of ‘technical’ proposals which the latter demand in order to engage in ‘political’ dialogue; and (3) between Global South and Global North, in this case by setting up a community-based landslide monitoring system whereby trained volunteers in the community regularly post photos of key observation points via mobile technology, which are jointly analysed remotely by experts in partner universities in the UK and Colombia. The paper will reflect on the potential the development of such connections has to underpin the co-production of safer environments for informal settlement residents.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017
Event18th N-AERUS: Network-Association of European Researchers on Urbanisation in the South: What urban in a hyper-connected Global South? - Polotecnico di Milano, Milan, Italy
Duration: 14 Sep 201716 Sep 2017
Conference number: 18tth
http://n-aerus.net/wp/?page_id=798

Conference

Conference18th N-AERUS: Network-Association of European Researchers on Urbanisation in the South
Abbreviated titleN-AERUS
CountryItaly
CityMilan
Period14/09/1716/09/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • low-income settlements
  • landslide management

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