Making cities in conflict areas more resilient

May 29th 2018 - 11:13

By 2050, 70 percent of the global population will be living in urban areas according to a UN estimation. Understanding and anticipating the ability of cities to manage and avoid the negative effects of climate-related changes and events – for example, hurricanes, overpopulation or supply chain disruption – is therefore of utmost importance. This paper presents a conceptual framework to empirically quantify the climate resilience of cities to guide policymakers and community leaders in identifying challenges and opportunities.  

The paper tests the framework for data analysis in three cities in conict-prone territories: Bamako (Mali), Maiduguri (Nigeria, Lake Chad Region) and Baghdad (Iraq). The analysis of the three cases suggested that city resilience in those areas cannot be developed without addressing the root causes of conict in the entire area, as city-level resilience in conict areas is closely related to the national level.  

Data analysis can help to bolster the learning capacity of cities to cope with climate impacts that could increase tensions in large urban areas. However, there is a significant difference in the availability of data between the developed and the developing world. Data collection in developing countries (and cities) should be strengthened to better estimate climate-related security risks in urban areas and bolster their capacity to maintain key functions and recover and learn from climate events in their own and comparable cities.  

Authors: Michel Rademaker, Karlijn Jans, Paul Verhagen, Aster Boeschoten, Hannes Rõõs & Stephan Slingerland

Michel Rademaker is the deputy Director of HCSS. He has fifteen years of hands-on experience as an officer in The Royal Netherlands Army, where he held various military operational and staff posts and also served a term in former Yugoslavia. He has a masters degree obtained at the University of Tilburg. After leaving the armed forces, Mr. Rademaker went on to work at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO) as a project and program manager and senior policy advisor on security topics for ten years. Eg. as NATO RTO project leader, he and his team developed serious gaming assessment methods and conducted several assessments of security technologies, and worked on numerous strategic security topics.
Paul Verhagen is a data analyst at HCSS, and holds a Master’s degree in Environment and Resource Management from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree at Amsterdam University College majoring in theoretical physics and philosophy. Paul has attended exchange programs in Beijing, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Prior to joining HCSS, Paul interned at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he worked on global cyber capacity.
Hannes Rõõs is a data scientist at HCSS. He has a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Tartu and also holds Bachelor’s degrees in both Political Science and Sociology from the same university. In addition, he studied at the University of Oslo and the University of Mannheim for a total of three semesters. Prior to HCSS, Hannes worked as a research and teaching assistant at the University of Tartu and the associated Centre of Excellence for Strategic Sustainability.