Latin America is the most urbanised region in the world where serious
problems of poverty and inequality persist. A total of 111 million urban
dwellers live in informal settlements that are highly vulnerable to
disasters. What is more, 80% of the impacts of disasters in the region
are felt in the cities, affecting the poorest populations hardest. This
Guide begins by describing the complex interaction between processes of
urbanisation and natural hazards that generate and intensify disaster
risk in Latin America. It then provides a panorama of the evolution of
urban disaster risk management in the region, including examples of key
achievements towards building more resilient cities. The Guide assesses
which contextual factors have enabled these successes and draws out the
main lessons to be considered in other regions. Finally, it presents key
publications and organisations to link readers to additional resources
to learn more.
The relationship between urban poverty and disaster risk is conditioned
by the capacity of city and local governments to plan and regulate urban
development using disaster risk management approaches.
By incorporating DRM into urban planning, governments can promote
equitable urbanisation processes that reduce vulnerability and
contribute to sustainable development goals.
Resettlement programmes are probably the most complex examples of urban
risk management in Latin America given that they include components of
land planning, information, training and regulation.
Watanabe, M. ELLA Guide: Urban Disaster Risk Management in Latin American Cities. ELLA, Practical Action Consulting, Lima, Peru (2013) 13 pp.