Can the vulnerable be resilient? Co-existence of vulnerability and disaster resilience: Informal settlements in the Philippines

Usamah, M, Handmer, J, Mitchell, D and Ahmed, I 2014, 'Can the vulnerable be resilient? Co-existence of vulnerability and disaster resilience: Informal settlements in the Philippines', The International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (IJDRR), vol. 10, no. PartA, pp. 178-189.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Can the vulnerable be resilient? Co-existence of vulnerability and disaster resilience: Informal settlements in the Philippines
Author(s) Usamah, M
Handmer, J
Mitchell, D
Ahmed, I
Year 2014
Journal name The International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction (IJDRR)
Volume number 10
Issue number PartA
Start page 178
End page 189
Total pages 12
Publisher Elsevier
Abstract This paper explores the relationship between vulnerability and resilience in the context of informal settlements, using a case study of two barangays in a rural province in the Philippines. Central to the discussion in this paper is whether and how vulnerability and resilience can exist simultaneously. The authors first identify community vulnerability, which is explored through geographical, economic, and physical vulnerability. Another element involves land-related vulnerability characterised by unsustainable land use, poor urban planning, non-existence of building codes and weak land administration. Approximately sixty per cent of all properties in the case study areas are held in informal land tenures. Many of these informal settlers have established houses on land with a high hazard risk - for example, adjacent to rivers, on disused railway reserves and along road corridors. The result is they face the threat of eviction, and may have difficulty returning to their land after disasters.Qualitative analysis of households in the case study areas revealed that the strength of social relationships helps to reduce the vulnerability of the communities. A paradoxical relationship between vulnerability and resilience is evident. Strong community perceptions of their level of resilience to the impacts of disasters are supported by the social domains of the community. They have inbuilt resilience resulting from the perception of disasters as part of life, strong social bonds and government awareness of the validity of the informal settlements.
Subject Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified
Community Planning
Keyword(s) Informal settlements
Philippines
Resilience
Vulnerability
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2014.08.007
Copyright notice © 2014 Elsevier Ltd .All rights reserved
ISSN 2212-4209
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 19 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 12 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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