Vulnerability and resilience : a framework of development for poor urban communities

Zaiter, Hassan; (2022) Vulnerability and resilience : a framework of development for poor urban communities. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 459-466. ISBN 9781914241161

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Due to the rapid urbanisation in the last century and the lack of provision of housing by the State, informal construction spread all over the city of Beirut creating low-income neighbourhoods. Today, informal settlements became a part of the city, however, distinguished by their old buildings, weak provision of services and facilities, and poverty. The explosion of Lebanon’s capital destroyed more than 6,000 buildings in the city, displacing around 300,000 people. With its buildings dating from the 1930s and 1940s, the neighbourhood of Karantina was highly affected by the blast that damaged most of the houses, displacing the majority of the residents. This paper focuses on the inclusion of professionals and architects in the upgrade of buildings in the most vulnerable urban neighbourhoods to become resilient to disasters and emergencies. The situation of the buildings and apartments poses many questions in terms of architectural quality, safety, health, and privacy, among others. This study proposes a strategy for the development of the neighbourhood’s resiliency to external factors. Action tools are given based on the needs of the users, while the priority follows the criticality of the problems that are found in the neighbourhood following a survey on the urban and building levels. Finally, the resilience of poor and vulnerable urban communities to emergencies and disasters takes another form in Beirut with the presence of old buildings together with a long history of negligence from the State. Up to date, those densely populated and poor residential neighbourhoods are not recognised as informal.

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