Assessing Habitats of Vulnerability in African Cities: A Case of Poverty Housing in Ibadan Metropolis

Most cities in developing countries have witnessed unprecedented rapid urbanization and urban growth which many researchers likened to urbanization of poverty. The physical manifestation of this phenomenon has triggered a proliferation of unplanned, informal settlements, insecurity of tenure, and inadequately maintained essential/infrastructural services, occurring in low-income countries including Nigeria. The failure of the urban planning/housing development policies and lack of risk reduction initiatives have increased the vulnerability of urban communities and their inhabitants. As more than a billion urban residents are now living in deplorable conditions. In response to this situation, the study aimed at assessing the urban poor’s vulnerability to poverty housing and inhuman neighbourhood environment, through a well-structured questionnaires survey administered to 386 households in three selected communities in Ibadan metropolis, in order to understand the degree of vulnerability and level of compliance with city development and housing policy.The study also examines the strengths and weaknesses of the urban planning policies, so as to provide possible measures for solutions and recommendations to mitigate disaster risk.

Keywords: Cities, Developing countries, Risk reduction, Vulnerability, Urbanization, Urban poor.

Beyond Carbon Mitigation: the Necessity of Resilience for Commercial Buildings in Disaster-Prone Regions

The way to address climate risk depends on the investment decision that trades off, at least implicitly, carbon mitigation (slowing down the global warming) for resilience management (adapting to the global warming). As a traditional solution, investment in carbon mitigation, such as adopting energy efficient technologies, can save energy cost and get revenues from carbon offset sales. As global temperature continues increasing and more areas are subjected to severe natural disasters, the investment in carbon mitigation becomes less attractive than ever, given that the uncertain cost of structure failure can easily overshadow the merits of saved energy and emissions. Resilience management is therefore gaining prominence as a complementary tool to control the loss from climate risk. This tool, working together with carbon mitigation, is expected to build a more sustainable and resilient community.

This study proposes a dynamic optimization model to characterize firms’ climate actions in the context of disaster-prone regions where the buildings are exposed to the risk of multiple natural disasters. In addition to traditional approaches of reducing carbon emissions, they are offered with an option of enhancing structure resilience for adapting to flooding and hurricanes in the future. Each firm is a profit maximizer. The profit accounts for not only the payoffs from carbon mitigation, but also for the expected losses from building failure in disaster. Seven disaster-prone areas across the United States are studied for illustrative purposes with more than one natural disasters weighing into the loss estimation.