Urban Emergencies Program

The world is rapidly urbanizing with the majority of the world’s population now living in urban areas. In many rapidly urbanizing states, the slum population now makes up over 60% of the urban populace. This demographic transition is creating complex urban landscapes with disproportionately large slums that concentrate hazards and vulnerabilities to natural and man-made disasters. As a result, humanitarian emergencies will increasingly affect urban populations. Governments will need to proactively create development and planning policies for their urban areas and preparedness plans based on evidence. Humanitarian actors must learn to respond to the unique challenges of urban contexts while exploiting the advantages.

HHI is taking the lead on these complex topics by determining how to appropriately prepare for and respond to urban humanitarian emergencies and the chronic crisis facing urban slum populations. Through the Urban Emergencies Program, we advance knowledge on the chronic and acute needs of urban populations, address these challenges and investigate program and policy solutions. We partner with local actors, government authorities, international agencies and non-government organizations that have the ability to scale up our work and have an immediate impact.

Featured Publication

Published: 
June, 2012

This 
study 
seeks 
to 
offer 
a 
practical 
examination 
of 
resilience 
in 
complex 
urban 
landscapes
 for
 the 
academic 
community 
and 
humanitarian 
actors 
at 
the 
local 
and
international 
levels.
 Distrito
 de
 Aguablanca
 (Cali,
 Colombia),
 a
 complex
 settlement
 area
 with
 some
 600,000
 residents,
 functions 
as 
a 
case 
study in 
human
 security 
and
resilience 
that 
can 
inform 
public
 policy
 and
 community
 level
 decision
 making
 in
 especially
 difficult
 humanitarian
 environments,
 with
 sociopolitical
 volatility,
 large
 populations
 of
 internally
 displaced


Urban Humanitarian Emergencies Course

The Urban Humanitarian Emergencies Course is a three-day training organized by the Academy's Lavine Family Humanitarian Studies Initiative to train humanitarian professionals on the current issues and practices involved in this unique and expanding area of research and practice.

Summer 2016
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA