Cities experience large and small scale disasters that can pose great challenges to sustainable development, for natural and human-made disasters have enormous economic, social and political impacts on human lives. “Cities, where half of humanity currently resides and much of the world’s assets are concentrated, are fast becoming the locus for much of [the] destruction and loss from disasters.” These risks will increase as urban populations continue to grow.
Disasters can present opportunities for transformative change to begin and advance more quickly because the vulnerabilities that emerge as a result of crisis or disaster are clearer and consensus may be obtained more quickly to mitigate vulnerabilities. Population displacements as a result of disasters further create new settlements that present opportunities for planning how municipalities or cities will be managed and planned to cope, in equitable ways, with population changes.
This issue guide focuses attention on Urban Risk Reduction and Rehabilitation in order to broadly outline the where and how of gender responsive interventions to strengthen planned and future actions to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.