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Nature-Based Solutions for Urban Disaster Mitigation in Middle Income Countries


PI: Dr. Juan Miguel Kanai (University of Sheffield)

Prof. Alexander Lechner (University of Nottingham Malaysia)

Dr. Saut Sagala (Resilience Development Initiative)

Prof. Lindsay Beevers (Heriot-Watt University) and

Mr. Amol Chaphekar (Strata Enviro Pvt Ltd)



Resilience Development Initiative (Indonesia), University of Sheffield (United Kingdom), University of Nottingham Malaysia (Malaysia), Heriot-Watt University (Malaysia), Strata Enviro Pvt Ltd (India)



Indonesia, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Cape Town (SouthAfrica), Mumbai (India) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)


Cities around the world rely on nature-based solutions (NBS) to increase resilience to natural and man-made disasters. High-income economies adopt green/blue infrastructure when expensive infrastructure investments prove ineffective. Low-income human settlements do not build such grey infrastructures due to resource constraints. Yet, cities in middle-income countries are still systematically use urban greenery and sustainably managed waterways instead of (or in combination with) constructed structures for hazards such as flooding, landslides, droughts/water insecurity and poor air quality. This project supports the development of an interdisciplinary network (including human geography, urban planning, landscape ecology, and environmental engineering) to address this gap and promote the incorporation of NBS to city resilience strategies. Multidisciplinary research team one of which is Dr. Saut Sagala (RDI Senior Research Fellow) managed to secure a grant to conduct a research that focus on the synthesis of NBS knowledge across lower-middle income/upper-middle income countries with the concrete objective of applying this learning to Bandung, Indonesia. Using an interdisciplinary, multi-scalar approach, the project will establish a baseline of green/blue infrastructure resources, multi-hazard incidence, and barriers to NBS implementation. The results are intended to showcase our added value, begin informing policy, and inspire further South-South comparative analysis and collaborative learning. For comparative purposes, the research will investigate four additional cities of varying sizes and socio-ecological challenges across a spectrum of lower-middle income/upper-middle income countries: Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Cape Town (South Africa), Mumbai (India) and Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia). Potential barriers to be discussed include global South conditions of social vulnerability and informality in urban development. These findings will be integrated to a database containing (a) data on development patterns and land use/land cover change in urban regions; and (b) georeferenced disaster occurrences. The project will conclude with an international symposium in Bandung to compare city experiences, reach out to Indonesian policymakers, and plan a follow-up internationally comparative project.

Last updated 12 Jul 2022 14:53 pm

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