ACTUS present at the Urban ARK conference in Malawi
I immediately accepted Mark Pelling’s invitation to be part of the Urban ARK International Science Conference and Stakeholder Meeting. This 3-day event organized by the Mzuzu University was held early this year 1st-3rd of February in Malawi. The conference was attended by a top-range of delegates mostly from African and European universities, international NGOS and a few development agencies.
The Urban Ark conference purposefully took place in beautiful and green Lilongwe. In many aspects Lilongwe is representative of mid-range and smaller cities in transition across East Africa, having today the opportunity to plan and protect infrastructure in expansion. So, inevitably the question was posed: How can cities such as Lilongwe face climate related hazards and simultaneously reach their development goals in the future? And how can research in risk reduction and critical infrastructure contribute to steering climate-proof development in Africa?
Urban ARK’s research consortium investigates 7 cities across the continent. While Dar es Salaam is not one of their case study, it remains an important one. Dar es Salaam is Tanzania’s most important economic hub and faces multiple risks. These risks are being addressed through local and international research more systematically in the last 6 years. For instance, the city has a literature based from projects such as CLUVA, platforms such as PeriPeri U, PhD programs focusing on infrastructure and technology as well as long established scholarly efforts on land management, infrastructure, governance, informal sector and climate change (Kombe, 2006; Kyessi, 2010; Mung’ong’o & Yanda, 2006; Kiunsi, 2011; Hamudu et al., 2012, Shemdoe et al., 2014). Consequently, Dar es Salaam is steadily building the knowledge based to protect its infrastructure and may well serve as an example for a smarter development in the region.
Post by Dr. Nathalie Jean-Baptiste