The Role of Ecosystem Services and Adaptive Capacity in the Resilience of Poor Urban Areas

Waters, James (2013) The Role of Ecosystem Services and Adaptive Capacity in the Resilience of Poor Urban Areas. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis aims to understand the important features of resilience for individuals living in poor urban areas. There is currently little understanding of the role of ecosystem services, or the key components of adaptive capacity in these areas. As urbanisation continues apace, it is of utmost importance that we understand how to build resilience in slums and informal settlements. This thesis contributes to this challenge by finding determinants of adaptive capacity, the degree to which ecosystem services are used, and significant heterogeneities in slum adaptive capacity.
The research is based on empirical fieldwork in three slum areas in Kampala, Uganda. Study areas were chosen at differing distances from the city centre to the periphery, with data collected at the individual level. Mixed methods were used and included pre-study open interviews, a random survey questionnaire, and focus groups. A total of 720 questionnaires capture the bulk of the information, and contain two relatively novel methods – a presentation of adaptive capacity statements, and a social network analysis.
The thesis finds that slum residents use local ecosystem services very little but where there are green spaces, they are valued for benefits such as recreation or aesthetics. Slum residents tend to deal with problems with the help of others, and social networks are critical for adaptive capacity. Other significant determinants of adaptive capacity include innovation, feelings of control, and a sense of place. There are significant differences in adaptive capacities and social networks between slums areas, and specific population groups. These results give policy key features of resilience to build on, and highlight the importance of assessing where strengths and weaknesses lie. The determinants of resilience in poor urban areas are unique, but once understood, enable us to reduce vulnerability for a vast proportion of the world's population living in slums and informal settlements.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
Depositing User: Users 2259 not found.
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 17:02
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 17:02

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