In contemporary neoliberal regimes, urban disaster governance typically emphasises resilience of cities and their inhabitants. Marginalised urban people, most vulnerable to disasters, are thereby expected to exhibit self-organisation. Yet cities tend to be (re)constructed for capital, prioritising exchange-value, while the use-value is comparatively under-prioritized. In order to conceptually refocus urban disaster governance on justice for and power of marginalised urban people, we define and discuss three conceptualizations of the Right to the City (RTTC) – institutionalised, Harveyan and neo-Lefebvrian. The institutionalised RTTC is congruent with neoliberal urban disaster governance, but the other two may be used to challenge this conceptualisation. Striving to reclaim decision-making over capital accumulation in the city, a Harveyan RTTC-inspired disaster governance would prioritise addressing the processes of urban marginalisation through democratisation, rather than focusing solely on preparedness for and response to hazards. In partial contrast, a neo-Lefebvrian RTTC-inspired disaster governance would be mainly focused on bottom-up efforts to protect and recover the use-value of the city, particularly for disaster-vulnerable populations. We conclude that a combination of the latter two conceptualizations, expressed through a struggle on multiple terrains involving local self-organisation, formal democratisation and mobilisation of global networks, could make possible a more socially just urban disaster governance.
- 512 Business and Management
- Urban disaster governance
- right to the city
Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)
- AoS: Responsible organising
- AoHP: Humanitarian and societal logistics