Cities at Risk pp 149-170 | Cite as

Perceptions of Climate Variability and Coping Strategies in Informal Settlements in Dhaka, Bangladesh

  • Huraera Jabeen
  • Cassidy Johnson
Part of the Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research book series (NTHR, volume 33)


Many of the urban poor living in Dhaka city, Bangladesh are frequently exposed to flood hazards, as most of the informal settlements are located in highly flood-prone areas of the city. Based on findings from household surveys in two informal settlements in Dhaka, this chapter seeks to examine the relationship between people’s perceptions of flood hazards and the actions they take to reduce their vulnerability. It also explores the latent drivers (psychological, environmental and political) behind these perceptions and behaviours. The findings conclude that risk perceptions and related preparedness actions are framed by the highly vulnerable context in which the urban poor live in. Although they are extremely anxious about their exposure to a range of hazards or any life stresses, their limited power to influence institutional-level affairs encourages undertaking more individual and household preparedness through a range of different activities. The chapter suggests that the experience of relatively small hazard events on a yearly basis fosters highly-tuned perceptions about hazard risk and high levels of worry, thereby making the urban poor more resilient to a range of hazards and life stresses.


Natural Hazard Social Vulnerability Flood Hazard Informal Settlement Urban Poor 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ArchitectureBRAC UniversityDhakaBangladesh
  2. 2.Development Planning Unit, Faculty of the Built EnvironmentUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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