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Urban Transformations Across Borders: The Interwoven Influence of Regionalisation, Urbanisation and Climate Change in the Mekong Region

  • Richard Friend
  • Pakamas Thinphanga
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the Mekong region, a part of the world that is going through one of the most dramatic periods of urbanisation and economic integration, while also being highly vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters. Drawing on climate vulnerability assessments conducted in cities in Thailand and Vietnam under a regional programme, the chapter illustrates the significance of approaching disaster risk and climate change through the combination of systems and people-oriented approaches, rather than territorial approaches for understanding the regional and trans-boundary dimensions of climate vulnerability and disaster risk. The chapter considers the ways in which urbanisation creates new patterns of vulnerability and risk that go beyond spatial impacts of specific events. In addition to the agglomeration of assets and resources in specific physical locations, contemporary urbanization depends on complex systems of physical infrastructure and technology for generating services around water, food, energy, transport, and communications. Increasingly these urban systems networked and interlinked, increasingly at regional scales. The ways in which urban people interact with systems to derive benefits are significant factors in shaping both wellbeing and vulnerabilities. Fragility or failure in such systems can have far-reaching implications beyond the location of a specific event. Approaching urban systems as interlinked and networked, we consider cascading impacts of shocks and crises at multiple scales, often beyond the administrative boundaries of cities stretching across national boundaries, and how vulnerabilities and risks are distributed unevenly across different groups of people. In this chapter, we argue that such an approach to risk allows for identification of a range of multiple scale policy interventions, including those at the trans-boundary scale for disaster social protection, disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation; and ultimately for setting a policy agenda for inclusive, transformative urban futures.

Keywords

Urbanisation Climate change Regionalization Disaster governance Cross-border disasters Mekong region 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Environment DepartmentUniversity of YorkYorkUK
  2. 2.Thailand Environment Institute Foundation (TEI)BangkokThailand

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