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Urban disaster resilience: learning from the 2011 Bangkok flood
Before I did my PhD I was deploying to disasters in Asia and the Pacific with a charity organisation. I was also working with the United Nations and other aid agencies to train governments and communities in disaster preparedness and response in countries such as Afghanistan, Malaysia, Indonesia and Kenya.
With rural assumptions underpinning humanitarian aid, urbanisation has been called the ‘game-changer’ for international relief and development work. My research is focused on looking for new ways to protect rapidly growing low-income neighbourhoods from exposure to disaster risk. Using the 2011 Thailand floods as a case study, my research investigates the operational reality of resilience in the Bang Bua Canal in Bangkok. Over 100 people were interviewed from three low-income neighbourhoods and a further 40 key informants from the government, aid agencies and the private sector. The aim of my research is to learn from the 2011 Bangkok flood in order to develop a framework for urban disaster resilience that will help humanitarians to better assist the urban poor to prepare for and respond to disasters.