Urban Resilience: Understanding how Poor Communities Survive when Public Policies are Inappropriate

By Edinéa Alcântara, Fátima Furtado and Circe Monteiro.

Published by The Global Studies Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This article discusses the urban resilience of poor communities faced with the socio-economic and environmental impacts that moving the location of their housing to a housing estate has on their lives, and how this population deals with everyday difficulties by finding ways to resist processes that undermine equilibrium. Resilience is defined as the human capacity to resist and overcome adverse experiences, being strengthened or changed by them. Rather than being an individual capacity, resilience results from solidarity and the gift, which are social resources available to these communities when facing difficulties in everyday life and the failure of public policy. The results show that motivations for helping others are associated with the personal context, the context of the other, and the spatial context. However, this powerful resource may be weakened or destroyed by inadequate public policies. Closer acquaintance with the urban resilience of a community may contribute to strengthening communities and their quality of life when faced with adverse circumstances and hostile environments.

Keywords: Urban Resilience of Poor Communities, Solidarity, Gift, Housing Policy, Housing Development, Low-Income Communities, The Everyday, The Place

Global Studies Journal, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.93-104. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 916.424KB).

Dr. Edinéa Alcântara

Researcher, Urban Development and Urbanism, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Dr. Edinéa Alcântara is a civil engineer, who received a Msc in Environmental Management and Policy and a Ph.D in Urban Development and Urbanism at the Federal University of Pernambuco. Dr. Edinéa Alcântara has experience in the public and the third sector in housing projects, urban development and environmental assessment projects and teaching. Dr. Edinéa Alcântara is a fellow of Ashoka–Innovators for the Public, a fellow of LEAD– Leadership of Environment and Development, and a fellow of the Ford Motor Company International Fellowship Program of the 92nd Street Y (2004) and Environmental Consultant of the Recife City Council. Dr. Edinéa Alcântara is the coordinator of the Revitalization of the Olho d’Água Lagoon Plan, Jaboatão dos Guararapes, which was recognized as one of the 100 Best Practices in the World for the Second United Nations Conference on Human Settlements–Habitat II.

Prof. Fátima Furtado

Associated Professor, Post-graduation Program on Urban Development, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Fátima Furtado was born in Campina Grande, in the northeast of Brazil and has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 1979), a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning (Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, 1982) and a PhD in Planning Sudies (University College London, 1996). Fátima Furtado has worked as a regional and urban planning and management consultant, focusing on the development of project methodologies and tools in fields such as: regional and urban planning, environmental planning and management, urban resillience and sustainability indicators and historic sites management. Currently, Fátima Furtado works as a Researcher and Associated Professor at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco and leads the Laboratory of Peri-urban Studies-LEPUR.

Dr. Circe Monteiro

Senior Professor, Dept of Architecture and Urbanism, Federal University of Pernambuco, Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil

Circe Monteiro was born in Curitiba and has a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture and Urban Planning (Universidade Federal do Paraná), a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning (COPPE, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro) and a PhD in Urban Sociology (University of Oxford). Circe Monteiro is a visiting professor at Bartlett School of Architecture-UCL, London (1995) and Faculty of Architecture of the University of Sydney, Austrália (2005). Currently, Circe Monteiro leads the LATICE–Laboratory of Research Technologies of the City (Recife, PE), which develops research on the assessment of public space, housing in low income areas, housing developments and historical areas, urban crimes and space relations, culture and daily life in the city. Circe Monteiro is a titular professor at the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco and sits on national and international committees and editorial boards.


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