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An urban future: humanitarian preparedness

Time (GMT +01) 13:00 14:30
Hero image description: Urban View: the Republic of Korea's Second Largest City Image credit:UN Photo/Kibae Park Image license:Creative Commons

An urban future: humanitarian preparedness

Contributing chair

Wendy Fenton @WendyFenton1 – Coordinator, Humanitarian Practice Network 



Sikder Ahmed – Director for Youth and Volunteers, Bangladesh Red Crescent Society

Leah Campbell @TheLeahCampbell – Senior Research Officer, Active Learning Network for Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Action (ALNAP)

Daniel Delati – Deputy Country Director in Lebanon, Care International 

David Sanderson @raan1000 – Professor and inaugural Judith Neilson Chair in Architecture, University of New South Wales (UNSW)


Over 4.2 billion people currently reside in urban areas. By 2045, it is predicted that the number will increase to six billion, with most growth taking place in Asia and Africa. Against this backdrop, there has been a sharp rise in crises affecting cities over the past decade.

Many aid agencies have started to urbanise their response, taking into considering the dynamism of cities, resilience on markets and intricate logistics, and the diverse range of populations' needs. While the humanitarian sector recognises that the traditional ways of working in rural areas need revising with tools more suited to urban areas. Most practitioners still lack the practical guidance needed to capitalise on what cities have to offer and take the long view to build help build resilience.

This event launches the Humanitarian Practice Network's Good Practice Review on humanitarian response in urban contexts and addresses the following:

  • How can the humanitarian sector better balance between responding to the immediate needs but also add value in the long-term?
  • What are the continual challenges faced when operating in urban areas?
  • What will the future look like for humanitarians responding to urban crises?
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