UNDERSTANDING VULNERABILITY IN CITIES: Perspectives from APRU Vulnerable Communities working group participants

Chingwen Cheng, Stephanie Pincetl, Louise McKenzie

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Participants of the 2018 APRU Vulnerable Community Work Group consisted of researchers in academia and industry from Australia, Hong Kong, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, India, Philippines, Hawai’i, and Western United States. The diversity of our background and experiences and our knowledge in disaster studies have spurred the inquiries among ourselves in learning from each other’s perspectives in vulnerability. We conducted online interviews with ten total interviewees and asked (1) in what ways does vulnerability conceptualized in different cities at various scales? (2) How do various cities approach reducing vulnerability in a (mega) city? (3) What are the key issues for reducing vulnerability in your city? We found that vulnerability is perceived across various spatial scales in cities and across generations. Each place is unique yet interlinked and influenced by both local and global contexts. However, seeking generalizability, which is commonly found in academia, may overlook real-world solutions for reducing vulnerable communities that are sensitive to local context and place-based innovations. The study suggests that researchers and practitioners shall look at differences among the vulnerable communities rather than similarity. It is critical to integrate various viewpoints from different sectors using the approach of taking from different positionality such as practitioner, funder, and dweller to address vulnerability in communities and enhance resilience to climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Cities and Landscapes in the Pacific Rim
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781000532494
ISBN (Print)9780367471149
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


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