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Redefining Resilience in the Developed Cities: Opportunities and challenges of the urban built environment as housing for a post-disaster population, Athens and London
1  MSc Urban Studies, Department of Geography, University College London
2  March Architecture Engineering, Faculty of Architecture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki


The multiregional humanitarian crises that have their origins either in natural hazards or manmade disasters are affecting millions of people around the world leading often to their displacement. How cities respond to these crises and to the arising needs of their people is my main problematic. Thus, my research is focused on redefining the concept of resilience through the ability of the developed cities to absorb the displaced population in terms of housing and accommodation within the existing built stock and under any disaster situation. Athens and London, seen from their resilient strategies will be compared and contrasted within frameworks of neighborhood, local, municipal, national and inter-global scale and through the spectrum of an infrastructural failure as Grenfell in London and the severe refugee influx in Athens. What is their response regarding the vulnerable groups’ accommodation in these chronic stresses and/or shocks? Have they used their existing capacity? Drawing on the relevant cases where the immediate shelter was an imperative need, the different scales of the two approaches will be also considered. This means the comparison between the regional level ambitious mechanism of London and the smaller neighborhood one in Athens and how these included or not the existing housing in their shelter strategy. As the last point to be broached, would be the correlation of the established and institutionalized or not policies with more specific events occurred in the two metropolises, how the theoretical principles were implemented and, finally, if and how the housing needs were covered.

Keywords: urban resilience; post-disaster; displacement; housing; shelter; urban governance;