Endogenous Climate Resilience: Informality in the Pacific’s Small Island Cities
Alexei Trundle presents his PhD research, which examines the interaction between locally-derived, endogenous contributors to urban climate resilience in informal settlements and donor-driven (exogenous) climate resilient development initiatives in two Pacific cities: Honiara, Solomon Islands and Port Vila, Vanuatu. These particular case studies provide critical insight into the accelerating – and predominantly informal – process of urbanisation in a region characterised as one of the world’s most climate vulnerable. They are also of particular relevance to Australia’s role in the region, being key target countries for Australia’s Pacific ‘Step Up’, which centres upon a $500 million “climate change and disaster resilience” package from 2020-2025.
The results of this study show that endogenous climate resilience is an integral part of sub-city community systems and critical to the recovery, survival, and development of climate vulnerable communities. By adapting disbanded resilience thinking heuristics originating from ecological applications – set within institutional analytical frameworks for engaging with informality – strategies are identified for engaging with these informal capacities, with the potential for application both within and beyond the Pacific.
Alexei was previously a research associate at the RMIT University Global Cities Research Institute, working across a range of climate change adaptation projects in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as private sector and local government partners in Australia. He has a background in human geography and development, with ongoing advisory roles with UN-Habitat and the UN Global Compact Cities Programme.
PhD Project: Urban Climate Resilience in Melanesia’s rapid-growth cities: the migrant narrative
Alexei’s PhD project is examining the engagement of migrant households within urban climate resilience initiatives in the rapidly-growing Melanesian cities of Port Vila and Honiara, following recent climate-related disaster events. These two case studies will provide an empirical basis for wider consideration of the role of dynamic migrant households, as well as their unique capacities and perspectives, in resilience thinking and its applications to cities in the context of climate-related shocks and stressors.
Supervisor: Prof. Brendan Gleeson
Start Date: March 2016