Urban questions

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Urban questions

Crisis and post-crisis operations in urban contexts are particularly complex and increasingly frequent. Numerous crises, conflicts and disasters are now taking place in cities. These tend to have a high impact and destabilize urban systems due to the destruction of infrastructure, the breakdown of interaction between territories (administrative, human and geographical) and between networks (mobility, public services and trade), and the creation of operational difficulties for the institutions that oversee the life of the city. Humanitarian actors must therefore integrate themselves into these systems and adapt their programmes and operational methods to these often chaotic contexts, at the right scale of intervention, particularly in terms of rehousing.     

Every crisis destabilizes the systems that make up a city. It is therefore important to decipher what is related to the source of the crisis itself, and its impacts on the functioning and governance of existing urban systems, in order to guide action in these specific periods of transition between the destructuring of the urban environment and the inevitable expansion of the city.

Housing has become a major issue in these areas where access to property is controlled by actors of varying legitimacy and power, and where the rules that are applied are more or less codified and respected.


The sector has begun to reflect on how to adapt its practices to these “new” contexts. Groupe URD was one of the pioneers on this issue and we have produced several books on it. We are a member of the French Alliance for Cities and Territorial Development (PFVT), a platform of French actors involved in urban cooperation, and of the Global Alliance for Urban Crises, which was created following the World Humanitarian Summit.



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