This work introduces the state of informal settlements in Latin America and the Caribbean based on a comprehensive review of recent reports on urban development from national governments. The authors explore potential relationships between informal settlements and national policies on urban development and disaster risk reduction, especially on how risk governance and disaster resilience are conceived and practiced. This paper analyzes 17 Habitat III National Reports issued during the preparatory process towards the New Urban Agenda in 2016 from: Argentina, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Uruguay. Using statistics and qualitative methods, the authors look at variables such as access to drinking water and sewerage in the region, along with references to the Sendai Framework and urban policies.
Results show that the situation of informal settlements in the region is complex and presents two different realities that coexist: there is one group of countries in which the provision of basic urban services poses great challenges for a significant proportion of the urban population, while the other group experiences urban informality and precariousness despite better statistics. Risk governance and disaster resilience principles are scarcely articulated in existing urban development discourses in the region.
This paper is a contribution to the 2019 edition of the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (GAR 2019).
To cite this paper:
Sandoval, V. and Sarmiento, J.P. A neglected issue: Informal settlements, urban development, and disaster risk reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean. Contributing Paper to GAR 2019