UKRI GCRF project "Understanding Risks & Building Enhanced Capabilities in Latin American cities" (URBE Latam), which investigates risk and resilience to rain-related geohazards in Latin American communities had a series of kick-off meetings in Brazil and Colombia 3-8 February, 2020.
During the week of meetings, which took place in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Medellin in Colombia, the project team:
- Presented the project to stakeholders
- Received presentations from local stakeholders
- Held two World Cafe events with stakeholders to explore questions and assumptions related to the project
- Engaged with the communities in each of the neighbourhoods that are part of the project
- Defined the detail of each work package of the project.
URBE Latam's focus is the participatory, inclusive and empowering creation of data. It will systematically incorporate experiences and socio-territorial knowledge of risks, vulnerabilities and sources of community and institutional resilience to the measurement of risks linked to rain in marginalised neighbourhoods exposed to disasters. In the case of this project there is a specific focus on landslides.
In addition to the project partners, presenters at the launch events included: community members from the Morro do Preventorio (Rio de Janeiro) and El Pacífico (Medellín) neighbourhoods; civil defence officers; stakeholders from popular education and pedagogy, community banking, and the arts; and community activists. The open launch days in both cities also provided an opportunity for an initial “dialogue of knowledges” about resilience, geophysical risk, human vulnerability and potentialities in both communities. A community-led visit to both neighbourhoods provided enhanced contextual grounding.
The activities and interactions have already led to a better understanding of the links between the research questions and proposed activities, implicit assumptions, and ideas for creating long term and transformative impact in the practices related to disaster risk reduction at all levels, and specifically at the community and municipal levels.
Image, left: URBE Latam Project Partners in Medellin, Colombia