Wednesday 7
Urban sustainability & water
Claudia Pahl Wostl tbc
› 14:30 - 15:30 (1h)
People's Perception of Natural Resources – Understanding Urban Ecological Resilience of Surface Watercourses in Medellín, Colombia
Luisa Fernanda Roldan Rojas  1@  
1 : Institut of Regional Science, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology  (IfR, KIT)  -  Website
Kaiserstraße 12 76131 Karlsruhe Phone +49 721 608 42365 Fax: +49 721 608 42888 -  Allemagne

In developing countries, the current urban planning focuses on the construction of necessary infrastructure in order to meet the community's basic needs (UN-HABITAT, 2012). However, the environment is often not taken into account by policymakers and planners, what has led to the deterioration of natural resources in the cities (Duh et al., 2008, Ernstson et al., 2010, and Romero & Qin, 2011). In the case of urban surface watercourses (USWC), there are two perspectives. On the one hand, a large proportion of the settlements next to the watercourses are marginal areas, where the USWC banks are invaded without planning. Additionally, the USWC are used as sewers, due to the absence of an adequate sewage system. On the other hand, invading the banks, channelling and covering the USWC are parts of some planned projects of both public and private, which are developed in both marginal and non-marginal areas. Using the concrete case of Medellín, Colombia, this article analyzes the perception of the USWCs by the population near to them, in order to understand the current trend of urban development and to recognize its role in managing a resilient social-ecological system. For this purpose, 1182 inhabitants from different social groups and communities, who live next to 10 USWCs of the Medellin city, were surveyed with a face-to-face interview format between April and May 2013. The survey included open and closed questions on the evaluation and use of the USWC and its surroundings, and on the possible improvement works in those areas. The water and ecological quality of the selected USWCs were also documented with physicochemical parameters and photo documentation. The data analysis is based on the analytical framework proposed by Ratner et al. (2013): initial context, action arena, patterns of interaction and outcomes. Results shows, peoples' perception on the resilience of a USWC varies according to social and political status of the communities. Particularly, it varies individual to individual, community to community. That is not a contradictory outcome to the scientific community of climate change adaptation science, but the methodology applied here shows its novelty and uniqueness for sustainable development planning in general.



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