Stepping back Understanding cities and their systems
ALNAP’s new research initiative explores how humanitarians can better understand urban contexts. It explores the concepts and terminology around ‘urban systems’ as well as how humanitarians can most effectively embed these concepts into their practice.
This paper is the first output of the research. Section 2 outlines the methodology and evidence base. Section 3 explores the urban context:
What do we mean by ‘urban’? How are urban contexts dense, diverse and dynamic? Why is an understanding of urban contexts important?
Section 4 introduces a systems approach to cities and a typology for urban systems. Section 5 considers how we should approach the exercise of understanding urban contexts through an urban systems lens, and what barriers there currently are to doing so. Section 6 reflects on barriers to our understanding, and Section 7 concludes with next steps for this research initiative.
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