Book Chapter

'This is our garden now’: disasters and belonging in an urban Pacific

Jennifer Day, Bamforth Tom

Urbanisation at Risk in the Pacific and Asia Disasters, Climate Change and Resilience in the Built Environment | Routledge | Published : 2020


Much humanitarian intervention seems to take belonging as a given. That is, humanitarians presume that people living in a city require no recognition in asserting their place in the city. This chapter argues that ideas about belonging – combined with the structure of governance and humanitarian bias – have created urban populations that have been excluded from receiving emergency assistance during crises in Pacific cities. The chapter centres the narrative on the aftermath of the Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Pam, which made landfall in Vanuatu in 2015. The chapter concludes with recommendations for humanitarians seeking to design better emergency response in Pacific cities.