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Saleh Ahmed unpacks the discussions around resilience and development

Saleh Ahmed

Saleh Ahmed, an assistant professor of Global Studies and Environmental Studies in the School of Public Service, recently published a chapter on resilience and development in “The Routledge Handbook of Planning Megacities in the Global South.”

In his chapter, “Urban resilience and sustainable development trajectories: Insights from Dhaka,” he argues that development and resilience efforts should be decentralized and should reach people beyond the geographical and/or jurisdictional boundaries of any city.

Both development and resilience are multi-scaler and multi-dimensional. A region-wide development strategy, which includes development and resilience efforts in the rural areas and small towns, can play an effective role of managing urban challenges in megacity context. Cities in the global South have a history of undermining the importance of economic growth, development and investments in areas outside of major urban centers. Without carefully planning, interventions, and investments in core and peripheral areas, cities in the global South will not be able to achieve inclusive growth, development and resilience. Ahmed highlights all these interconnected aspects of development and resilience, which have strong policy relevance in other parts of the global South facing similar social, economic and urban challenges.

In the same line, Ahmed also reviewed “Resilience: The Science of Adaptation to Climate Change,” (eds. by Zinta Zommers and Keith Alverson) for the Journal of Planning Education and Research. Ahmed explains that chapters in this book have applied various scientific methods, used precautionary principles and highlighted the importance of experiential learning.

Overall, this book has been an attempt to bridge the gaps between science, society and policy, and effectively contributed to the process of epistemological development. Authors in various chapters pointed that cultural, social, psychological and ethnographic nuances must be taken into adaptation considerations for building a resilient society.