City Forum Present Dr. Afrona Parvin with "Autonomous Adaptation in Built Environment: Towards Resilient Informal Settlements."
The southwestern coastal region of Bangladesh gets severely affected by frequent natural disasters. Being located in this region, Khulna city has been experiencing increasing disaster-induced urban problems. More than twenty percent of the city population lives in informal settlements with limited access to technical and social services where the situation is been exacerbated by the lack-of-development problem. Being informal settlers, the urban poor do not get necessary support from the formal institutions, and therefore they develop innovative adaptation practices as part of their survival strategies. To this end, this research investigates two context-specific issues: how autonomous adaptation reduces disaster risks in self-built informal settlements; and how to substantiate this grassroots adaptive capacity through planned intervention. Applying a participatory methodology the research investigates the issues both at neighborhood and dwelling-unit scales. Focusing on the local materials, construction techniques, and skills of self-built paradigm, the research explores the physical construct of three markedly different informal settlements in terms of general building process and process of pre-and post-disaster responses. Based on the findings, the research attempts to develop a set of strategic guidelines towards the integration of physical adaptation capacity of informal settlements into the formal planning and development process.
Dr Afroza Parvin is a Professor of Architecture and Director of Centre of Excellence in Teaching & Learning in Khulna University, Bangladesh. Afroza got her Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) degree from Khulna University. She did her MSc in Urban Planning at the Centre for Urban Planning and Environmental Management (CUPEM) and PhD in Urban Design in The University of Hong Kong. Dr Afroza has been a Commonwealth Academic Fellow and did her post-doctoral research at the Development Planning Unit (DPU), University College London. She is a Fulbright Visiting Research Scholar currently doing her research at School of Architecture, The University of Texas at Austin. Afroza’s research interest includes urban and rural settlement planning; disaster adaptation in built environment; socio-spatial dynamics in informal settlements; space syntax study; and context-responsive architectural pedagogy. Her current research focuses on issues surrounding autonomous adaptation in the built environmental system of informal settlements.