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Moving to dangerous places

Weber, Eberhard and Kissoon, Priya and Koto, Camari (2019) Moving to dangerous places. In: Dealing with climate change on small islands: towards effective and sustainable adaptation? Göttingen University Press, Göttingen, pp. 267-293. ISBN 978-3-86395-435-2.12

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Mobility is an important part of the discourses around climate change. Many argue that mobility in connection to climate change, natural hazards, or similar is about bringing people to safety, supporting them in their own efforts to reach safe grounds, or as McAdam (2015) puts it: taking people away from “danger zones”. This chapter investigates mobility of people living in informal settlements in Suva, the capital of Fiji, which are exposed to hazards . This chapter, hence concentrates on people moving to highly exposed areas. How can we explain when people move to ‘danger zones’ like is happening in many informal settlements in the Pacific Islands (and surely elsewhere)? Are people not aware that the locations are dangerous, do they not bother to find out, or do they consciously choose such ‘danger zones’? For our study, we undertook interviews and observations in two informal settlements in Suva. Our research suggests that the two locations where people established informal settlements were chosen at least in part because of their unfavourable environmental conditions. Whether this occurred consciously or more in a reflexive learning process that directed people to locations where they did not face evictions needs to be established in future research. It is becoming evident, however, that in Suva space is becoming scarce. Locations that nobody was interested in several decades ago are now in high demand. This also puts people who live in informal settlements at risk of being evicted by governments’ plans of relocation and/or by market forces, which can be seen as a special form of gentrification.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Additional Information: DOI:
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Geography, Earth Science and Environment
Depositing User: Eberhard Weber
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2019 23:43
Last Modified: 10 Jun 2020 04:38

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