Please be aware that this is a past event.

With rapid urbanisation taking place on a global scale, urban areas are increasingly affected by humanitarian emergencies. Amid the growing recognition of the need to address the operational implications of urban risk and vulnerability in the humanitarian sector, this event will launch the British Red Cross’ recent study on humanitarian action in urban areas: Learning from the city.

Every day, more than 100,000 people move to urban slums in the developing world – the equivalent of one person every second. With over 50 per cent of the world’s seven billion people living in urban areas, the face of human vulnerability is changing globally. It is, therefore, clear that urban areas should be a significant and growing centre of humanitarian concern. Humanitarian action, however, has traditionally had a rural focus, and while significant research has emerged on urban risk and vulnerability, the humanitarian sector has been slower to understand what this means operationally.

Drawing on its work in Port-au-Prince, Kathmandu, Kampala, Djibouti-ville and Ulaanbaatar, Learning from the city assesses the operational implications of urban risk and vulnerability and highlights five priorities for the British Red Cross and the wider humanitarian community in improving its response in urban areas.

Speakers will discuss the key findings of the study, assess how the humanitarian community is responding to humanitarian needs in different urban settings and address lessons learned in moving from the ‘why’ to the ‘how’ of humanitarian action in urban areas.

A light lunch will be provided from 12:30-13:00, providing a networking opportunity for those with an interest in humanitarian action in urban areas. The panel discussion will then run from 13:00-14:30.

To register for the event to attend in person or watch the live video stream, please visit the ODI website. You can also follow #UrbanLearning on Twitter for live coverage.


Wendy Fenton – Coordinator, Humanitarian Practice Network


Samuel Carpenter – Humanitarian Policy Adviser, British Red Cross and co-author of the study

François Grünewald – Executive and Scientific Director, Groupe URD

Elena Lucchi – Independent Consultant and former Operational Advisor, Médecins Sans Frontières – Spaim