Negotiating Resilience with Hard and Soft City  book cover
1st Edition

Negotiating Resilience with Hard and Soft City

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after January 25, 2023
ISBN 9781032440378
January 25, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge India
230 Pages 20 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This book explores how cities are shaped by the lived experiences of inhabitants and examines the ways they develop strategies to cope with daily and unexpected challenges. It argues that migration, livelihood, and public health challenges result from inadequacies in the hard city––urban assets, such as land, infrastructure and housing, and asserts that these challenges and escalating vulnerabilities are best negotiated using the soft city––social capital and community networks. In so doing, the authors criticise a singular knowledge system and argue for a granular, nuanced understanding of cities—of the interrelations between people in places, everyday urbanisms, social relationships, cultural practices and histories. The volume presents perspectives from the Global South and the Global North, and engages with city-specific cases from Africa, India and Europe for a deeper understanding of resilience.


Part of the Urban Futures series, it will be of great interest to students and researchers of urban studies, urban planning, urban management, architecture, urban sociology, urban design, ecology, conservation, and urban sustainability. It will also be useful for urbanists, architects, urban sociologists, city and town planners and those interested in a deeper understanding of the contemporary and future city.

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of contributors

Foreword: Adapt or Die by Sheela Patel



1.      Introduction: Negotiating Resilience with Hard & Soft City

Binti Singh, Tania Berger, Manoj Pamar


Part I: City and Its Vulnerabilities


2.      Ethnically Diverse Neighborhoods and the New Meaning of “Community” in the Global North

Tania Berger


3.      Resilient Tactics and Everyday Lives in the Textile Mill Areas of Mumbai

Dwiparna Chatterjee


4.      Informal Housing of Migrants in Italy

Flavia Albanese, Giovanna Marconi, Michela Semprebon


5.      Cities, Housing Exclusion and Homelessness From a European Perspective

Nicholas Pleace


6.      Just and Healthy Cities in Times of Global Threats: Perspectives from the Global North

Heike Köckler


a.      The Case of Settling Deonar Dump Yard Site, Mumbai

Mamta Patwardhan, Tania Berger


b.      Environmental Injustice: Air Pollution and Data Inequity in Kibera, Nairobi

Surbhi Agrawal


Part II: Relocation, Resettlement and Resilience


7.      Resilience at the City Margins - Roma Settlements in Bulgaria

Ilko Yordanov, Boyan Zahariev


8.      Tolerance to Heat as a Coping Strategy of Low-Income Households in India and Austria

Tania Berger, Faiz Ahmed Chundeli


9.      Home-Based Income Generation in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Alemea Girmay, Tania Berger


10.  "Nothing Is to Be Gained by Involving Them" - Exploring Residents' Lived Experiences of Resettlement in a Medium-Sized City in India

Hiranmayi Shankavaram, Janani Thiagarajan, Tania Berger


11.  The Vertical vs. Horizontal City - Why Vertical Resettlement (Mostly) Does Not Work for the Urban Poor

Tania Berger


12.  Conclusion: Towards "Just" Resilience

Tania Berger, Binti Singh, Manoj Pamar, Sandeep Balagangadharan Menon





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Binti Singh is an urban sociologist and holds a Ph.D. (in urban studies) and an M.Phil. (in Planning and Development) from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Bombay), Mumbai, India. She is currently Dean (Research and Academic Development) at KRVIA, Mumbai, India. She is engaged in diverse international research programs and supervises PhD. students in various international universities including University of Virginia, USA and United Nations University (UNU), Tokyo, Japan.


Tania Berger is a trained architect and holds a PhD in construction and building sciences, entertaining a strong focus on social science. She heads the Cluster Social sPACe based research in built Environment (SPACE) at the Department for Building and Environment at Danube University Krems, which works on issues of integration in housing on a national level and global urbanization processes and precarious housing in an international context. She coordinates Erasmus projects in the field of “Capacity Building in Higher Education” with a focus on informal settlements in India and Ethiopia.


Manoj Parmar is currently Director at KRVIA, Mumbai, India. He holds a Bachelor's in Architecture from the L.S.R. School of Architecture, Mumbai, India and an M. Arch from the University of Miami, Florida, USA. He has been teaching at KRVIA, Mumbai since 1992. His academic interests include theoretical writings on architecture and urbanism. He has also been in private practice of architecture and urban design since 1992. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he has worked on numerous private and public housing/institutional commissions across India and has been actively involved in redevelopment projects across the city of Mumbai.