CRP Professor's Research on Resilience Receives Funding

a lake and a low concrete dam with low green hills in the background
The Kawdas pick-up weir, Surya Village in Maharashtra State, India. photo / Prakriti Shukla (M.R.P. '19)
Two people talking behind a metal gate in a concrete structure.
Research assistant Sauvanithi Yupho (M.R.P. '20) conducts an interview in Bangkok. photo / Nakarin Kamalobol
A woman stands near a tall concrete and steel structure above a sluice gate on a river
A water control gate in Bangkok. photo / Nakarin Kamalobol
The Kawdas pick-up weir, Surya Village in Maharashtra State, India. photo / Prakriti Shukla (M.R.P. '19) Research assistant Sauvanithi Yupho (M.R.P. '20) conducts an interview in Bangkok. photo / Nakarin Kamalobol A water control gate in Bangkok. photo / Nakarin Kamalobol
News
January 15, 2019

Cornell University's David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future has awarded a $13,430 grant to Assistant Professor Linda Shi, CRP, in support of her study of the relationship between urban centers and rural hinterlands in efforts to promote urban resilience.

Titled "From Rural Reliance to Urban Resilience: Governing Water across Urban-Rural Divides in Four Asian Mega-Regions," the study consists of fieldwork on water governance related to water supply in metropolitan Mumbai, and Khulna, Bangladesh; floodwater management in metropolitan Bangkok; and flood risk reduction in metropolitan Manila.

According to Shi, the "resilience" of metropolitan centers is often based on the "unresilience" of rural areas that are sacrificed to urban zones by providing resources or acting as their dumping grounds — whether for water, wastewater, or the urban poor. "Far from being local, these parasitic processes tend to be facilitated by metropolitan authorities, national governments, and international development funders," says Shi. The research will test these claims and develop an analytical framework that acts as a counterpoint to mainstream notions of “resilient cities." The study also will highlight the importance of interpreting global cities' claims of resilience in light of their historic unsustainable practices both locally and regionally.

The funding supports CRP student research assistants Prakriti Shukla (M.R.P. '19) in Mumbai, Sauvanithi Yupho (M.R.P. '20) in Bangkok, and Farhana Ahmad (Ph.D. CRP '22) in Khulna. This month, the students continue field work begun in December 2018 in these regions. They will gather documents and conduct interviews with relevant engineers, civil servants, public officials, community organizations, and farming families.

The grant comes from the Atkinson Center's Rapid Response Fund, which facilitates urgent or time-sensitive sustainability research, workshops, and other activities undertaken by faculty. Atkinson Center funding programs invest in faculty, postdoctoral, and student projects that contribute to a vital and resilient future for the global community.

By Patti Witten