Book: What About the People?

The hard back version, published by Routledge in May 2018. Photo: Copyright © Cathy Baldwin 2020

Social Sustainability, Climate Resilience and Community-Based Urban Development: What About the People? (Routledge 2018)
This book was written by Cathy Baldwin and Robin King during Cathy’s time at the World Resources Institute, Washington DC, USA, as a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Anthropology at the University of Oxford UK. Cathy led the research, development and writing of this policy and practice-oriented book (with Robin’s input) about planning, designing and constructing socially sustainable and resilient urban built environments to protect them from adverse weather events and natural disasters linked to climate change. The abstract can be found here and is below:


Urban communities around the world face increased stress from natural disasters linked to climate change, and other urban pressures. They need to grow rapidly stronger in order to cope, adapt and flourish. Strong social networks and social cohesion can be more important for a community’s resilience than the actual physical structures of a city. But how can urban planning and design support these critical collective social strengths?

This book offers blue sky thinking from the applied social and behavioural sciences, and urban planning. It looks at case studies from 14 countries around the world – including India, the USA, South Africa, Indonesia, the UK and New Zealand – focusing on initiatives for housing, public space and transport stops, and also natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes. Building on these insights, the authors propose a ‘gold standard’: a socially aware planning process and policy recommendation for those drawing up city sustainability and climate change resilience strategies, and urban developers looking to build climate-proof infrastructure and spaces.
This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of urban studies, resilience studies and climate change policy, as well as policymakers and practitioners working in related fields.

You can read the fab reviews and order the paperback edition of the book on its Routledge’s homepage for just £17.99. It is also available as a hardback and Ebook. Help us pay off the indexer by purchasing your copy now!

Read some of the articles that were written about this work by ourselves and others:

By us:

By others:

Article by Hilary Smith of the World Resources Institute, on its The City Fix blog:

Article on the sustainability news website, Tea and Water:

Articles written by the Brazilian NGO, Catalytic Communities: and

Synopsis in Environment and Urbanization (academic journal):

Book review in Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal (academic journal) by Ana Maria Esteves (2019), ‘Where social meets spatial’, volume 37 (no 1), pp. 86-87.

Watch the video! Seminar given by Cathy Baldwin and Robin King at the World Resources Institute, Washington DC, and online, 25/02/2019

Seminar given Cathy Baldwin and Robin King at the World Resources Institute, Washington DC, and online on 25th February 2019