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Geography

Ecosystem services and disservices in urban Bangladesh and Tanzania (ESPA)

A comparison of green and water structures in urban Bangladesh and Tanzania (EcoPoor)

Access to safe drinking water and well-drained land are essential water ecosystem services for urban populations. Urban green structures offer the fundamental services of shelter, fuel, food, nutrition, protection from extreme weather, and pollution retention. Informal settlements in urban areas usually lack access to these ecosystem services.

They are often located in risky environments such as floodplains and can be situated in close proximity to polluted and degraded areas such as open sewers and drains, industrial establishments, landfills and rubbish tips. Inadequate sanitation and waste disposal can also be commonplace.

Improving services

Collective action and co-production are essential building blocks of local institutional arrangements that are needed to successfully and sustainably expand access to basic services for the urban poor. This research will explore co-production and collective action in Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), focusing on services derived, and disservices resulting, from two important ecosystems: urban green and water structures.

The project will identify the institutional frameworks that enable the urban poor to improve their wellbeing through improving their access to services and preventing urban green and water ecosystem disservices.

James Rothwell is Co-I on the project alongside Clive Agnew, David Hulme and Adisa Azapagic at The University of Manchester. The project is led by Dr Manoj Roy (Lancaster University), with country coordinators and Co-Is; Ferdous Jahan (Bangladesh), and Riziki Shemdoe (Tanzania).