(Re)constructing (re)settlement: risk reduction and urban development negotiations in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

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This article discusses the effects of a celebrated resettlement of a flood-prone informal settlement in Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic. Drawing on data collected from 102 resettled households, three years post-relocation, we document perceptions of the new community and self-reported changes on several risk-reduction and development indicators. We found mixed outcomes. Moving to an upgraded built environment led to improved perceptions of happiness, climate resilience and security against crime. Yet, for most respondents, the resettlement had adverse impacts on social capital and economic mobility. In the new site, social norms imposed upon residents, restricting individual and collective freedom, have resulted in sentiments of captivity and immobility. There is a major disconnect between the rhetoric of the political elites that promote the project as socio-environmental justice and urban development, and residents’ experiences on the ground. This article brings attention to the negotiations and trade-offs that urban poor households are exposed to, even in well-designed resettlement interventions.




Collado, J. R. N., & Potangaroa, R. (2023). (Re)constructing (re)settlement: risk reduction and urban development negotiations in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. International Development Planning Review, 45(2), 203–233. https://doi.org/10.3828/idpr.2022.10

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