This workshop generated dialogue on the concept of urban vulnerability as it relates to Cambodian cities. Much research has looked at poverty and development in urban Cambodia, focusing on deprivation, or the lack of resources to meet basic needs. Vulnerability is a particularly useful measure to work with in the rapidly changing city because it is a dynamic concept that supports measuring the shifting landscape of risk, insecurity, and resilience. This implies analysis of experience as well as social, political, and economic processes associated with causes and that are embedded within axes of social difference. As well, conceiving of vulnerability in urban areas demands consideration of susceptibility to environmental and climate-related changes, social and economic inequalities, and how urbanization and urban fragmentation influence the unequal distribution of exposure and susceptibility. Finally, vulnerability defies straight-forward spatial parameters; urban vulnerability is intertwined with rural insecurities, national-level policies, and experiences and possibilities in secondary cities. To this end, rather than seeing the city as a delimited zone of analysis, Phnom Penh represents a kind of nexus or interface where multiple groups, experiences, policies, networks, discourses, and relationships collide.
A working paper will be developed by the organizing committee and posted in February 2020.