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Limits to Growth – A Vulnerability Approach to Understanding Urbanization in Cambodia

The Center for Khmer Studies (CKS) is pleased to release “Limits to Growth: A Vulnerability Approach to Understanding Urbanization in Cambodia,” a new report featuring essays by leading experts on Cambodian urbanization. Dr. Adam Saltsman coordinated and edited the report.

Urbanization triggers new challenges and shocks to social, economic, environmental, and political systems for Cambodia’s urban residents. Yet, there is little analysis on these risks and the degree to which cities and their urban residents are equipped to meet these challenges. Concepts of vulnerability and resilience provide a useful multi-scalar, multi-dimensional framework to examine these complex urbanization issues.

The report covers key dimensions of urban vulnerability and resilience in Cambodia with essays from the following authors:

  • Adam Saltsman (Assistant Professor and Director of the Urban Action Institute at Worcester State University): “Introduction to limits to growth: A vulnerability approach to understanding vulnerability in Cambodia”
  • Natharoun Ngo (Director of CKS): “Economic growth and an evolving focus on vulnerability in Cambodia”
  • Kimchoeun Pak (independent researcher): “Rural-urban migration to Phnom Penh”
  • Try Thuon (CKS Senior Fellow): “How zoning and land use plans affect livelihoods and informal settlements”
  • Dolorès Bertrais (PhD candidate and Teaching and Research Assistant at The Environmental Governance and Territorial Development Institute at the University of Geneva): “Socio-spatial and economic vulnerabilities in relation to unrestrained urban development in Boeung Cheung Ek”
  • Gabriel Fauveaud (Assistant Professor at Department of Geography, University of Montreal): “Phnom Penh and real estate development: New factors to consider economic vulnerabilities”

The report also builds on our December 2019 workshop on urban vulnerability, which gathered Cambodian and international academics, development professionals, policy-makers, and students to explore the concept of vulnerability as it relates to Cambodian cities. A virtual policy talk covering the themes and implications for future research with the authors was also held in November 2020 in collaboration with The Asia Foundation.


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