Riyan Habeeb successfully defended his PhD dissertation, offering insights into urban water security and the potential of nature-based solutions (NbS) amidst global urbanization and climate change. Titled "Nature-based Solutions for Urban Water Security in Medium-sized Cities from South Asia: Case of Dehradun, India", the research addresses the escalating urban water crisis, particularly in medium-sized cities of the Global South.
Habeeb advocates for synchronizing socio-spatial perspectives to understand the cumulative impacts of environmental risks. Focusing on Dehradun, the study examines internal socio-spatial determinants, including household income, education, size, dwelling unit plot size, and structure. Despite limited participation, participatory processes emerge as crucial in determining urban water security.
The research employs a multi-level socio-spatial methodology, exploring hydrometeorological risks, built-environment, socio-economic demographics, and community perceptions. Preferences for NbS were gathered through a questionnaire from 452 respondents, revealing a synergy between socio-economic demographics and the built environment. Notably, small-scale NbS show better synergies with social determinants than large-scale solutions. Habeeb suggests upscaling small-scale NbS through replication for equitable and 'just' measures. This presents opportunities for emerging cities to embed and replicate solutions, given their strong local identity.
In summary, Habeeb's dissertation underscores the decisive role of socio-spatial perspective in achieving multiple benefits from NbS for urban water security. The research contributes valuable insights, promoting sustainable and resilient cities in the face of environmental challenges.