Shelter in Urban Emergencies

The "Shelter in Urban Emergencies" Collection is a RedR UK training event, developed in conjuction with Lloyds Trust. The aim of the training is to bring together experienced shelter humanitarians as presenters and participants to explore and develop the necessary skills and knowledge to effectively work in the early stages of an urban emergency. Aid agencies have struggled to effectively respond to recent urban emergencies. One of the main gaps of response is a lack of shelter experts with urban response expertise. An urban emergency is much more complex than many rural or camp-focused emergencies. The kind of response required is greatly affected by the type of disaster and the different urban environments, whether huge cities; medium sized towns; peri-urban or slum areas. Aid agencies are much less significant players in urban responses, as their available resources are often dwarfed by those of existing service providers. It is crucial for effective urban disaster response to build strong relations with national and municipal authorities, as well as private sector service suppliers; and to work within existing legislation and long-term plans for cities. Working with communities is as important as ever, but communities are lessand less tightly defined, and engagement becomes more complex: communities are unlikely to be geographically-identified but instead based around common interests or, for instance, income opportunities. Typical emergency shelter responses are often inappropriate in urban areas: local authorities and existing infrastructure must be respected; camp set-ups are not always an appropriate solution or physically possible as space is limited and land ownership disputed.

Collections on this Collection


Shelter in Urban Settings

The "Shelter in Urban Settings" Collection compiles resources related to sheltering in urban settlements.

Housing, Land and Property in Urban Shelters

This updated collection includes resources, a video, and a free online class relative to Housing, Land and Property (HLP) issues regarding shelter in urban settings. Current guidance comes from leading local and global organisations and institutions: Global Protection Cluster (GPC), Global Shelter Cluster, International Institute for Environment and Development, International Organisation for Migration (IOM),Shelter NFI Cluster South Sudan. Please send suggestions for additional content for this Collection to, or create your own Collection on the Library. 

UK Shelter Forum

The UK Shelter Forum is a community of practice for individuals and organisations involved in shelter and settlement reconstruction activities after disasters. The UK Shelter Forum has held twice yearly meetings since 2006 and new forums were established in Australia and India in 2013.  Virtual discussions continue year-round via our LinkedIn group while occasional PechaKucha showcase new ideas. In 2019, the UK Shelter Forum will focus on “Health and Shelter”, covering a wide range of topics and areas of interest and concern, including issues that relate to both psychological and physical health and well being. The Forum will consider issues of shelter from a Health Sector perspective and how this could influence the way we work.For further information, visit: and its Twitter account: