Neelakshi Joshi receives BioOne Young Ambassador Award 2022

For her article "Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Formal and Informal Urban Risk Knowledge in the Uttarakhand Himalayas", Neelakshi Joshi, a researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER), has been awarded the BioOne Young Ambassador Award 2022. This annual and prestigious award by BioOne publishing "recognizes early-career authors who excel in the communication of their research to the general public".

Dr Neelakshi Joshi was nominated for the award by International Mountain Society. The article for which she receives the award was published in the journal “Mountain Research and Development” and is available open access via BioOne Complete. The article is based on the PhD thesis that the scientist wrote as part of her fellowship at Dresden Leibniz Graduate School (DLGS).

In her thesis, Neelakshi Joshi studied the urbanisation in her home country of India, particularly in the Uttarakhand region in the Himalayas. The mountainous state is experiencing population growth and is undergoing a process of rapid urbanisation. This is causing concern, because the region is exposed to multiple natural hazards and is vulnerable to climate change extremes. Against this background, the question arises as to how these risks are taken into account in urban development and especially in the construction of new buildings.

Neelakshi Joshi explores this question using the example of the small but rapidly urbanising town of Almora. For her work, she has taken stock of the current risk knowledge among formal and informal actors involved in the urban development process. Findings indicate that formal knowledge, encoded in building bylaws and land use plans, do not sufficiently address risk and are not adopted by households. In practice, households rely largely on informal building professionals in determining their developmental decisions. However, informal building professionals lack the training and skills to address risk in the built form. The article makes a case for acknowledging informal building professionals and practices and provides recommendations for consolidating them in the developmental process through training and education.

Joshi, Neelakshi: Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Formal and Informal Urban Risk Knowledge in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. In: Mountain Research and Development 41 (2021) 1, S. R13-R21.

Neelakshi Joshi’s profile on BioOne‘s homepage

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Press release of BioOne publishing on this year’s Young Ambassador Award



The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states.

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