- ‘Slum’ and the City
- Exploring relations of informal settlements comparatively in Chennai, India and Durban, South Africa
- Award date
- 18 April 2018
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Although urbanization has the potential to make cities and countries develop, many urban residents and cities struggle with fragmented growth accompanied by high levels of inequality. Despite several decades of policy intervention, there is still a shortage in affordable housing and ‘slums’ continue to exist in the global South. Prior studies on informal settlements either had a micro focus on slum households or undertook a macro structural analysis of urban poverty, but usually did not combine the two perspectives. This thesis addresses this gap and explores the relations between the ‘slum’ and the city by integrating the micro perspective of households’ livelihoods strategies vis-à-vis the strategies for informal settlements outlined in policy, planning and practices of the state. The main question raised in this thesis is - How are informal settlements transformed through relations across/within multiple scales (geographic and institutional) and how does this transformation link to household opportunities for building livelihoods? Based on a mixed method design of research, the thesis shows that informal settlements often act as ‘nodes’ within the wider socio-spatial networks of which they are a part. By exploring how the households have transformed over time vis-à-vis the settlements and cities where they are embedded, the thesis reveals two distinct relations that operate between city and the settlement, and the settlement and the households. In analysing these relations, the thesis illustrates the need for looking beyond the planning based technocratic solutions for informal settlements.
Thesis (complete) (Embargo up to and including 18 April 2020)
Chapter 5: Urban livelihoods in slums of Chennai: Developing a relational understanding (Embargo up to and including 1 July 2018)
Chapter 6: Approaches to informal settlements and livelihood building processes in Durban (Embargo up to and including 18 April 2020)
Chapter 7: Comparing informal settlements in Chennai and Durban: Approaches, settlement dynamics and household livelihoods (Embargo up to and including 18 April 2020)
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