Because space matters: conceptual framework to help distinguish slum from non-slum urban areas

Focus Areas: Urban Health
Content Type: Published articles
Author(s): Richard Lilford, Catherine Kyobutungi, Robert Ndugwa, Jo Sartori, Samuel I Watson, Richard Sliuzas, Monika Kuffer, Timothy Hofer, Joao Porto de Albuquerque, Alex Ezeh
Published: December 2018
Despite an estimated one billion people around the world living in slums, most surveys of health and well-being do not distinguish between slum and non-slum urban residents. Identifying people who live in slums is important for research purposes and also to enable policymakers, programme managers, donors and non-governmental organisations to better target investments and services to areas of greatest deprivation. However, there is no consensus on what a slum is let alone how slums can be distinguished from non-slum urban precincts. Nor has attention been given to a more fine-grained classification of urban spaces that might go beyond a simple slum/non-slum dichotomy. The purpose of this paper is to provide a conceptual framework to help tackle the related issues of slum definition and classification of the urban landscape.

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