Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New Paper: Measuring Slum Severity in Mumbai and Kolkata

In a move to understand slums, we have switch gears slightly from agent-based modeling to a more statistical study of slums.  To this end we have just received word that our paper entitled "Measuring Slum Severity in Mumbai and Kolkata: A Household-based Approach" has just been Habitat International. Specifically we propose a new household level enumeration of slums and develop a Slum Severity Index as shown Table 4 below. Moreover, the paper estimates number of slum households in Mumbai and Kolkata as shown in Figure 1 (below). Furthermore, the paper demonstrates that varying slum definitions result into stark differences in slum population estimates. Paper abstract:
"Slums pose a significant challenge for urban planning and policy as they provide shelter to a third of urban residents. UN-Habitat reports that, in 2001, approximately 924 million people lived in slums or informal settlements across the world (UN-Habitat, 2003). However, varying definitions of what constitutes a slum result in different slum population estimates. Most definitions treat a slum as a community of several households, rarely recognizing that housing conditions differ for each individual household within the area. Moreover, definitions of slums usually take a dichotomous approach whereby a place is either a slum or not. Little attempt is made to go beyond this slum/non-slum dichotomy. This paper moves beyond the traditional ways of defining a slum by proposing a new household level enumeration of slums and developing Slum Severity Index (SSI), which measures the level of deprivation on a continuous scale based on the UN-Habitat's slum definition. We apply this new approach of analyzing slums to a household survey dataset to estimate the total number of slum households in Mumbai and Kolkata, two megacities in India. To contrast our approach, we compare these estimates with the Census of India's. The comparison highlights stark differences in the two estimates and the slum/non-slum household classifications. The estimates by the Census are considerably smaller than those based on the UN-Habitat definition in both cities. By applying the SSI, we also demonstrate intra-urban variability in housing conditions within our study cities. The analysis highlights differences in slum profiles measured in terms of both housing deprivation levels and housing deprivation types in both cities. The main objective of this study is to demonstrate the usefulness of the household level analysis of slums in drawing implications for designing and implementing slum policies."
Keywords: Slums, Definition, Deprivation, India, Housing.

Full Reference: 
Patel, A., Koizumi, N. and Crooks, A.T. (2014), Measuring Slum Severity in Mumbai and Kolkata: A Household-based Approach, Habitat International, 41: 300-306. (pdf)
If you would like to read the paper and don't have access to Habitat International, feel free to send us an email and we can send you an early version of the paper.

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