Transforming slums through urban intensification

Omer, Khalafalla and Moustaka, Athina and Watts, Gregory; (2022) Transforming slums through urban intensification. In: Annual Conference Proceedings of the XXVIII International Seminar on Urban Form. University of Strathclyde Publishing, Glasgow, pp. 514-525. ISBN 9781914241161

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Unplanned rapid urbanization is leading to the mass formation of informal settlements in many developing cities around the world. It is estimated that globally approximately 30% of urban residents inhabit such informal settlements. These settlements are characterized by poor physical urban structures, insecure land tenure, overcrowding, and poor Infrastructure. Current literature on slum upgrading mechanisms focus on economic and community trends driven by public health debates. These tend to place emphasis on the improvement of infrastructure by examining the role of microfinance and other community-based approaches to qualify, address and map the existing slum challenges. Other arguments in contemporary literature focus on the role the private sector can play in addressing the challenges and opportunities faced in the upgrading of slums. Despite the evolution of arguments in the literature, conflicting approaches have led to little progress being made to address the problems caused by the increase in slum settlements. The problem therefore exists as to how such informal settlements can be addressed and upgraded to enhance the liveability standards of public space and building units. Through a systematic and in-depth literature review, this paper aims to structure and analyse contemporary arguments around the implication of informal slum settlements, the impact of the property market on the redevelopment process, and the planning for sustainable urban form. The results reveal how land readjustment approach, financial systems, and development approach can impact both the public realm and physical structures whilst stimulating viable redevelopment processes for the slum settlements. This paper then sets out a future research agenda by identifying areas of literature that illustrate the greatest potential for tackling the problems presented by the growth in such informal slum settlements.

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