Neglected? Strengthening the Morphological Study of Informal Settlements

S. McCartney, S. Krishnamurthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Methods of articulating the morphological structure of slums can have considerable potential in better planning for site-specific design or policy responses for these areas in the contemporary city. Although urban morphology traditionally studies landscapes as stratified residues with distinct divisions between lot and boundary, built and unbuilt, the authors find these definitions insufficient to address the complexity of slum morphology. Through this article, the authors’ identify that morphological analysis of informal settlements needs to be sensitive to the dynamics and the absence (or blurring) of physical boundaries. By analyzing the spatial impact of social, economic, and political factors, situational and site factors, building typologies, and configurations of circulation space, an attempt to articulate the morphological structure of slums is made. Aiming to overcome the current polarization in the literature between the formal and informal city, this article adds to the ongoing research on the study of challenges within contemporary cities, by providing new methodologies for studying the morphology of slum urbanization and shaping planning practice.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2018


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