Atlas of Informality

Atlas of Informality


Informal settlements are the most common form of urbanization on the planet, accounting for one-third of the total urban form; they are the home to up to a billion inhabitants (Davis, 2006; UN-Habitat, 2003). It is expected that by the middle of the twenty-first century up to three billion people will live in these urban environments (Khan, 2012). However, we lack consistent mapping of where that informality is or how it is expected to go through the process of growth at the local scale. The paradox of informal settlements is that it is common and known, however invisible regarding acknowledgment as a form of urban development and territoriality. What the planning discipline requires are tools to understand the complexity of such phenomena.

Mapping Urban growth with remote sensing data. 
Independencias Medellin LandsatGLS\TM multispectral 1990, 2000, 2005 2010 false color
J Samper

Scholars study urban informal development at two scales; One at the national level based on data gathered by nations or international agencies that measure informal settlements as a percentage on state indexes (Gilbert, 1996; Roy & AlSayyad, 2004). Studies at this scale happen because most developing nations do not have the capacity to map such areas in detail and even when the capacity exists some governments are impeded by their regulations or values to map and record such populations. The second scale tries to overcome the problem on national scores with low detail by focusing on case studies at the city scale. This way scholars concentrate on few cases in which time can be dedicated to recording that what the state has not been able to do (Perlman, 2010). This case selection presents traditional problems of generalization of findings. What the disparity between this two measurements create is a blindness on the measure of this urban condition at an urban scale and of its relationship with global trends.

Altas of Informality Cases 

New sensing technology has opened a window to map informal settlements using remote tools (Taubenböck & Kraff, 2014). However, we still lack a comprehensive database that presents these cases globally. The Atlas of Informality is an attempt to open a window into such overlooked phenomena. This research presents the findings of a collection of standardized measurements of 160 informal settlements across the world. The main research goal is to provide a clear tool to find, at the neighborhood scale, each one of these places. It then focuses on urban mapping growth with remote sensing and direct mapping tools. The third stage of the research selects a standardized sample of each settlement to evaluate three main urban features: building typologies, urban density, and open space.  

Informal settlements  (Slums) populations 1950 2000 and 2050 based on data from UN-Habitat

The first set of findings from the research presents block patterns of urban informality across geographies more consistently than the expected model. The survey of growth, on the other hand, corroborates the idea of informality as an expanding geography. However, at lower rates than quoted in the literature. Mature informal settlements seem to grow at a lower rate or to stop growing altogether. This finding raises important questions about the value of comparison of multiple cases across the world to test main assumptions of the theory. The collection of cases here presented would help researchers to compare informal urban areas across the world in a more accessible manner. This information is key to resolve important questions about the role of informal urban development in the context of accelerated global population growth.

Informal Settlements, Slums, Mapping, Urban policy, GIS, Urban Growth, Urban land management

Davis, M. (2006). Planet of slums. London; New York: Verso.
Gilbert, A. (1996). Mega-City in Latin America, The. Tokyo; New York: United Nations University Press.
Perlman, J. E. (2010). Favela: Four decades of living on the edge in Rio de Janeiro. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press.
Roy, A., & AlSayyad, N. (2004). Urban Informality: Transnational perspectives from the Middle East, Latin America, and South Asia. Lanham, Md.; Berkeley, Calif.: Lexington Books; Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of California at Berkeley.
Taubenböck, H., & Kraff, N. J. (2014). The physical face of slums: a structural comparison of slums in Mumbai, India, based on remotely sensed data. Journal of Housing and the Built Environment, 29(1), 15–38.

List of places in the research:

Ezbet el-HagganaCairoEgyptAfrica
Manshiyat NasercairoEgyptAfrica262,050
Amui Djor [4]GhanaAfrica
Ashiaman [5]TemaGhanaAfrica200,000
Fadama [6]GhanaAfrica
Jamestown/Usshertown, AccraGhanaAfrica
New TakoradiGhanaAfrica
Suame MagazineGhanaAfrica
Maili SabaNairobiKenyaAfrica11,910
Soweto East WestNairobiKenyaAfrica6,000
Canon Kitui/ Pwunwani VillageNairobiKenyaAfrica10,000
Clara Town, Bushrod IslandLiberiaAfrica
Logan TownLiberiaAfrica
South Beach BayLiberiaAfrica
West PointLiberiaAfrica
A49 ProperLilongweMalawiAfrica
Arafat, MauritaniaMauritaniaAfrica
El Mina, MauritaniaMauritaniaAfrica
Sebkha, MauritaniaMauritaniaAfrica
Africa TongashiliNamibiaAfrica
Kahumba ka NdolaNamibiaAfrica
Okahandja ParkNamibiaAfrica
One Nation N° 1NamibiaAfrica
One Nation N° 2NamibiaAfrica
Ongulumbashe N° 1NamibiaAfrica
Samuel MahereroNamibiaAfrica
Amukoko [9]NigeriaAfrica
Iwaya [10]NigeriaAfrica
Makoko [10]NigeriaAfrica
Mushin [11]NigeriaAfrica
Oke-Offa BabasaleNigeriaAfrica
Mutendere EastLusakaSambiaAfrica104,715
Kroo BrayFreetownsierra leoneAfrica10,989
SowetoJohannesburgsouth africaAfrica1,271,628
UmlaziDurbansouth africaAfrica504,811
TembisaKempton Parksouth africaAfrica463,109
KatlehongGermistonsouth africaAfrica407,294
SoshanguvePretoriasouth africaAfrica403,162
KhayelitshaCape Townsouth africaAfrica391,749
MamelodiPretoriasouth africaAfrica334,577
Mitchell's PlainCape Town (former Coloured township)south africaAfrica310,485
IbhayiPort Elizabethsouth africaAfrica237,799
SebokengVanderbijlparksouth africaAfrica218,515
MangaungBloemfonteinsouth africaAfrica217,076
Ivory ParkMidrandsouth africaAfrica184,383
BotshabeloBloemfonteinsouth africaAfrica181,712
AlexandraJohannesburgsouth africaAfrica179,624
Kwa-MashuDurbansouth africaAfrica175,663
VosloorusBoksburgsouth africaAfrica163,216
MdantsaneEast Londonsouth africaAfrica156,835
EtwatwaBenonisouth africaAfrica151,866
MeadowlandsRoodepoortsouth africaAfrica138,354
TsakaneBrakpansouth africaAfrica135,994
ThabongWelkomsouth africaAfrica135,613
EvatonVanderbijlparksouth africaAfrica132,851
Phnom PenhCambodiaAsia
Arif NagarIndiaAsia
Arjun SinghpuraIndiaAsia
Arvinds NagarIndiaAsia
Chowdhary MohallaIndiaAsia
Gandhi NagarIndiaAsia
Guda UparIndiaAsia
Harijan MohallaIndiaAsia
Indira Ekta NagarIndiaAsia
Indira NagarIndiaAsia
Juhu, MumbaiIndiaAsia
Panchsheel NagarIndiaAsia
Pilkhana, KolkataIndiaAsia
Prem SagarIndiaAsia
Ramaji Ka puraIndiaAsia
Sahu Ji Ka PuraIndiaAsia
Sanjay Nagar mumbiIndiaAsia
Salia Sahi,[1] BhubaneswarIndiaAsia
Sarvodaya Nagar (Jabalpur)IndiaAsia
Sethi Sambandh NagarIndiaAsia
Tekri MohallaIndiaAsia
Vidya NagarIndiaAsia
Kirti Nagar, DelhiIndiaAsia
Kathputhli slumIndiaAsia
Tikia ParaIndiaAsia
Kelurahan PenjaringanJakartaIndonesiaAsia
Sadr CityBaghdadIrakAsia2,000,000
DawbonYangonMyanmar (Burma)Asia73,000
Orangi TownKarachiPakistanAsia1,800,000
Machar ColonyPakistanAsia
Lyari TownPakistanAsia
San AndresManilaPhilippinesAsia
Bagong SilanganManilaPhilippinesAsia
MaligawatteSri LankaAsia
Usavi Watta (Usaui Walta)Sri LankaAsia
WanathamullaSri LankaAsia
Mahwa AserYemenAsia
TrénelleFort de FranceMartiniqueCaribe
Ste ThéreseFort de FranceMartiniqueCaribe
Villa FrancaTegucigalpaHondurasCentral America
Villa CristinaTegucigalpaHondurasCentral America
Los PinosTegucigalpaHondurasCentral America
VillanuevaTegucigalpaHondurasCentral America
Penas BlancasGuanacasteCosta Ricacentral america/caribbean
Coope San BlasArajuelaCosta Ricacentral america/caribbean
La ArajuelitaSan joseCosta Ricacentral america/caribbean
Rincón Grande de PavasSan JoseCosta Ricacentral america/caribbean
HerreraSanto domingoDominican Republiccentral america/caribbean
La LimonadaGuatemalaGuatemalacentral america/caribbean60,000
Cité SoleilHaiticentral america/caribbean400,000
TrenchtownJamaicacentral america/caribbean
Neza-Chalco-IzaMexicoMexicocentral america/caribbean4,000,000
Colonia JuarezVeracruzMexicocentral america/caribbean
Colonia RomaVeracruzMexicocentral america/caribbean3000
Ruben Dario "La Estacion"ManaguaNicaraguacentral america/caribbean5,400
tei tobocBucharestRomaniaEurope
Little IrelandEnglandEurope
Cañada RealMadridSpainEurope40,000
Hidalgo CountyTexasUnited StatesNorth America52,000
Villa 21-24Buenos Aires:ArgentinaSouth America
Villa 26Buenos Aires:ArgentinaSouth America
Villa 31Buenos Aires:ArgentinaSouth America
La MateraBuenos AiresArgentinasouth America11200
RocinhaRio de janeiroBrazilSouth America69,000
VidigalRio de janeiroBrazilSouth America
Cantagalo–Pavão–PavãozinhoRio de janeiroBrazilSouth America
Cidade de DeusRio de janeiroBrazilSouth America
Complexo da MaréRio de janeiroBrazilSouth America
Complexo do AlemãoRio de janeiroBrazilSouth America
Dona MartaRio de janeiroBrazilSouth America
HeliópolisSão PauloBrazilSouth America
ParaisópolisSão PauloBrazilSouth America
Vila Nova JaguaréSão PauloBrazilSouth America
Radar (favela)São PauloBrazilSouth America
VietnãSão PauloBrazilSouth America
Favela da AlbaSão PauloBrazilSouth America
Buraco QuenteSão PauloBrazilSouth America
Morro do PiolhSão PauloBrazilSouth America
Manuel BustosPuerto MonttChileSouth America
Tiro al BlancoChileSouth America
Manantiales de PazBelloColombiaSouth America
Ciudad BolivarBogotaColombiaSouth America
La PazBogotaColombiaSouth America
Santa CeciliaBogotaColombiaSouth America
El AmparoBogotaColombiaSouth America
Altos de CazucaBogotaColombiaSouth America60,000
IndependenciasMedellinColombiaSouth America
El TriunfoMedellinColombiaSouth America
VillatinaMedellinColombiaSouth America
Santo Domingo SavioMedellinColombiaSouth America
Belisario BetancourtCaliColombiaSouth America3,500
Nueva JerusalenBelloColombiaSouth America
La SierraMedellinColombiaSouth America
Nueva EsperanzaCúcutaColombiaSouth America
Nueva Colombia Sector B y CFlorenciaColombiaSouth America
Isla trinitariaGuayaquilEcuadorSouth America
ComasPeruSouth America
Villa El SalvadorPeruSouth America
San Juan de LuriganchoPeruSouth America
Cono SurPeruSouth America
El ErmitanoLimaPeruSouth America
Independencias (pampa de cueva)LimaPeruSouth America
TahuantinsuyoLimaPeruSouth America
VentanillaLimaPeruSouth America
LibertadorCaracasVenezuelaSouth America
Miguel Peña MunicipalityCaracasVenezuelaSouth America
San AgustinCaracasVenezuelaSouth America
PetareCaracasVenezuelaSouth America600,000

Team ENVD 1104 

Jota Samper
Jennifer Shelby 

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