This study uses the findings from the field work of London Metropolitan University student’s to ask whether the socio-economic segregation which has been observed at the wider scale in other Indian cities is also reflected in Agra’s slums. Linking these findings with spatial analysis shows that micro-scale patterns of activity and occupation within slums are closely related to local spatial structures. The paper discusses whether the spatial mechanisms which allow a highly segregated society to live within close physical proximity to each other – and which brings economic and environmental benefits in these circumstances – can off set the longer-term impact of social segregation.
This text has been extracted from a longer paper published as part of the 8th Space Syntax Symposium that took place in Chile in January 2012 (www.sss8.cl).
This paper aims to link three areas of study which have been carried out separately over the last five years, to help further develop the spatial understanding of slums and informal settlements.
In late 2010, an opportunity arose to study Agra, and some of its 350+ slums. This study was carried out remotely to contribute to the work of students in the Architecture of Rapid Growth and Scarce Resource (ARGSR) studio at the London Metropolitan University (LMU), who were based in Agra for a period of time. Through a process of literature review, the study was developed further to test whether the relationships identified between the socio-economic segregation of inhabitants by Caste at the scale of the city (Vithayathil, Singh, 2011), and in Delhi, at the scale of the ward (Dupont, 2002), are also present in Agra. It also provided the chance to understand whether there are any further relationships to the local scale spatial structure of slum areas.
The final part uses the findings of a literature review (where relationships between Caste and slum occupant are identified at the scale of the city and the ward), and the results of spatial analysis, to compare them with qualitative, observational, socio-economic surveys carried out by ARGSR students from a set of six case study areas.