Problems and Prospects of Uncontrolled Urban Settlements in Developing Countries - A Case Study of Delhi

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Ahmad, Sohail; Choi, Mack Joong

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Urban PlanningUncontrolled Urban SettlementsDelhiUrbanization
We are expected to present this paper APSA 2009, 10th International Congress of Asian Planning Schools Association. For detail see
Uncontrolled urban settlements (UUSs) are one of the major challenges in the developing countries cities. In developing countries, more than half of the urban populations are living in unplanned settlements, where quality of life is below standard and in some cases even inhuman. Delhi, a capital city of India, is a live example of UUSs, where more than half of its population is living in UUSs despite planning intervention since its first Master Plan 1962.

The aim of this study is to review Delhis urbanization and its UUSs, to explore its causes and to formulate planning strategies for its integration. In this study, historical developments of Delhi have been reviewed with spatial growth pattern and demographic dynamics. Various categories of settlements have been analyzed and finally three different kinds of settlements are selected in Delhi for in-depth study. A case study method is adopted for analyzing these different categories of UUSs, viz. an unauthorized colony (UAC), an urban village (UV) and a slum. Methodology includes about 225 household surveys, open ended interviews with various stakeholders and census data analysis.

This study reveals that there is wide variation in socio-economics, tenure security and dwelling unit characteristics among different type of settlements. The results reveal lack of infrastructure across the settlements both physical as well as social. The slum settlement shows very low income level, while UAC and UV have relatively high income level against general belief.

The urban infrastructure provisions have been identified as a key planning intervention for integration of these settlements into sustainable development. Besides infrastructure provisions, some kind of economic interventions are sought for slum dwellers. Besides arguing different kind of planning interventions in these settlements, some important issues have been raised which will guide future research direction for inclusive and equitable development of Delhi.
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