Defining Slums using Multidimensional and Relational Properties: A Dynamic Framework
front matter

Phenomenon as old as cities themselves, slums - in their many permutations - have been part of city management for a long time. Descriptions and definitions have gone through trends and so have the strategies to address their conditions and relationship to cities. Summarising various trends, definitions and approaches to solutions of slums, this paper critically analyses more recent and structured approaches that attempt to grasp the complexity of all realities constituting the slum as a key to their management. Then, from a detailed review of properties of slums from literature, it proposes  a rational framework – the Slum Property Map – that organises such properties (cultural, social, economic, environmental) into a relationship map where reciprocal links between properties are highlighted and used both to develop narratives of the slum – how it originates, develops and functions for its inhabitants, and in relation to the city- and thus eventually to guide intervention through investment in and management of local assets. The paper presents the Slum Property Map as a comprehensive and dynamic way to understand slums as holding potential for their immediate and future prosperity. 


slums; definition; ontology; framework; intervention; prosperity


Abubakar, Aisha, Ombretta Romice and Ashraf M. Salama. "Defining Slums using Multidimensional and Relational Properties: A Dynamic Framework." Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research 11, no. 2 (March 2017): 34-54.

Parent Publications
Aisha Abubakar, Ombretta Romice, Ashraf Salama