The P2P project conducts both quantitative and ethnographic research. Data+Stories is a space where those bodies of study come together for conversation and contradiction.

P2P’s current aim is to develop an evidence-based “typology” of slums and low-income neighborhoods. The strongest differentiating factor that separates slum types is a neighborhood’s official government status. If an area is “declared”, that means that the local government acknowledges its legal right to exist and receive government services. On the other hand, “undeclared” areas have a much more difficult time receiving even modest government aid.


Slum Typology

1. Established on Declared Government Land

Residents of these slums tend to be semi-skilled workers (subcontractors, security guards, clerks, etc) who are 4th generation Bangalore natives. Unemployment is low (3%) and families have a variety of assets ranging from stoves and TVs to fans and motorbikes.

  • Legal Status: Declared
  • Land owned by: Government
  • Homes owned by: Individual inhabitants
  • House type: Vertical (2- 4 stories)
  • Neighborhood conditions: Paved roads, water and sanitation provided, electricity connections, gov’t provided schools and other schemes

2. Established on Declared Private Land

We have not yet studied these areas in depth. However, we suspect that they are similar to the Type 1 slums mentioned above with ample government attention and a quality of life bordering the lower-middle class. The primary difference between these and Type 1 areas, however, is that inhabitants of Type 2 slums do not own their own homes. This is an important distinction because home ownership is a critical asset and source of stability.

  • Legal Status: Declared
  • Land owned by: Private landlord
  • Homes owned by: Landlord, government
  • House type: Single story and vertical
  • Neighborhood conditions: Some gov’t provided infrastructure

3. Undeclared

Despite not having studied these areas in depth, we know that this is the stage that Type 1 and 2 slums go through before they receive government declaration, although not all Type 3 slums eventually receive government declaration. These areas have permanent houses, usually one story. Sanitation, water provision and other key government services are often informal or non-existent. Oftentimes, private landlords will sue these areas in attempt to evict them.

  • Legal Status: Undeclared
  • Land owned by: Government or private landlord; sometimes ownership is being decided by judicial system
  • Homes owned by: Landlords or government
  • House type: Single story
  • Neighborhood conditions: Unpaved roads, no sanitation, minimal government service

4. New Migrant Communities

Residents of these communities are almost all recent migrants to Bangalore from other parts of India. They are typically from lower castes and have come to the city to pay off debts accrued in their home village, where their families still reside. Most work as low-wage manual laborers in construction sites and unemployment is high (11%). These communities are made up of temporary huts roofed with plastic.

  • Legal Status: Undeclared
  • Land owned by: Private landlords
  • Homes owned by: Landlords
  • House type: Small plastic-covered temporary huts
  • Neighborhood conditions: unpaved roads, no water or sanitation infrastructure, no government service

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