Date of Submission

Spring 2018

Academic Programs and Concentrations

Division of Social Studies; Global and International Studies

Project Advisor 1

Sanjaya DeSilva

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Within common views of urban development lies the fundamental understanding of renewal and upgrade as a means of expanding physical, economic, and social capacity, in addition to increasing human rights and dignity for the individual. Even within States’ own understanding of urban renewal, in which governments seek to prevent the formation of new slums in addition to upgrading the situations of current ones, the aspect of developmental change remains the framework that drives processes that preclude slum upgrade projects and development practices. Thus, I aim to highlight how a reconceptualization of social capacity as it is understood within development discourses, cannot only lead to more nuanced understandings of the slum as an informal space, but more so, to policy implementation that adequately addresses the needs of the individuals who live there. Drawing on Amartya Sen and Arjun Apurandai’s frameworks of change, I argue for radical reconsideration of the notion of development. Following Stephen Jay Gould’s explanation about the ways in which “systems of classification direct our thinking and order our behaviors,” this paper is primarily concerned with the inadequacy of current approaches to the issue of development and how urban renewal is often framed and understood. This paper envisages a new framework surrounding slum development.

Open Access Agreement

On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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