Data and urban poverty: Detecting and characterising slums and deprived urban areas in low- and middle-income countries

M. Kuffer, Angela Abascal, Sabine Vanhuysse, Stefanos Georganos, Jon Wang, Dana R. Thomson, Anthony Boanada, Pere Roca

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A multidimensional characterisation of urban areas is essential to provide relevant data for monitoring deprived urban areas (urban poverty) beyond the dollar threshold (World Bank) or household characterisation (UN-Habitat). We present a holistic characterisation of deprivation through a framework composed of domains and indicators for measuring urban poverty. It includes socio-economic and household characterisation (household-level) as well as the characterisation of physical and environmental conditions (area-level). In this chapter, we showcase the use of Earth Observation techniques to extract area-level data. The combination of Earth Observation and open geospatial data allows routine mapping and characterising essential aspects of urban deprivation related to the urban environment (e.g., contamination such as waste accumulations), urban morphology (e.g., unplanned urbanisation defined by built-up densities, street geometry, open/green spaces), and connectivity (e.g., the presence of infrastructures such as streetlights or road access). Such a mapping system provides meaningful information for classifying deprivation levels and discovering differences between and within deprived areas. Results are provided as an online tool for users to access information at the city and settlement scale in sub-Saharan African cities. The tool allows users to tailor information to support the improvement of living conditions for the rapidly growing number of urban inhabitants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Remote Sensing for Urban and Landscape Ecology
EditorsSk. Mustak, Dharmaveer Singh, Prashant Kumar Srivastava
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)978-981-99-3006-7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Publication series

NameAdvances in Geographical and Environmental Sciences
PublisherSpringer Nature
ISSN (Print)2198-3542
ISSN (Electronic)2198-3550


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