Urban Livelihoods in Slums of Chennai : Developing a Relational Understanding

T. Saharan, K. Pfeffer, I. Baud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


As South Asia urbanizes, urban poverty is becoming more important in the development
agenda. Many slums in India have existed for decades, despite multiple policies and programmes for
reducing urban poverty. This article reveals the diversity of slums as outcomes linked to their internal
development and their relations to the city’s macro-economic policies and institutional landscape. The
focus is on the way these relations shape opportunities and constraints of households’ livelihoods over time
in two slum settlements of Chennai. The research uses mixed methods to show how outcomes for
households are closely linked to the settlement history, institutions and city region of which they are a part
of. The article argues that slum development models and policies should promote relational understandings
of slum areas to influence policies towards more effective support for reducing poverty among residents.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean journal of development research
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes




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