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Title: The fragmented morphology of spontaneous settlements : the case study cities of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Zahedan (Iran)
Author: Shafiei, K.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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The rapid expansion of spontaneous settlements is an inevitable response to the increasing poor population in the Third World. These urban areas usually exhibit morphologic irregularities that are conventionally associated with enduring poverty. Nonetheless, cases are reported in which simultaneous physical and socio-economic self-improvements gradually transform a degraded settlement to a consolidated area. Accordingly, the thesis aims at revisiting the relation between irregularity and consolidation in spontaneous settlements. The hypothesis is that morphologic irregularity does not impede the consolidation of spontaneous settlements in long-term. A theoretical framework is developed in which consolidation is associated with the gradual fulfilment of dwellers' respective economic and territorial preferences. The theoretical framework also suggests that consolidation is reflected in the formation of local centres within spontaneous settlements. The hypothesis is then tested in two cities of Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) and Zahedan (Iran). Geometric accessibility is the key notion that relates irregularity and consolidation. Firstly, it is illustrated that higher accessibility in intermediate level enforces consolidation. The internal spatial structure of a spontaneous settlement is where higher intermediate accessibility facilitates consolidation through organizing the distribution of commercial land use. Also the lower city-wide accessibility of spontaneous settlements is reported. Irregularity and accessibility are related in the next stage. Irregularity is redefined as fragmentation (or the higher diversity in urban blocks' orientations) to prove that the case study settlements are more fragmented than their formal urban surroundings. Then it is heuristically illustrated that fragmentation decreases the city-wide accessibility of a settlement without impeding the emergence of its internal spatial structure. The thesis concludes that consolidation of a spontaneous settlement is facilitated when the lowered city-wide accessibility caused by fragmentation fulfils the dwellers' territorial preference while at the same time the emerged internal spatial structure satisfies their economic preference in an intermediate accessibility level.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available