Table 2

Features that have been suggested as those that might help in characterising slums*

Built environment
  • Construction materials for houses especially floor, wall and roofing materials†

  • Lay-out of lanes/buildings (haphazard vs organised; high vs low entropy); road width

  • Density of living area (people per room or per square kilometre)†

Services
  • Water†

  • Sanitation†

  • Power (electricity (legal and illegal), gas)

  • Schools

  • Garbage removal (public/locally organised)

  • Health facilities/services per unit of population

  • Transport (Euclidean and Manhattan distances from work places and facilities)

Ecology
  • Gradient; altitude (floodplains, areas at risk of subsidence, landslides and other hazards)

  • Green spaces

  • Blue spaces

  • Air quality

  • Environment and industrial hazards

Socioeconomic
  • Security of tenure/title†

  • Poverty level

  • Access to amenities/place of work

  • Stigma

  • *This list is not exhaustive, but covers many of the main features of slums found in the literature.

  • †Features included in the UN-Habitat definition (table 1).