He noted that there is a need for more research to be conducted on urban slums. “There is no clear typology of the different types of slums, no maps showing where one slum ends and where one begins and no clear data that shows whether people’s lives become better or worse over time,” he said. The project is one of 15 others within the Education and Human Development theme, Zelder said.Many of the project teams, including “Where are the ‘Real’ Slums in Bangalore,” are recruiting interested students, who will have the opportunity to not only work with other faculty members and students but retain ownership of their own sub-projects, he said. Part of a series that introduces the research done in Bass Connections to students, faculty and Durham residents, the goal of the presentation was to engage interested students, faculty and Durham residents outside of the project team, Zelder said. “We’re also committed to bringing our programming to the wider community, so that’s why we have these events that are open to anybody in the Duke community or the Durham community,” he said.
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The Bass Connections project team “Where are the ‘Real’ Slums in Bangalore” presented their work Tuesday, showing the variance of low-income slums in Bangalore. The team is currently conducting a survey on the economic and political development in different low-income urban settlements in Bangalore.
The project includes a map study, which uses satellite technology to capture changes in the settlements over time, and is led by faculty team members Anirudh Krishna, Edgar T.
Thompson professor of public policy, and Erik Wibbels, professor of political science. “We have this very broad idea about what education is, what human development is, and we’re interested in how people make progress in life in all sorts of settings, including slums in India where there’s rapid industrialization,” said Martin Zelder, director of undergraduate studies in the Bass Connections Education and Human Development theme. A number of factors have led people in areas outside of Bangalore to move into the city over the past few years, Krishna said—one of which is climate change.
As the weather has gotten hotter and rain has become less consistent, large numbers of rural residents have migrated into Bangalore. “We just have this huge boom in the size of the urban population and that boom is coming from a variety of different factors,” Wibbels said.