Today, over half of the world’s population lives in urban areas and by the middle of this century 7 out of 10 people will live in a city. This increased urbanization has also lead to more and more people residing in informal settlements, generally known as slums.

The challenge of slums

The proliferation of slums is a worldwide problem that the UN-habitat had coined “The challenge of Slums” in 2003. While there are many different definitions of what constitutes a slum, for residents the reality is often inadequate shelter, poor sanitation, insufficient access to healthcare and in general a poor quality of life.

By the middle of the 21st century, it is estimated that the urban population of developing countries will more than double, increasing from 2.5 billion in 2009 to almost 5.2 billion in 2050. In India (2011) roughly 13.7 million households, or 17.4% of urban Indian households, were considered to be part of a slum. Each slum in a city suffers from varying degrees of depravity. 

Growth dynamics of slums

This project aims to build high-resolution agent-based models that can describe the growth dynamics of slums in Bangalore. Such a model will create a virtual slum that decision-makers, and researchers, can use to explore how different policies would influence the growth, development or contraction of slums. 

The project team plans to build on their existing work and develop a decision support system for slums in general, which will help guide experts when evaluating or designing policies to improve conditions within slums. This involves developing new computational methods for analyzing satellite images and new data visualization techniques for simulation steering. 

Reusable software

Through extending the existing decision support prototype, and applying it to a new domain of slum policy, the hope is to generalize the current software. Therefore, this proposal will aim to develop a reusable software framework for decision support and disseminate it to other users.

Image: Dharavi slum, Mumbai, India – by nozomiiqel


University of Amsterdam
Triangles 2

Let’s collaborate

Are you a researcher who could benefit from our eScience skills and experience? Reach out to us today and let’s explore how we can work together.


Stay abreast of our latest news, events and funding opportunities

  • Dit veld is bedoeld voor validatiedoeleinden en moet niet worden gewijzigd.