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Influence of Urban Form on Co-presence in Public Space: A Space Syntax Analysis of Informal Settlements in Pune, India
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This master thesis is intended as a contribution to the understanding of the influence urban form has on urban life and by extension social structures in society, by focusing on gender relations and their reflections on the use of public space. In addition, the aim of the study is to do so in relation to a comparison between two different types of urban environments; one slum area that can be regarded as formally unplanned with an irregular gradually grown street network and one slum area of more deliberately planned character with a more regular street grid. With the use of quantitative methods, such as space syntax, structured observations and correlations studies, differences in co-presence between women and men, in the form of staying in public space, and between the areas are discovered. With the addition of qualitative methods, such as interviews and unstructured observations, as well as a review of the context in which the study is set and a theoretical discourse the reasons behind the differences is discussed. It is suggested that the blurred distinctions between private and public space often found in slum areas and the division of responsibilities and activities between women and men in the given context results in a certain degree of gender segregation in public space. Women are often restricted to the space in proximity of their homes, why it becomes an extension of their homes as well as a space for interaction which creates semi-public spaces. As men more often socialise further away from home in spaces of more public function, this creates a certain degree of segregation between women and men in public space. The most significant physical difference between the study areas proved to be the hierarchal properties of the street network. The clearer hierarchy in the unplanned area implicates that the spaces where women stays generally is of a lower degree of public function. The regular street grid of the planned area resulted in a more even distribution of public function, why men more often also stays in the semi-public spaces in residential alleys. In this way the built environment in the unplanned area reflects and reproduces gender relations in the use of public space. An implication is that since the correspondence between social structures in society and the use of public space is something that can assumed be effected by design, the urban designer has continuously in the context of development of slum areas in the developing world, and in general, an important role to play.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 48 p.
SoM EX, 2012-35
Keyword [en]
Urban form, space syntax, public space, informal settlements, slum, unplanned built environment, gender.
National Category
Architectural Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-102424OAI: diva2:552754
Subject / course
Regional Planning
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Urban Management
2012-09-04, KTH, Stockholm, 16:27 (English)
Available from: 2012-10-08 Created: 2012-09-16 Last updated: 2012-10-08Bibliographically approved

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