ACCESSIBILITY ASSESSMENT: TRAINING THE SLUM RESIDENTS IN SCALING THE ‘ACCESSIBILITY’
- Department of Geography, University of Mumbai, India
Keywords: Informal, habitat planning, dualism, Accessibility, ODK, smart, Quantum GIS
Abstract. With almost half of the developing world turning ‘urban’, it becomes a major challenge for the local self-governments to assure availability and accessibility of basic infrastructural facilities to citizens at affordable rates. The issues of accessibility become especially complicated in the cities of Global South as ‘accessibility’ is highly politicized and governed by various forces that shape social, cultural and economic hierarchies. The city space not only experiences spatial segregation but also a peculiarly linked social segregation that runs along ethnic identities creating conditions of social and economic polarization at not only macro level as well as at micro levels within slums that house lower income groups (LIG) and economically weaker sections (EWS). The conditions of inaccessibility decisively affect the wellbeing of these groups leading to erosion of social and mental wellbeing. The effective implementation of various welfare schemes also mostly remains inadequate due to the highly complicated nature of ‘inaccessibility’ and lack of transparency.
For effective implementation of various welfare schemes, the government has already moved towards ‘e-governance’. Ironically, the use of ‘smart’ technology remains restricted to higher income groups and the LIG and EWS gets excluded again due to lack of knowledge. In fact, these sections of urban population who suffer absolutely due to conditions of ‘inaccessibility’ need to be trained and involved in measuring the levels of accessibility and improving access to various basic infrastructural facilities. The paper will attempt at introducing a module that is based in simpler technologies like ODK (open data kit) and Quantum GIS to train the slum residents in mapping the accessibility vis-à-vis basic infrastructural facilities and improve the accessibility through positive deliberations with the local selfgovernments.