Housing Adequacy in Delhi, Dhaka and Karachi: Lessons for Promoting Sustainable and Inclusive Housing in Developing Countries
26 Pages Posted: 6 Sep 2023
In the context of rapid urbanisation and acute demand for decent housing, this study investigates access to adequate housing in the Indian subcontinent, comparing housing scenarios in the three most dense megacities - Delhi, Dhaka and Karachi - using recent Demographic and Health Surveys. Findings suggest that all three cities have acute housing shortages as four out of ten households in these cities experience inadequate access to and unequal distribution of living space. Income inequality is the most influential attribute that contributes to housing inadequacy whereas the other two important factors are inhabitants’ socio-cultural background and educational attainment. Comparative data reveal Dhaka particularly lagging in provisioning quality sanitation. Dhaka and Karachi have progressed significantly in the provision of housing adequacy but not Delhi. One of the major challenges is to access living space rather than access to basic services, with an exception in Dhaka where access to sanitation is still an issue. Perhaps, national and international development organisations’ continuous efforts have bridged the gap in access to basic services. The paper recommends strategies for improving housing adequacy in South Asian cities using multipronged strategies, including reducing widespread inequality and potential lessons for sustainable and inclusive housing in developing countries' cities.
Keywords: housing adequacy, urban utilities, megacities, inequality, South Asia, SDG11
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