Mapping informal settlements – Richard Sliuzas, UN Habitat Video Series

Richard Sliuzas from the University of Twente in the Netherlands in this lecture outlines how new technologies means new approaches to mapping, in particular slum mapping, and the implications.


In this lecture, Richard Sliuzas begins by stating that slum areas are not all equal and it should be considered when mapping them. There are attributes that distinguish settlements such as density, form and materiality.  Sliuzas highlights the relevance of mapping informal settlements in identifying roads, delineating parcels, land tenure registration, and title tracking.  The traditional mode of mapping has been pedestrian hand-held devices, however using unmanned aerial vehicles is becoming the norm. This new technology has increased detail and resolution imagery for even smaller areas than before.

The data collected has been used to create 3D models to do runoff analysis, vulnerability study and international advocacy by public institutions, commercial and non-profit organizations. Assisted with this type of technology, the future of slum mapping will require local knowledge and updating as slums change rapidly.

Richard is an urban planner, specialised in the use of geo-spatial technologies for urban planning and management. He has worked in planning education and research since joining ITC in December 1983, where he is currently Associate Professor. From 2012-2013 he was team leader of the Integrated Flood Management in Kampala project undertaken under the UN-Habitat Cities and Climate Change Initiative. He is currently coordinator of the Resilience and Risks Management Strategies thematic group of the Association of European Schools of Planning (AESOP).

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