Using a Socio-Cultural Framework to Understand Leadership Structures Amongst the Urban Poor
Urban and Regional Planning
Volume 4, Issue 3, September 2019, Pages: 79-90
Received: May 30, 2019; Accepted: Jul. 10, 2019; Published: Jul. 24, 2019
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Amy Richmond, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, USA
Richard Wolfel, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, United States Military Academy, West Point, USA
Karen Walsh, GROW Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), Tamale, Ghana
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Informal settlements have been the most pervasive form of new urban development over the past half century and the gap between the rich and poor has never been wider. In this paper we determine the characteristics that are critical to understanding leadership structures in deprived regions within dense urban areas. In doing so we establish the key characteristics that contribute to urban poverty and introduce a conceptual model that can be applied to any city and contributes to an understanding of the socio-cultural characteristics of leadership structures in a slum. The framework we use in this paper to understand slum leadership structures is initially applied to Accra and Delhi. Urban poverty is frequently discussed either in terms of the developing or developed world, therefore we also apply the same framework to a disadvantaged community in the United States. This highlights that although the approaches to studying urban poor are often separate and distinct between the Global South and Global North, we believe using a similar framework can emphasize similarities and differences that might contribute to policy that is more effective in both locations. All of our discussed case studies highlight the importance of effective informal local leadership structures that communicate well with a transparent formal city government. Partnerships between all levels of leadership are paramount to successful city planning that focuses simultaneously on economic development and social equity. We expect this research will contribute to a more holistic perspective of how leadership structures within informal regions are related to the city as a whole.
Leadership Structures, Informality, Dense Urban Areas, Accra, Delhi
To cite this article
Amy Richmond, Richard Wolfel, Karen Walsh, Using a Socio-Cultural Framework to Understand Leadership Structures Amongst the Urban Poor, Urban and Regional Planning. Vol. 4, No. 3, 2019, pp. 79-90. doi: 10.11648/j.urp.20190403.11
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