Ishita Chatterjee

Morphogenesis of informal settlements in India

This project investigates morphogenic processes in the development of three informal settlements in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. Even though informal settlements do not have a professional planner they do not lack planning and urban design. The form of the settlement is an outcome of the interaction and negotiation between multiple stakeholders like landowners, builders, entrepreneurs, migrants, and the state. The foundation of my research lies in the argument that informality cannot be understood as a product; rather it needs to be seen as a process. The aim is to identify the morphological similarities along with the differences to understand the processes that cause them. What are the morphogenetic (form generating) processes through which informal settlements take shape? What are the typical spatial configurations and urban design codes that arise from these processes? What impact do the political, social, topographical and geographic factors have on the morphology of such settlements?