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Segregation and Spatial Inequality - a comparative discussion North-South

Eduardo Marques

The study of segregation and social inequalities is a classical theme in urban sociology, mobilizing both qualitative and quantitative methods. However, the absence of reliable data has limited these studies to cities of Western industrial countries, as well as to qualitative investigations on Southern cities. More recently, the development of new data sources and the diffusion of methods of spatial analysis are making it possible to study trends in spatial inequality in a wider range of cities than in the past. As a consequence, a series of new studies in recent years have focused the structures of urban segregation and the inequality patterns of large cities of the South. This session takes pro fit of this new tendency to produce a dialogue between studies of segregation, urban inequalities, neighbourhood change and informal housing, as well as the growing enclaves of affluent residents in both Northern and Southern cities.

We invite studies above segregation structure, favelas, irregular settlements and detailed spatial analysis of the organization of neighbourhood inequality, linking information about who lives where to information about the conditions of life and collective resources in those areas, and seeking theoretical explanations for these patterns. We believe that increasing the knowledge base about individual cities in specific countries will lead to a better comparative theory of urbanization processes.