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The spatial form of poverty in Charles Booth\'s London

Vaughan, L; (2007) The spatial form of poverty in Charles Booth\'s London. In: Vaughan, L, (ed.) The Spatial Syntax of Urban Segregation. (pp. 231-250). Elsevier Green open access

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Abstract

This paper reviews recent research into poverty and spatial form and describes how the application of space syntax methods to this research area, coupled with the use of primary data from the Charles Booth maps of Povertyin 19th century London, has enabled analysis of the socio-economic and spatial structure of areas frequently perceived as \'ghettos\'. Through a comparison of two distinctive areas of London - Soho in the West End and the famously poor area of London\'s East End, the analysis shows a consistentcorrespondence between poverty and spatial segregation. Booth\'s economically based \'line of poverty\', used to distinguish between those \'in poverty\' and those living \'in comfort\' is supplemented in this paper by a proposed spatially defined line of poverty, distinguishing between poor, spatiallysegregated streets and more prosperous, spatially integrated streets. Furthermore, through the application of the latest segment angular techniques, space syntax analysis reveals a new finding relating to the formation of poverty areas, which combine low integration with large numbers of small street blocks, suggesting that this combination of spatial factorshelps explain the persistence of poverty and poor quality housing, detrimental to the living standards of the poverty classes. This finding also helps explain how such areas can create a sense of entering \'another world\', with the emergence of sub-cultures and new communities. The paperconcludes with the proposition that when such areas are located close to economically active, well integrated streets, such spatial patterning can serve as a necessary mechanism for the social integration of minorities and is frequently part of a natural process of acculturation and integration in the urban environment.

Type: Book chapter
Title: The spatial form of poverty in Charles Booth\'s London
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.progress.2007.03.001
Additional information: This is part of a special issue which I am editing around my research area of social/spatial segregation. The whole issue was recently submitted (September 2006) and is under review at present. This is a chapter within a single issue monograph of the journal Progress in Planning.
Keywords: segregation, poverty, London
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett School of Architecture
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/3273
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