Discomfort and distress in slum rehabilitation: Investigating a rebound phenomenon using a backcasting approach.
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Debnath, R., Bardhan, R., & Sunikka-Blank, M. (2019). Discomfort and distress in slum rehabilitation: Investigating a rebound phenomenon using a backcasting approach.. Habitat international, 87 75-90. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.habitatint.2019.03.010
Slum rehabilitation policies in India is observed to have a rebound effect on the occupants, where rehabilitated occupants move back to the horizontal slums. In this study, we investigate the cause behind this rebound phenomenon based on a theory of homeostasis, where the loss of homeostasis refers to occupants' heightened discomfort and distress in their built environment. A novel methodological framework was developed to investigate it based on the principles of participatory backcasting approach and the theory of homeostasis. Thirty households in Mumbai's slum rehabilitation housing were interviewed to determine the social, economic and environmental cause of distress and discomfort. Granular information was obtained by further investigating the factors that influence occupants' attitude, emotions, health, control and habits in their built environment that regulates their holistic comfort and lack of stress. The causal linkages among these factors were established using a qualitative fault tree. Results show two primary cause of distress and discomfort in the study area owing to economic distress and built environment related discomfort. Economic distress was from low-income and high electricity bills due to higher household appliance ownership, and built environment discomfort was due to lack of social spaces and poor design of the slum rehabilitation housing. This study showed that mitigating such non-income drivers of distress and discomfort can prevent rebound phenomenon and improve the sustainability of the slum rehabilitation process.
RD would like to thank the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission and the Cambridge Trust for support through the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship 2017-18 (INSS-2017-339) and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for support through the Gates-Cambridge Scholarship 2018-21 (OPP1144). RB would like to thank Charles Wallace India Trust for supporting her as a CWIT Fellow- 2018 at CRASSH, University of Cambridge. Part of this study is supported by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India project ‘FAST’ (Grant No. 14MHRD005) and IRCC-IIT Bombay Fund (Grant No. 16IRCC561015) and the British Academy Knowledge Frontiers: International Interdisciplinary Research Projects titled ‘Gender and household energy: female participation in designing domestic energy in India's slum rehabilitation housing’ (Grant No. KF1\100033). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the funding bodies and supporting organisations.
External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.habitatint.2019.03.010
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/292623
Attribution 4.0 International
Licence URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/