Repository logo

Energy justice in slum rehabilitation housing: An empirical exploration of built environment effects on socio-cultural energy demand

Published version

Change log


Debnath, R 
Simoes, GMF 
Lamberts, R 


jats:pThe interaction of energy and buildings institutes a complex socio-technical system that influences the eudemonic well-being of the occupants. Understanding these drivers become even more necessary in impoverished areas where occupants struggle to avail essential energy services. The literature indicates that energy injustice can be addressed through provisioning of comfort, cleanliness, and convenience (3Cs) as critical cultural energy services in low-income areas. This study investigates the socio-architectural influence for slum rehabilitation housing (SRH) on cultural energy services that can promote distributive justice. The methodology adopts an empirical route using data from 200 household surveys from SRH in Mumbai, India, and João Pessoa, Brazil. A model between the 3Cs and socio-architectural elements was established using Firth’s binary logistic regression. The survey results showed that the SRH in Brazil had twice the appliance ownership as compared to the Mumbai SRH. There were distinct energy service preferences in the study areas, despite common poverty burdens. The empirical results showed that the lack of socio-architectural design elements like open spaces, privacy, and walkability in the study areas demanded specific comfort and convenience appliances as a counter-response. A critical policy implication drawn was on the need for socio-architectural inclusive energy planning for distributive justice in poverty. Mitigating rising energy demand through appropriate built environment design of slum rehabilitation housing can contribute to fulfilling the UN’s SDG 7 (clean and affordable energy) and 11 (sustainable cities and communities) goals.</jats:p>



poverty, energy justice, built environment, planning policy, slum rehabilitation, energy service, demand-side management, housing design

Journal Title

Sustainability (Switzerland)

Conference Name

Journal ISSN


Volume Title



Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1144)
Ministry of Human Resource Development (14MHRD005)