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Architecture of low-income widow housing: ‘spatial opportunities’ in Madipur, West Delhi

Datta, Ayona (2008) Architecture of low-income widow housing: ‘spatial opportunities’ in Madipur, West Delhi. Cultural Geographies, 15. pp. 255-260. ISSN 1474-4740

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1474474007087501


This paper is based on a study of Madipur widow colony in west Delhi, built as part of the UN International Year of Shelter for the Homeless in 1987. Designed to accommodate widows from squatter settlements in Delhi, very few of the original houses now survive and very few of the original owners remain. The spatial stories of the participants suggest how and why and under what circumstances, a State’s visions of empowerment as translated into utopian architectural projects are transformed by the people who inhabit them, in their attempts to reshape themselves and their spaces. They illustrate how a particular set of ‘spatial opportunities’ built into the widow colony are manipulated and seized upon by the participants to produce an uneven geography of architecture and empowerment. This paper thus extends the important work on critical geographies of architecture, to the architecture of low-income housing in the global South.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2008 Sage Publications
Divisions: LSE Cities
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Date Deposited: 07 Feb 2008
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 13:39

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