Transport, urban development and the peripheral poor in Colombia : placing splintering urbanism in the context of transport networks
Dávila, Julio D.
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In rapidly growing cities the evolution of utility and communication infrastructures has enabled the creation of ‘premium networked spaces’ exclusively for wealthier groups thus deepening already large social inequalities. By the same token, in a context of spatially concentrated income-earning opportunities and other urban functions, as well as limited purchasing power, accessibility to adequate means of connectivity with the rest of the urban fabric can be a determining factor in overcoming conditions of poverty for residents in physically marginal areas. Using the case study of Soacha, a municipality adjacent to Bogotá, Colombia’s capital city, we explore the evolution of vulnerable populations in peripheral informal settlements in parallel with the development of transport networks in the decade 2000-2010. Drawing on the splintering urbanism thesis we examine the apparent mismatch between the evolution of informal settlements and transport networks with the aim of identifying the effects of an uneven provision of material infrastructures and services for mobility on marginalization. We observe central elements in the structure of the networks of connectivity between Bogotá and Soacha, identifying the main gaps that lead to a fragmented set of connections. We develop a set of criteria for planners and policy makers in search of a better informed analysis of transport supply and policy development praxis for poor peripheral populations in similar regions and contexts.