Preprint Communication Version 3 Preserved in Portico This version is not peer-reviewed

Revisiting the Mechanism Behind the Similar Size of Slums

Version 1 : Received: 11 July 2020 / Approved: 12 July 2020 / Online: 12 July 2020 (11:31:00 CEST)
Version 2 : Received: 17 August 2020 / Approved: 20 August 2020 / Online: 20 August 2020 (09:14:32 CEST)
Version 3 : Received: 22 December 2020 / Approved: 23 December 2020 / Online: 23 December 2020 (10:29:43 CET)

How to cite: Friesen, J.; Hartig, J.; Pelz, P. F. Revisiting the Mechanism Behind the Similar Size of Slums. Preprints 2020, 2020070249. Friesen, J.; Hartig, J.; Pelz, P. F. Revisiting the Mechanism Behind the Similar Size of Slums. Preprints 2020, 2020070249.


Worldwide, about one in eight people live in slums. Empirical studies based on satellite data have identified that the size distributions of this type of settlement are similar in different cities of the Global South. Based on these results, we developed a model describing the formation of slums with a Turing mechanism, in which patterns are created by diffusion-driven instability and the inherent characteristic length of the system is independent of boundary conditions. We examine the model in this paper by critically reflecting its assumptions, comparing them with recent empirical observations and discussing possible adjustments and future extensions based on new methods of identifying pattern formation mechanisms.


slums; informal settlements; bifurcation; Turing pattern


Physical Sciences, Acoustics

Comments (1)

Comment 1
Received: 23 December 2020
Commenter: John Friesen
Commenter's Conflict of Interests: Author
Comment: We updated the discussion, the name of the article, since clustering isn't the focus of the paper anymore, added a new paragraph named "General reflections" and updated the Figures. While the first version of the article was based mainly on simulation results of a study by Hartig, the major changes to the second version and also to this current third version were made by John Friesen. Since the most recent version and the now added section "General Reflections" were largely written by John Friesen, the authors agreed unanimously to change the order of authorship.
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