The purpose of this data collection is to provide spatial data on urban development patterns, with a particular emphasis on informal settlements. The data may be of use in decision support systems to address issues of vulnerability, risk to natural hazards, poverty alleviation, and urban planning.
Informal settlements (also referred as slums) can be defined as residential areas that have developed incrementally without a formal plan and consent of the municipal authority. They either lack or have inadequate infrastructure (roads, water and sewer network) and haphazardly oriented buildings which are usually self-constructed and likely do not conform to building regulations.
The first data set in this collection is based on Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, which is considered one of the most dynamic urban centers in Africa. The Dar es Salaam Land Use and Informal Settlement Data Set contains urban land use and consolidation of informal settlements for the years 1982, 1992, 1998, and 2002.
The second is a global data set containing location and size of urban populations over the last 6,000 years. The Historical Urban Population, 3700 BC - AD 2000 data set originally developed by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies can be used to improve the understanding of contemporary and historical urbanization trends.