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The Economic and Social Processes Influencing the Level and Nature of Chronic Poverty in Urban Areas

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The objective of this paper is to review the economic, political and social processes influencing the nature, extent and depth of poverty in urban areas of the South. The task is primarily descriptive, seeking to summarise what is already known about these processes and to demarcate significant components of chronic urban poverty in the South. Due to the relative newness of the field, it seeks to draw on a wide range of literature in order to understand the issues. The discussion is tentative about the scope and depth of the findings. The strategy is to draw together insights from a wide range of disciplines, and city and neighbourhood studies. Inevitably some experiences will be left out ­ the discussion seeks to represent either experiences that are most commonplace or those whose exceptionality informs the reader and develops our understanding. At the same time as providing and overview, the discussion argues that poverty can arise within, and be aggravated, both by the physical nature of the home and neighbourhood and by individuals' (and households') position in the labour and commodity markets.

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