Master of Architecture
University of Newcastle

Sahibajot Kaur

Sahibajot Kaur

The city and its slums

“Poverty is not the absence of wealth; it is the absence of dignity.” - Ian Rosenberger.

‘The City and its Slums’ is an architectural project concerned with the development of slums in and around Chandigarh, India, and the city’s responsibility toward them. The confronting economic divide so visually ubiquitous throughout the country, urged its author to pursue the issue within her own hometown. The project argues that the city, as a concept, must provide for its people - especially those on which its economy, lifestyle and functioning depend.  

This line of argument is pursued at two scales:

that of the city, in which new, feasible ways of welcoming and integrating working migrants into Chandigarh’s built and social fabric are proposed, and

that of the slum, in which small-scale, case-by-case upgrades and improvements are proposed for existing slum areas, with the goal of keeping their built fabric intact, and in turn, keeping their social fabric intact.


Sahibajot Kaur


On the cusp of Punjab and Haryana, Le Corbusier’s ‘great experiment’, Chandigarh, sits at the foothills of the Himalayas. An archetype of modernist-European and Indian ideals, the city has a lot to offer. Even to the one third of its population that lives in its slums. It just doesn’t realise it.

‘Type 15’ explores this potential, by proposing work-living environments on ‘prime sites’ within the city, which are currently believed to be "too valuable for these people". It shows how providing centralised spaces for handicrafts to be practised and businesses to be run, can not only alleviate poverty and reduce social exclusion, but also add value and amenity to the city.