The paper argues that inadequate attention has been paid to urban spatial poverty traps but that, in light of the current trends (urbanisation and rising urban poverty), there is a clear need to improve understanding of and policy responses to them. The paper argues that spatial inequality in urban areas is based on more than physical proximity to services, infrastructure and jobs. Rather, it is linked to the development over time of distinct areas of urban deprivation that undermines the benefits of physical proximity that urban residence may offer. The paper argues that social analysis and micro-level analysis are critical in the urban context. It presents a framework that combines geography and social dynamics to show how spatial poverty traps exist in urban areas.
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