Last edited 29 Aug 2022


AR5 Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability, Glossary, published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that: ‘Poverty is a complex concept with several definitions stemming from different schools of thought. It can refer to material circumstances (such as need, pattern of deprivation, or limited resources), economic conditions (such as standard of living, inequality, or economic position), and/or social relationships (such as social class, dependency, exclusion, lack of basic security, or lack of entitlement).’

It suggests that the poverty trap is: ‘…understood differently across disciplines. In the social sciences, the concept, primarily employed at the individual, household, or community level, describes a situation in which escaping poverty becomes impossible due to unproductive or inflexible resources. A poverty trap can also be seen as a critical minimum asset threshold, below which families are unable to successfully educate their children, build up their productive assets, and get out of poverty. Extreme poverty is itself a poverty trap, since poor persons lack the means to participate meaningfully in society. In economics, the term poverty trap is often used at national scales, referring to a self-perpetuating condition where an economy, caught in a vicious cycle, suffers from persistent underdevelopment (Matsuyama, 2008). Many proposed models of poverty traps are found in the literature.’

Articles about poverty on Designing Buildings include:

Designing Buildings Anywhere

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