05 January, 2010

Favelas: The Challenge of Slums

Distinctions among slums: they vary widely in size, age, and level of political and social organization; some are in the centres of cities while others spring up on the peripheries; and though most occupy hazardous lands, these might be steep slopes, flood plains, or toxic dumps…
Housing ranges from relatively consolidated to entirely provisional; some of it is hand-me-down, some is built specifically for the poor, and some is opportunistic like sidewalks or under bridges and shanties in landfills or cemeteries.

Mike Davis, "Planet of Slums", 2008

A billion people, primarily in the developing countries like Brazil live in circumstances that fit the classic definition of slums, circumstances characterized by overcrowding, substandard and/ or informal housing, inadequate access to clean water and sanitation, and insecure tenure.

Upwards of 90% of urban residents in some places live in slum conditions. The number of slum-dwellers is expected to double by 2030; slums are now the dominant form of urban land use in much of the developing world.
Photos: Jorge Ayala

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