It’s time to retire the term gentrification altogether. Fourteen years ago, Maureen Kennedy and Paul Leonard of the Brookings Institution wrote that gentrification “is a politically loaded concept that generally has not been useful in resolving growth and community change debates because its meaning is unclear.” That’s even truer today. Some U.S. cities do have serious affordability problems, but they’re not the problems critics of gentrification think they are. — slate.com
France has embarked on an ambitious plan to remake Paris -- and, in the process, solve its suburbs problem. On Jan. 1, 2016, Paris, along with Clichy and more than 120 of its closest suburbs, will be enfolded into the Métropole du Grand Paris, an ambitious but still ill-defined project to create a sort of uber-city -- an overarching metropolitan government for the greater Paris area, encompassing around 7 million inhabitants and over 270 square miles. — Foreign Policy
This ambitious project will be the first of its kind in the world, one that planners hope can become a model for other cities. The Parisian suburbs – or banlieues – are notoriously underprivileged. Generally, Paris and its environs are markedly economically segregated: the central city is...
The Hemakcheat was once one of Cambodia’s most beloved cinemas and Meas Sopheap one of its star dancers. Today it is a notorious slum, and Meas one of hundreds who shelter there. [...]
Hundreds of men, women and children shelter here, many on the ground-floor auditorium where they are shrouded in permanent darkness among hundreds of bats that screech and flap their wings constantly. [...] More waste falls from makeshift floors constructed above. The rotten stench of sewage is overpowering. — theguardian.com
Venezuelan soldiers and officials began moving hundreds of families on Tuesday out of a half-built 45-story skyscraper that dominates the Caracas skyline and is thought to be the world's tallest slum. Residents from the "Tower of David” were going to new homes in the town of Cua, south of Caracas [...]. President Nicolas Maduro's government has not yet said what it will do with the tower, but one local newspaper reported Chinese banks were buying it to restore to its original purpose. — nbcnews.com
Previously:Iwan Baan presents TORRE DAVID / GRAN HORIZONTE in Los AngelesAnywhere but Here: Deserted Banking Empire turned Skyscraper SlumThe world's tallest slum: Rare look at an illegal ghetto in the sky
Skyscrapers and shanties, gleaming malls and rundown markets, palatial houses and the piss-poor guys who build them: Those are the divides in cities like Mumbai, Nairobi and Manila. Rich and poor do not much mingle.
But a movement is afoot to change that. It aims to integrate the poor into the urban bloodstream, instead of shunting them from sight. For this "inclusive cities" movement, urban renewal doesn't require razing slums and markets. — npr.org
A Milwaukee bar called Nomad World Pub wanted to create a special place for its customers to watch the World Cup, so it decided to set up a faux favela inspired by Rio de Janeiro’s poverty-stricken mountainside slums. The fact the space comes with a taco hut — a type of food not even served in Brazil — reveals the depth of ignorance out of which it was created. You have to wonder: is the menu in Spanish too? — hyperallergic.com
Cars offer more than just convenience: they can give lower income Americans an economic leg up. [...]
While tracking households that had participated in two federal housing voucher programs, [a study] found that car owners were twice as likely as transit users to find jobs and four times likelier to retain them. Car-owning households were also able to locate near better neighborhoods and schools. This reaffirmed previous work ... arguing that car ownership plants the seeds for upward mobility. — thedailybeast.com
On the World Design Capital (WDC) website, Cape Town presents some remarkable shack design projects aimed to solve a nationwide slum problem. Yet even with more than 200 informal settlements and 600,000 residents waiting for formal housing, the Western Cape has been slow to implement the 'transformative design' it celebrates. [...]
The backlog hit 2.1m units in 2013 and at least 1.9 million people (more than 10% of all households) live in shacks or other makeshift dwellings. — theguardian.com
One of the coffin-sized living spaces — which have been built into the bridge frame near the Manhattan entrance — is secured with a flimsy bike lock and bolted to a metal beam by its inhabitant.
The pods are built into the underside of the upper deck, below car traffic but above the subway and bike lanes.
To reach his makeshift studio, the bridge dweller — a stocky, neatly dressed Chinese man in his 40s — climbs a chain-link fence to a nook above the bike lane, witnesses said. — nypost.com
Last week, the city of Phoenix made a startling announcement. The Arizona capital had previously identified 222 chronically homeless veterans living in the city, more than half of them veterans of the Vietnam War. [...]
Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said last week that every last one of them now had a roof overhead. The city has effectively ended chronic veteran homelessness, according to the mayor [...].
Phoenix did this – prioritizing housing first, then wrapping other services around it. — theatlanticcities.com
Because of Beijing’s sky-high apartment rental costs, as many as two million people—about a tenth of the city’s population—are said to be living below street level in underground storage basements and air-raid shelters partitioned into cramped, windowless rooms. Many of those who have to crowd into these homes are migrant workers like Wang, from the nearby province of Hebei. — qz.com
Are you interested in visiting South Africa? Interested in seeing the real South Africa? Interested in experiencing how the real people live? Interested in tasting the poverty and hardship of life in a shanty town? And—most importantly—are you fearful and white? Congratulations! You're a perfect guest for the Shanty Town at Emoya Luxury Hotel and Spa, where, for less than $100 a night, you can get the authentic experience of living in a shanty town—without the bothersome shanty dwellers. — gawker.com
Welcome to the world’s tallest slum: poverty-ridden Venezuela’s Tower of David. Squatters took over this very unfinished 45-story skyscraper in the early 1990s, and they’ve been there ever since. The tower was originally intended to be a symbol of Caracas’ bright financial future, complete with a rooftop helipad, but construction stopped because of a banking crisis and the sudden death of the tower’s namesake, David Brillembourg. — vocativ.com
The Lagos state commissioner for housing, Adedeji Olatubosun Jeje, provided a different version of events.
“It’s a regeneration of a slum,” he said. “We gave enough notification. The government intends to develop 1,008 housing units. What we removed was just shanties. — NYT
Adam Nossiter covers recent slum clearance efforts led by the governor of Lagos, Babatunde Fashola. As Lagos aims to become a premier business center, the city’s poor and homeless are becoming the government’s enemy. Last week, parts of Badia East (with perhaps...
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