Justin McGuirk’s Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture should be required reading for anyone looking for ways out of the bleak social inequality we’re stuck in. There were 40 million more slum dwellers worldwide in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to the UN. Private markets clearly can’t provide universal housing in any way approaching efficiency, and governments are often hostile to the poor. — Metropolis Magazine
In his book, McGuirk analyzes numerous de facto housing solutions for overcrowded cities, including the infamous "Torre David" in Caracas, an abandoned high-rise which became an iconic squatter's structure partly because of government ineptitude and indifference.
Alastair Graham hopes Violence Prevention Through Urban Upgrading, an initiative of the government of Cape Town, South Africa, will end better. He calls the effort, which has been revamping areas around train stations since 2006, part of “a package of potential solutions … either improving safety, or improving socioeconomic situation, or improving quality of life.” The project is aimed at curbing violence by augmenting the public spaces in which violent crime frequently occurs [...]. — nextcity.org
Julia Ingalls published another edition of Archinect’s UpStarts: featuring Martha Read Architects. Referring to the design for a Marina authorities Building in Porto Montenegro, Olaf Design Ninja_ commented "it's like it's dancing, right Kristofer?...a little twist on the water kind of...
The mere utterance of Vanport was known to send shivers down the spines of "well-bred" Portlanders. Not because of any ghost story, or any calamitous disaster—that would come later—but because of raw, unabashed racism. Built in 110 days in 1942, Vanport was always meant to be a temporary housing project, a superficial solution to Portland’s wartime housing shortage. [...] In a few short years, Vanport went from being thought of as a wartime example of American innovation to a crime-laden slum. — smithsonianmag.com
Hanoi has faced the same population pressures as other Asian cities. But thanks to vague and informal conventions, the state has been able to avoid extreme levels of disservice, even to the most impoverished new urban areas. And the construction of homes themselves has remained at least loosely connected to the regulations of the more formal suburbs. Together these factors have prevented the formation of slums as they are typically defined. But how has this come about? — theguardian.com
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
In Case You Missed It, a look back at the major happenings from last week's News.Friday, July 25Families Removed From 'Tower of David' Skyscraper Slum: Venezuelans initially began living in the abandoned office towers in 2007, due to the country's burgeoning financial crisis. They are now being...
Andreína Contreras, a 26-year-old mother of two, lived until this week in the “Tower of David,” in Caracas, Venezuela, which has been described as the world’s tallest slum, because it is situated in an abandoned skyscraper.
She is among an estimated 1,150 families living in the tower who are to be removed and relocated permanently this week, seven years after the officially named Torre Confinanzas was first occupied as a result of Venezuela’s financial crisis... — Vice
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
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
Brazil’s burgeoning middle class have an important place in the country’s slums. This finding is part of a survey released by the newly created Instituto Data Favela which established that, in 2013, 65% of the country’s slum-dwellers belonged to the middle class. In 2003, this proportion was 33%. [...]
“But we are not only interested in the middle class,” he argues, “We want to benefit all community residents through sustainable and comprehensive development, achieved through economic avenues.” — thisbigcity.net
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
A new boutique hotel perched on top of one of Rio's previously most dangerous favelas is about to open. And yes, there is a jazz club and yoga, too.
These are new services catering to a new kind of favela resident.
"It's actually very conveniently located for my work," says Natalie Shoup, a 22-year-old American who lives in a favela called Babilonia, or Babylon. "This has a good amount of transportation to every part of the city. It's nice. It worked out really well." — npr.org
On the other hand: Remaking Rio: turning an urban dystopia into an Olympic playground (The Verge) Previously on Archinect: Olympic Displacement: Atlanta 1996 to Rio 2016 Before Olympics It's Demolition Derby
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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