The rapid pace of urbanization in developing countries places increasing levels of stress on cities. As thousands of people move into urban areas each year, the availability of affordable housing emerges as a key challenge. In India, 412 million people live in urban areas. Depending on the source...
"In most cities in Latin America, most of the building over last 50 years—depending on the city—40, 50, 60, 70 percent has been through incremental construction.” [...]
The majority of Aravena’s social housing work has also rested on the unique conditions and high level of investment from Chile’s social housing program. [...]
Isn’t asking the poor to shoulder more of the housing burden an inherently unfair proposition? — newrepublic.com
'Why can’t communities simply be communities and develop in the organic way that we allow other communities to develop?'...'They are inspirational in that people have developed them themselves, without government and real estate types pushing them around. Without a doubt, they still have problems. But they are stabilising themselves and, over time, knitting themselves into the fabric of their cities. This is a true marvel of global urbanism.' — The Guardian
Mumbai’s gigantic slums are one of the city’s most prominent—and problematic—features. Dharavi, located in the heart of Mumbai, is home to upwards of 1.5 million people, giving it the distinction of being one of the largest slums in all of Asia. [...] it will also be home to what organizers are calling the first slum museum. [...]
The museum itself will be a small, flexible mobile structure, which will make it easy for it to be pulled through the slum’s streets on a bike or small vehicle. — smithsonianmag.com
‘El mejor anuncio de la historia’, or ‘the best ad in history’ is a picture taken in February 2008, which neatly encapsulates several aspects of the city’s urban landscape: the formal, the informal and the promotional.
'[...]Around and in between the super bloques a carpet of slums has grown, an organism that now seems to bind the blocks together in some symbiotic relationship. These are the kind of hybrid forms that are developing in Latin American cities [...]’ — failedarchitecture.com
They were once the tallest residential structures in Europe and a beacon of hope for residents of Glasgow’s slums. Now ... the remaining structures of the Red Road flats will, at last, be demolished. [...]
Built in the 1960s on Glasgow’s north-eastern edge, the flats were intended to house almost 5,000 people as part of an effort to ease overcrowding and combat slum conditions. But in the decades that followed, they were plagued by a range of problems, social and structural. — theguardian.com
If America decides to take on its growing slum problem, people will need to think hard about how to do so. Mobility programs are proven to work for the families who move, but what happens to the neighborhoods that people leave? Can affordable-housing projects in low-income areas also help poor families succeed, or are they doomed to fail their residents, no matter how nice they are, because of where they are located? — theatlantic.com
The Ponte saga is a classic South African story. Once a Jacuzzi-filled playground for the segregated white elite in the apartheid era, then falling into chaos in the 1990s as the wealthy fled to the suburbs, then the object of failed luxury-condo schemes, the tower is now undergoing a renaissance as an icon of Johannesburg’s urban revitalization. [...]
The hollow core began to fill with garbage and rubble – several stories high. — theglobeandmail.com
The slum, of course, is the hottest button in urbanism. Beneath the cliché that half the world’s population lives in cities — and that urban populations will double by 2050 — is the fact that only bottom-up informal settlements, or slums, can absorb several billion new residents in the timeframe. [...]
URBZ is notable in that it offers a third way at looking at Dharavi — as both a failure and a better path to success than stillborn smart cities or other attempts at top-down instant urbanism. — nextcity.org
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
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
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
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