Skyline
Urban Environmental Management

Urban Squatters and Slums
Adopting a Rational Approach

Manifestation of income and other gaps in health, education, skills, etc. can be seen in slums and squatter settlements of most urban areas in developing countries. Slums are not 'problems' that have to be 'solved' - but are indeed a result of lopsided and vested urban policies covering land ownership, infrastructure provision and maintenance, and other socio-economic issues. And for the poor, they represent a solution.
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1 October is World Habitat Day:
"With over one billion poor people living without adequate shelter and basic services in slums and squatter settlements, the challenge of the urban millennium is to improve the living environment of the poor ... we must all dedicate ourselves to the task of ensuring that, one day, we will live in a world of cities without slums,"- Mrs. Anna Tibaijuka, Executive Director of UNCHS (Habitat).
More than half of the population of Mumbai (Bombay) live in slums and on pavements (1998).
Slums and squatter settlements represent a series of trade-offs between -
poor living quality
and
close proximity to jobs and markets
poor quality of houses
and
low affordable investment in housing
no housing
and
tenural insecurity
no access to infrastructure
and
informal and intermitent supply of urban services




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Contact: Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org