A slum is a highly populated urban residential area consisting mostly
of closely packed, decrepit housing units in a situation of
deteriorated or incomplete infrastructure, inhabited primarily by
impoverished persons. While slums differ in size and other
characteristics, most lack reliable sanitation services, supply of
clean water, reliable electricity, law enforcement and other basic
Slum residences vary from shanty houses to professionally
built dwellings which, because of poor-quality construction or
provision of basic maintenance, have deteriorated.
Due to increasing urbanization of the general populace, slums became
common in the 18th to late 20th centuries in the
United States and
Europe. Slums are still predominantly found in urban regions of
developing countries, but are also still found in developed
According to UN-Habitat, around 33% of the urban population in the
developing world in 2012, or about 863 million people, lived in
slums. The proportion of urban population living in slums was
Sub-Saharan Africa (61.7%), followed by
South Asia (35%),
Southeast Asia (31%),
East Asia (28.2%),
West Asia (24.6%), Oceania
Latin America and the
Caribbean (23.5%), and North Africa
(13.3%). Among individual countries, the proportion of urban residents
living in slum areas in 2009 was highest in the Central African
Republic (95.9%). Between 1990 and 2010 the percentage of people
living in slums dropped, even as the total urban population
increased. The world's largest slum city is found in the
Ixtapaluca area, located in the State of Mexico.
Slums form and grow in different parts of the world for many different
reasons. Causes include rapid rural-to-urban migration, economic
stagnation and depression, high unemployment, poverty, informal
economy, forced or manipulated ghettoization, poor planning, politics,
natural disasters and social conflicts. Strategies tried to
reduce and transform slums in different countries, with varying
degrees of success, include a combination of slum removal, slum
relocation, slum upgrading, urban planning with citywide
infrastructure development, and public housing.
1 Etymology and nomenclature
3 Causes that create and expand slums
3.1 Rural–urban migration
3.3 Poor house planning
Colonialism and segregation
3.5 Poor infrastructure, social exclusion and economic stagnation
3.6 Informal economy
3.9 Social conflicts
3.10 Natural disasters
4 Characteristics of slums
4.1 Location and growth
4.2 Insecure tenure
4.3 Substandard housing and overcrowding
4.4 Inadequate or no infrastructure
5.1 Vulnerability to natural and unnatural hazards
Unemployment and informal economy
5.5 Child malnutrition
6.4 Urban infrastructure development and public housing
8 See also
8.1 Variations of impoverished settlements
8.2 Organizations and concepts
10 Further reading
Etymology and nomenclature
It is thought that slum is a British slang word from the East End
London meaning "room", which evolved to "back slum" around 1845
meaning 'back alley, street of poor people.'
Numerous other non English terms are often used interchangeably with
slum: shanty town, favela, rookery, gecekondu, skid row, barrio,
ghetto, bidonville, taudis, bandas de miseria, barrio marginal, morro,
loteamento, barraca, musseque, tugurio, solares, mudun safi, karyan,
medina achouaia, brarek, ishash, galoos, tanake, baladi, trushebi,
chalis, katras, zopadpattis, bustee, estero, looban, dagatan,
umjondolo, watta, udukku, and chereka bete.
One of the many New York City slum photographs of
Jacob Riis (ca
1890). Squalor can be seen in the streets, wash clothes hanging
Inside of a slum house, from
Jacob Riis photo collection of New York
City (ca 1890).
Part of Charles Booth's poverty map showing the Old Nichol, a slum in
East End of London. Published 1889 in Life and Labour of the
People in London. The red areas are "middle class, well-to-do", light
blue areas are "poor, 18s to 21s a week for a moderate family", dark
blue areas are "very poor, casual, chronic want", and black areas are
the "lowest class...occasional labourers, street sellers, loafers,
criminals and semi-criminals".
Slums were common in the
United States and
Europe before the early
20th century. London's
East End is generally considered the locale
where the term originated in the 19th century, where massive and rapid
urbanisation of the dockside and industrial areas led to intensive
overcrowding in a warren of post-medieval streetscape. The suffering
of the poor was described in popular fiction by moralist authors such
Charles Dickens – most famously
Oliver Twist (1837-9) and echoed
the 'Christian Socialist' values of the time, which soon found legal
expression in the Public Health Act of 1848. As the slum clearance
movement gathered pace, deprived areas such as
Old Nichol were
fictionalised to raise awareness in the middle classes in the form of
moralist novels such as
A Child of the Jago
A Child of the Jago (1896) resulting in slum
clearance and reconstruction programmes such as the exemplary Boundary
Estate (1893-1900) and the creation of charitable trusts such as the
Peabody Trust founded in 1862 and
Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Joseph Rowntree Foundation (1904)
which still operate to provide decent housing today.
Slums are often associated with Victorian Britain, particularly in
industrial English towns, lowland Scottish towns and Dublin City in
Ireland. Engels described these British neighborhoods as "cattle-sheds
for human beings". These were generally still inhabited until the
1940s, when the British government started slum clearance and built
new council houses. There are still examples left of slum housing
in the UK, but many have been removed by government initiative,
redesigned and replaced with better public housing. In Europe, slums
were common. By the 1920s it had become a common slang
expression in England, meaning either various taverns and eating
houses, "loose talk" or gypsy language, or a room with "low
going-ons". In Life in
Pierce Egan used the word in the context
of the "back slums" of Holy Lane or St Giles. A footnote defined slum
to mean "low, unfrequent parts of the town".
Charles Dickens used the
word slum in a similar way in 1840, writing "I mean to take a great,
London, back-slum kind walk tonight".
Slum began to be used to
describe bad housing soon after and was used as alternative expression
for rookeries. In 1850 the Catholic
Cardinal Wiseman described the
area known as
Devil's Acre in Westminster,
London as follows:
"Close under the Abbey of
Westminster there lie concealed labyrinths
of lanes and potty and alleys and slums, nests of ignorance, vice,
depravity, and crime, as well as of squalor, wretchedness, and
disease; whose atmosphere is typhus, whose ventilation is cholera; in
which swarms of huge and almost countless population, nominally at
least, Catholic; haunts of filth, which no sewage committee can reach
– dark corners, which no lighting board can brighten."
This passage was widely quoted in the national press, leading to
the popularisation of the word slum to describe bad housing.
A slum dwelling in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, about 1936.
In France as in most industrialised European capitals, slums were
Paris and other urban areas in the 19th century, many of
which continued through first half of the 20th century. The first
cholera epidemic of 1832 triggered a political debate, and Louis René
Villermé study of various arrondissements of
the differences and connection between slums, poverty and poor
health. Melun Law first passed in 1849 and revised in 1851,
followed by establishment of
Paris Commission on Unhealthful Dwellings
in 1852 began the social process of identifying the worst housing
inside slums, but did not remove or replace slums. After World War II,
French people started mass migration from rural to urban areas of
France. This demographic and economic trend rapidly raised rents of
existing housing as well as expanded slums. French government passed
laws to block increase in the rent of housing, which inadvertently
made many housing projects unprofitable and increased slums. In 1950,
France launched its Habitation à Loyer Modéré initiative to
finance and build public housing and remove slums, managed by
techniciens – urban technocrats., and financed by Livret A
– a tax free savings account for French public.
New York City is believed to have created America's first slum, named
the Five Points in 1825, as it evolved into a large urban
settlement. Five Points was named for a lake named
Collect. which, by the late 1700s, was surrounded by
slaughterhouses and tanneries which emptied their waste directly into
its waters. Trash piled up as well and by the early 1800s the lake was
filled up and dry. On this foundation was built Five Points, the
United States' first slum. Five Points was occupied by successive
waves of freed slaves, Irish, then Italian, then Chinese, immigrants.
It housed the poor, rural people leaving farms for opportunity, and
the persecuted people from
Europe pouring into New York City. Bars,
bordellos, squalid and lightless tenements lined its streets. Violence
and crime were commonplace. Politicians and social elite discussed it
with derision. Slums like Five Points triggered discussions of
affordable housing and slum removal. As of the start of the 21st
century, Five Points slum had been transformed into the Little Italy
and Chinatown neighborhoods of New York City, through that city's
campaign of massive urban renewal.
Five Points was not the only slum in America. Jacob Riis,
Lewis Hine and others photographed many before World War
II. Slums were found in every major urban region of the United States
throughout most of the 20th century, long after the Great Depression.
Most of these slums had been ignored by the cities and states which
encompassed them until the 1960s'
War on Poverty
War on Poverty was undertaken by the
Federal government of the United States.
A type of slum housing, sometimes called poorhouses, crowded the
Boston Commons, later at the fringes of the city.
A 1913 slum dwelling midst squalor in Ivry-sur-Seine, a French commune
about 5 kilometers from center of Paris. Slums were scattered around
Paris through the 1950s. After Loi Vivien was passed in July
1970, France demolished some of its last major bidonvilles (slums) and
resettled resident Algerian, Portuguese and other migrant workers by
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro documented its first slum in 1920 census. By the 1960s,
over 33% of population of Rio lived in slums, 45% of
Mexico City and
Ankara, 65% of Algiers, 35% of Caracas, 25% of
Lima and Santiago, 15%
of Singapore. By 1980, in various cities and towns of Latin America
alone, there were about 25,000 slums.
Causes that create and expand slums
Slums sprout and continue for a combination of demographic, social,
economic, and political reasons. Common causes include rapid
rural-to-urban migration, poor planning, economic stagnation and
depression, poverty, high unemployment, informal economy, colonialism
and segregation, politics, natural disasters and social conflicts.
Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, the second largest slum in
Africa and third largest in the world.
Rural–urban migration is one of the causes attributed to the
formation and expansion of slums. Since 1950, world population has
increased at a far greater rate than the total amount of arable land,
even as agriculture contributes a much smaller percentage of the total
economy. For example, in India, agriculture accounted for 52% of its
GDP in 1954 and only 19% in 2004; in Brazil, the 2005 GDP
contribution of agriculture is one-fifth of its contribution in
1951. Agriculture, meanwhile, has also become higher yielding,
less disease prone, less physically harsh and more efficient with
tractors and other equipment. The proportion of people working in
agriculture has declined by 30% over the last 50 years, while global
population has increased by 250%.
Many people move to urban areas primarily because cities promise more
jobs, better schools for poor's children, and diverse income
opportunities than subsistence farming in rural areas. For
example, in 1995, 95.8% of migrants to Surabaya,
that jobs were their primary motivation for moving to the city.
However, some rural migrants may not find jobs immediately because of
their lack of skills and the increasingly competitive job markets,
which leads to their financial shortage. Many cities, on the other
hand, do not provide enough low-cost housing for a large number of
rural-urban migrant workers. Some rural–urban migrant workers cannot
afford housing in cities and eventually settle down in only affordable
slums. Further, rural migrants, mainly lured by higher incomes,
continue to flood into cities. They thus expand the existing urban
According to Ali and Toran, social networks might also explain
rural–urban migration and people's ultimate settlement in slums. In
addition to migration for jobs, a portion of people migrate to cities
because of their connection with relatives or families. Once their
family support in urban areas is in slums, those rural migrants intend
to live with them in slums
A slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rocinha favela is next to
skyscrapers and wealthier parts of the city, a location that provides
jobs and easy commute to those who live in the slums.
The formation of slums is closely linked to urbanization. In 2008,
more than 50% of the world's population lived in urban areas. In
China, for example, it is estimated that the population living in
urban areas will increase by 10% within a decade according to its
current rates of urbanization. The UN-Habitat reports that 43% of
urban population in developing countries and 78% of those in the least
developed countries are slum dwellers.
Some scholars suggest that urbanization creates slums because local
governments are unable to manage urbanization, and migrant workers
without an affordable place to live in, dwell in slums. Rapid
urbanization drives economic growth and causes people to seek working
and investment opportunities in urban areas. However, as
evidenced by poor urban infrastructure and insufficient housing, the
local governments sometimes are unable to manage this
transition. This incapacity can be attributed to insufficient
funds and inexperience to handle and organize problems brought by
migration and urbanization. In some cases, local governments
ignore the flux of immigrants during the process of urbanization.
Such examples can be found in many African countries. In the early
1950s, many African governments believed that slums would finally
disappear with economic growth in urban areas. They neglected rapidly
spreading slums due to increased rural-urban migration caused by
urbanization. Some governments, moreover, mapped the land where
slums occupied as undeveloped land.
Another type of urbanization does not involve economic growth but
economic stagnation or low growth, mainly contributing to slum growth
Sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. This type of urbanization
involves a high rate of unemployment, insufficient financial resources
and inconsistent urban planning policy. In these areas, an
increase of 1% in urban population will result in an increase of 1.84%
in slum prevalence.
Urbanization might also force some people to live in slums when it
influences land use by transforming agricultural land into urban areas
and increases land value. During the process of urbanization, some
agricultural land is used for additional urban activities. More
investment will come into these areas, which increases the land
value. Before some land is completely urbanized, there is a period
when the land can be used for neither urban activities nor
agriculture. The income from the land will decline, which decreases
the people's incomes in that area. The gap between people's low income
and the high land price forces some people to look for and construct
cheap informal settlements, which are known as slums in urban
areas. The transformation of agricultural land also provides
surplus labor, as peasants have to seek jobs in urban areas as
rural-urban migrant workers.
Many slums are part of economies of agglomeration in which there is an
emergence of economies of scale at the firm level, transport costs and
the mobility of the industrial labour force. The increase in
returns of scale will mean that the production of each good will take
place in a single location. And even though an agglomerated
economy benefits these cities by bringing in specialization and
multiple competing suppliers, the conditions of slums continue to lag
behind in terms of quality and adequate housing. Alonso-Villar argues
that the existence of transport costs implies that the best locations
for a firm will be those with easy access to markets, and the best
locations for workers, those with easy access to goods. The
concentration is the result of a self-reinforcing process of
agglomeration. Concentration is a common trend of the distribution
of population. Urban growth is dramatically intense in the less
developed countries, where a large number of huge cities have started
to appear; which means high poverty rates, crime, pollution and
Poor house planning
Lack of affordable low cost housing and poor planning encourages the
supply side of slums. The Millennium Development Goals proposes
that member nations should make a "significant improvement in the
lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers" by 2020. If member
nations succeed in achieving this goal, 90% of the world total slum
dwellers may remain in the poorly housed settlements by 2020.
Choguill claims that the large number of slum dwellers indicates a
deficiency of practical housing policy. Whenever there is a
significant gap in growing demand for housing and insufficient supply
of affordable housing, this gap is typically met in part by slums.
The Economist summarizes this as, "good housing is obviously better
than a slum, but a slum is better than none".
Insufficient financial resources  and lack of coordination in
government bureaucracy  are two main causes of poor house
Financial deficiency in some governments may explain the
lack of affordable public housing for the poor since any improvement
of the tenant in slums and expansion of public housing programs
involve a great increase in the government expenditure. The
problem can also lie on the failure in coordination among different
departments in charge of economic development, urban planning, and
land allocation. In some cities, governments assume that the housing
market will adjust the supply of housing with a change in demand.
However, with little economic incentive, the housing market is more
likely to develop middle-income housing rather than low-cost housing.
The urban poor gradually become marginalized in the housing market
where few houses are built to sell to them.
Colonialism and segregation
An integrated slum dwelling and informal economy inside
Dharavi slum started in 1887 with industrial and
segregationist policies of the British colonial era. The slum housing,
tanneries, pottery and other economy established inside and around
Dharavi during the British rule of India.
Some of the slums in today's world are a product of urbanization
brought by colonialism. For instance, the
Europeans arrived in Kenya
in the nineteenth century and created urban centers such as Nairobi
mainly to serve their financial interests. They regarded the Africans
as temporary migrants and needed them only for supply of labor. The
housing policy aiming to accommodate these workers was not well
enforced and the government built settlements in the form of
single-occupancy bedspaces. Due to the cost of time and money in their
movement back and forth between rural and urban areas, their families
gradually migrated to the urban centre. As they could not afford to
buy houses, slums were thus formed.
Others were created because of segregation imposed by the
colonialists. For example,
Dharavi slum of
Mumbai – now one of the
largest slums in India, used to be a village referred to as Koliwadas,
Mumbai used to be referred as Bombay. In 1887, the British
colonial government expelled all tanneries, other noxious industry and
poor natives who worked in the peninsular part of the city and
colonial housing area, to what was back then the northern fringe of
the city – a settlement now called Dharavi. This settlement
attracted no colonial supervision or investment in terms of road
infrastructure, sanitation, public services or housing. The poor moved
into Dharavi, found work as servants in colonial offices and homes and
in the foreign owned tanneries and other polluting industries near
Dharavi. To live, the poor built shanty towns within easy commute to
work. By 1947, the year
India became an independent nation of the
Dharavi had blossomed into Bombay's largest slum. 
Similarly, some of the slums of Lagos, Nigeria sprouted because of
neglect and policies of the colonial era. During apartheid era of
South Africa, under the pretext of sanitation and plague epidemic
prevention, racial and ethnic group segregation was pursued, people of
color were moved to the fringes of the city, policies that created
Soweto and other slums – officially called townships. Large
slums started at the fringes of segregation-conscious colonial city
centers of Latin America. Marcuse suggests ghettoes in the United
States, and elsewhere, have been created and maintained by the
segregationist policies of the state and regionally dominant
Makoko – One of the oldest slums in Nigeria, was originally a
fishing village settlement, built on stilts on a lagoon. It developed
into a slum and became home to about a hundred thousand people in
Lagos. In 2012, it was destroyed by the city government, amidst
controversy, to accommodate infrastructure for the city's growing
Poor infrastructure, social exclusion and economic stagnation
A large slum pictured behind skyscrapers in a more developed area in
La Paz, Bolivia.
Social exclusion and poor infrastructure forces the poor to adapt to
conditions beyond his or her control. Poor families that cannot afford
transportation, or those who simply lack any form of affordable public
transportation, generally end up in squat settlements within walking
distance or close enough to the place of their formal or informal
employment. Ben Arimah cites this social exclusion and poor
infrastructure as a cause for numerous slums in African cities.
Poor quality, unpaved streets encourage slums; a 1% increase in paved
all-season roads, claims Arimah, reduces slum incidence rate by about
0.35%. Affordable public transport and economic infrastructure
empowers poor people to move and consider housing options other than
their current slums.
A growing economy that creates jobs at rate faster than population
growth, offers people opportunities and incentive to relocate from
poor slum to more developed neighborhoods. Economic stagnation, in
contrast, creates uncertainties and risks for the poor, encouraging
people to stay in the slums.
Economic stagnation in a nation with a
growing population reduces per capita disposal income in urban and
rural areas, increasing urban and rural poverty. Rising rural poverty
also encourages migration to urban areas. A poorly performing economy,
in other words, increases poverty and rural-to-urban migration,
thereby increasing slums.
Many slums grow because of growing informal economy which creates
demand for workers.
Informal economy is that part of an economy that
is neither registered as a business nor licensed, one that does not
pay taxes and is not monitored by local or state or federal
Informal economy grows faster than formal economy when
government laws and regulations are opaque and excessive, government
bureaucracy is corrupt and abusive of entrepreneurs, labor laws are
inflexible, or when law enforcement is poor. Urban informal sector
is between 20 and 60% of most developing economies' GDP; in Kenya, 78
per cent of non-agricultural employment is in the informal sector
making up 42 per cent of GDP. In many cities the informal sector
accounts for as much as 60 per cent of employment of the urban
population. For example, in Benin, slum dwellers comprise 75 per cent
of informal sector workers, while in Burkina Faso, the Central African
Chad and Ethiopia, they make up 90 per cent of the informal
labour force. Slums thus create an informal alternate economic
ecosystem, that demands low paid flexible workers, something
impoverished residents of slums deliver. In other words, countries
where starting, registering and running a formal business is
difficult, tend to encourage informal businesses and
slums. Without a sustainable formal economy that raise
incomes and create opportunities, squalid slums are likely to
A slum near Ramos Arizpe in Mexico.
The World Bank and UN Habitat estimate, assuming no major economic
reforms are undertaken, more than 80% of additional jobs in urban
areas of developing world may be low-paying jobs in the informal
sector. Everything else remaining same, this explosive growth in the
informal sector is likely to be accompanied by a rapid growth of
Urban poverty encourages the formation and demand for slums. With
rapid shift from rural to urban life, poverty migrates to urban areas.
The urban poor arrives with hope, and very little of anything else. He
or she typically has no access to shelter, basic urban services and
social amenities. Slums are often the only option for the urban
A woman from a slum is taking a bath in a river.
Many local and national governments have, for political interests,
subverted efforts to remove, reduce or upgrade slums into better
housing options for the poor. Throughout the second half of the
19th century, for example, French political parties relied on votes
from slum population and had vested interests in maintaining that
voting block. Removal and replacement of slum created a conflict of
interest, and politics prevented efforts to remove, relocate or
upgrade the slums into housing projects that are better than the
slums. Similar dynamics are cited in favelas of Brazil, slums of
India, and shanty towns of Kenya.
The location of 30 largest "contiguous" mega-slums in the world.
Numerous other regions have slums, but those slums are scattered. The
numbers show population in millions per mega-slum, the initials are
derived from city name. Some of the largest slums of the world are in
areas of political or social conflicts.
Scholars claim politics also drives rural-urban migration and
subsequent settlement patterns. Pre-existing patronage networks,
sometimes in the form of gangs and other times in the form of
political parties or social activists, inside slums seek to maintain
their economic, social and political power. These social and political
groups have vested interests to encourage migration by ethnic groups
that will help maintain the slums, and reject alternate housing
options even if the alternate options are better in every aspect than
the slums they seek to replace.
Millions of Lebanese people formed slums during the civil war from
1975 to 1990. Similarly, in recent years, numerous slums
have sprung around Kabul to accommodate rural Afghans escaping Taliban
Major natural disasters in poor nations often lead to migration of
disaster-affected families from areas crippled by the disaster to
unaffected areas, the creation of temporary tent city and slums, or
expansion of existing slums. These slums tend to become permanent
because the residents do not want to leave, as in the case of slums
near Port-au-Prince after the 2010
Haiti earthquake, and
Dhaka after 2007
Bangladesh Cyclone Sidr.
Characteristics of slums
Slum in Tai Hang, Hong Kong, in the 1990s
Location and growth
Slums typically begin at the outskirts of a city. Over time, the city
may expand past the original slums, enclosing the slums inside the
urban perimeter. New slums sprout at the new boundaries of the
expanding city, usually on publicly owned lands, thereby creating an
urban sprawl mix of formal settlements, industry, retail zones and
slums. This makes the original slums valuable property, densely
populated with many conveniences attractive to the poor.
At their start, slums are typically located in least desirable lands
near the town or city, that are state owned or philanthropic trust
owned or religious entity owned or have no clear land title. In cities
located over a mountainous terrain, slums begin on difficult to reach
slopes or start at the bottom of flood prone valleys, often hidden
from plain view of city center but close to some natural water
source. In cities located near lagoons, marshlands and rivers,
they start at banks or on stilts above water or the dry river bed; in
flat terrain, slums begin on lands unsuitable for agriculture, near
city trash dumps, next to railway tracks, and other shunned
These strategies shield slums from the risk of being noticed and
removed when they are small and most vulnerable to local government
officials. Initial homes tend to be tents and shacks that are quick to
install, but as slum grows, becomes established and newcomers pay the
informal association or gang for the right to live in the slum, the
construction materials for the slums switches to more lasting
materials such as bricks and concrete, suitable for slum's
The original slums, over time, get established next to centers of
economic activity, schools, hospitals, sources of employment, which
the poor rely on. Established old slums, surrounded by the formal city
infrastructure, cannot expand horizontally; therefore, they grow
vertically by stacking additional rooms, sometimes for a growing
family and sometimes as a source of rent from new arrivals in
slums. Some slums name themselves after founders of political
parties, locally respected historical figures, current politicians or
politician's spouse to garner political backing against eviction.
Informality of land tenure is a key characteristic of urban slums.
At their start, slums are typically located in least desirable lands
near the town or city, that are state owned or philanthropic trust
owned or religious entity owned or have no clear land title. Some
immigrants regard unoccupied land as land without owners and therefore
occupy it. In some cases the local community or the government
allots lands to people, which will later develop into slums and over
which the dwellers don't have property rights. Informal land
tenure also includes occupation of land belonging to someone
else. According to Flood, 51 percent of slums are based on
invasion to private land in sub-Saharan Africa, 39 percent in North
Africa and West Asia, 10 percent in South Asia, 40 percent in East
Asia, and 40 percent in
Latin America and the Caribbean. In some
cases, once the slum has many residents, the early residents form a
social group, an informal association or a gang that controls
newcomers, charges a fee for the right to live in the slums, and
dictates where and how new homes get built within the slum. The
newcomers, having paid for the right, feel they have commercial right
to the home in that slum. The slum dwellings, built earlier
or in later period as the slum grows, are constructed without checking
land ownership rights or building codes, are not registered with the
city, and often not recognized by the city or state
Secure land tenure is important for slum dwellers as an authentic
recognition of their residential status in urban areas. It also
encourages them to upgrade their housing facilities, which will give
them protection against natural and unnatural hazards.
Undocumented ownership with no legal title to the land also prevents
slum settlers from applying for mortgage, which might worsen their
financial situations. In addition, without registration of the land
ownership, the government has difficulty in upgrading basic facilities
and improving the living environment. Insecure tenure of the
slum, as well as lack of socially and politically acceptable
alternatives to slums, also creates difficulty in citywide
infrastructure development such as rapid mass transit, electrical line
and sewer pipe layout, highways and roads.
Substandard housing and overcrowding
Substandard housing in a slum near Jakarta,
Indonesia in the 2000s.
Slum areas are characterized by substandard housing
structures. Shanty homes are often built hurriedly, on ad
hoc basis, with materials unsuitable for housing. Often the
construction quality is inadequate to withstand heavy rains, high
winds, or other local climate and location. Paper, plastic, earthen
floors, mud-and-wattle walls, wood held together by ropes, straw or
torn metal pieces as roofs are some of the materials of construction.
In some cases, brick and cement is used, but without attention to
proper design and structural engineering requirements. Various
space, dwelling placement bylaws and local building codes may also be
Overcrowding is another characteristic of slums. Many dwellings are
single room units, with high occupancy rates. Each dwelling may be
cohabited by multiple families. Five and more persons may share a
one-room unit; the room is used for cooking, sleeping and living.
Overcrowding is also seen near sources of drinking water, cleaning,
and sanitation where one toilet may serve dozens of
families. In a slum of Kolkata, India, over 10 people
sometimes share a 45 m2 room. In
Kibera slum of Nairobi, Kenya,
population density is estimated at 2,000 people per hectare — or
about 500,000 people in one square mile.
Inadequate or no infrastructure
Slum with tiled roofs and railway,
Jakarta railway slum resettlement
One of the identifying characteristics of slums is the lack of or
inadequate public infrastructure. From safe drinking water
to electricity, from basic health care to police services, from
affordable public transport to fire/ambulance services, from
sanitation sewer to paved roads, new slums usually lack all of these.
Established, old slums sometimes garner official support and get some
of these infrastructure such as paved roads and unreliable electricity
or water supply.
Slums often have very narrow alleys that do not allow vehicles
(including emergency vehicles) to pass. The lack of services such as
routine garbage collection allows rubbish to accumulate in huge
quantities. The lack of infrastructure is caused by the informal
nature of settlement and no planning for the poor by government
Fires are often a serious problem.
In many countries, local and national government often refuse to
recognize slums, because the slum are on disputed land, or because of
the fear that quick official recognition will encourage more slum
formation and seizure of land illegally. Recognizing and notifying
slums often triggers a creation of property rights, and requires that
the government provide public services and infrastructure to the slum
residents. With poverty and informal economy, slums do not
generate tax revenues for the government and therefore tend to get
minimal or slow attention. In other cases, the narrow and haphazard
layout of slum streets, houses and substandard shacks, along with
persistent threat of crime and violence against infrastructure
workers, makes it difficult to layout reliable, safe, cost effective
and efficient infrastructure. In yet others, the demand far exceeds
the government bureaucracy's ability to deliver.
Low socioeconomic status of its residents is another common
characteristic attributed to slum residents.
Vulnerability to natural and unnatural hazards
Slums in the city of Chau Doc,
Vietnam over river Hậu (Mekong
branch). These slums are on stilts to withstand routine floods which
last 3 to 4 months every year.
Slums are often placed amongs the places vulnerable to natural
disasters such as landslides and floods. In cities
located over a mountainous terrain, slums begin on slopes difficult to
reach or start at the bottom of flood prone valleys, often hidden from
plain view of city center but close to some natural water source.
In cities located near lagoons, marshlands and rivers, they start at
banks or on stilts above water or the dry river bed; in flat terrain,
slums begin on lands unsuitable for agriculture, near city trash
dumps, next to railway tracks, and other shunned, undesirable
locations. These strategies shield slums from the risk of being
noticed and removed when they are small and most vulnerable to local
government officials. However, the ad hoc construction, lack of
quality control on building materials used, poor maintenance, and
uncoordinated spatial design make them prone to extensive damage
during earthquakes as well from decay.
A slum in
Haiti damaged by 2010 earthquake. Slums are vulnerable to
extensive damage and human fatalities from landslides, floods,
earthquakes, fire, high winds and other severe weather.
Some slums risk man-made hazards such as toxic industries, traffic
congestion and collapsing infrastructure.
Fires are another major
risk to slums and its inhabitants, with streets too narrow
to allow proper and quick access to fire control trucks.
Unemployment and informal economy
Due to lack of skills and education as well as competitive job
markets, many slum dwellers face high rates of unemployment.
The limit of job opportunities causes many of them to employ
themselves in the informal economy, inside the slum or in developed
urban areas near the slum. This can sometimes be licit informal
economy or illicit informal economy without working contract or any
social security. Some of them are seeking jobs at the same time and
some of those will eventually find jobs in formal economies after
gaining some professional skills in informal sectors.
Examples of licit informal economy include street vending, household
enterprises, product assembly and packaging, making garlands and
embroideries, domestic work, shoe polishing or repair, driving tuk-tuk
or manual rickshaws, construction workers or manually driven
logistics, and handicrafts production. In some slums, people
sort and recycle trash of different kinds (from household garbage to
electronics) for a living – selling either the odd usable goods or
stripping broken goods for parts or raw materials. Typically these
licit informal economies require the poor to regularly pay a bribe to
local police and government officials.
A propaganda poster linking slum to violence, used by US Housing
Authority in the 1940s. City governments in the USA created many such
propaganda posters and launched a media campaign to gain citizen
support for slum clearance and planned public housing.
Examples of illicit informal economy include illegal substance and
weapons trafficking, drug or moonshine/changaa production,
prostitution and gambling – all sources of risks to the individual,
families and society. Recent reports reflecting illicit
informal economies include drug trade and distribution in Brazil's
favelas, production of fake goods in the colonías of Tijuana,
smuggling in katchi abadis and slums of Karachi, or production of
synthetic drugs in the townships of Johannesburg.
The slum-dwellers in informal economies run many risks. The informal
sector, by its very nature, means income insecurity and lack of social
mobility. There is also absence of legal contracts, protection of
labor rights, regulations and bargaining power in informal
Some scholars suggest that crime is one of the main concerns in
slums. Empirical data suggest crime rates are higher in some
slums than in non-slums, with slum homicides alone reducing life
expectancy of a resident in a
Brazil slum by 7 years than for a
resident in nearby non-slum. In some countries like Venezuela,
officials have sent in the military to control slum criminal violence
involved with drugs and weapons.
Rape is another serious issue
related to crime in slums. In
Nairobi slums, for example, one fourth
of all teenage girls are raped each year.
On the other hand, while UN-Habitat reports some slums are more
exposed to crimes with higher crime rates (for instance, the
traditional inner-city slums), crime is not the direct resultant of
block layout in many slums. Rather crime is one of the symptoms of
slum dwelling; thus slums consist of more victims than criminals.
Consequently, slums in all do not have consistently high crime rates;
slums have the worst crime rates in sectors maintaining influence of
illicit economy – such as drug trafficking, brewing, prostitution
and gambling –. Often in such circumstance, multiple gangs fight for
control over revenue.
Slum crime rate correlates with insufficient law enforcement and
inadequate public policing. In main cities of developing countries,
law enforcement lags behind urban growth and slum expansion. Often
police can not reduce crime because, due to ineffective city planning
and governance, slums set inefficient crime prevention system. Such
problems is not primarily due to community indifference. Leads and
information intelligence from slums are rare, streets are narrow and a
potential death traps to patrol, and many in the slum community have
an inherent distrust of authorities from fear ranging from eviction to
collection on unpaid utility bills to general law and order. Lack
of formal recognition by the governments also leads to few formal
policing and public justice institutions in slums.
Women in slums are at greater risk of physical and sexual
violence. Factors such as unemployment that lead to insufficient
resources in the household can increase marital stress and therefore
exacerbate domestic violence.
Slums are often non-secured areas and women often risk sexual violence
when they walk alone in slums late at night.
Violence against women
and women's security in slums emerge as recurrent issues.
Another prevalent form of violence in slums is armed violence (gun
violence), mostly existing in African and Latin American slums. It
leads to homicide and the emergence of criminal gangs. Typical
victims are male slum residents.
Violence often leads
to retaliatory and vigilante violence within the slum. Gang and
drug wars are endemic in some slums, predominantly between male
residents of slums. The police sometimes participate in
gender-based violence against men as well by picking up some men,
beating them and putting them in jail. Domestic violence against men
also exists in slums, including verbal abuses and even physical
violence from households.
Cohen as well as Merton theorized that the cycle of slum violence does
not mean slums are inevitably criminogenic, rather in some cases it is
frustration against life in slum, and a consequence of denial of
opportunity to slum residents to leave the slum.
Further, crime rates are not uniformly high in world's slums; the
highest crime rates in slums are seen where illicit economy – such
as drug trafficking, brewing, prostitution and gambling – is strong
and multiple gangs are fighting for control.
A young boy sits over an open sewer in the
Kibera slum, Nairobi.
Slum dwellers usually experience a high rate of disease.
Diseases that have been reported in slums include cholera,
HIV/AIDS, measles, malaria, dengue,
typhoid, drug resistant tuberculosis, and other
epidemics. Studies focus on children's health in slums
address that cholera and diarrhea are especially common among young
Haiti (where a majority of the population live
in poverty), after the 2010 earthquake, an outbreak of
throughout the country, killing 8321 people. Besides children's
vulnerability to diseases, many scholars also focus on high HIV/AID
prevalence in slums among women. In some slums, gender
inequality increases women's risk of HIV/AIDS.
Mutual monogamy or
using condoms are two main ways to prevent HIV/AIDS, but some women
might not be able to modify their behaviors due to masculine authority
or violence. Furthermore, diseases can sometimes lead to high
mortality in slums. According to a study in Nairobi's slums, HIV/AIDS
and tuberculosis attributed to about 50% of the mortality burden.
High population densities, poor living conditions, low vaccination
rates, insufficient health-related data and inadequate health service
engender a higher rate of disease transmission in slums than that in
non-slum areas. Overcrowding leads to faster and wider spread of
diseases due to the limited space in slum housing. Poor
living conditions also make slum dwellers more vulnerable to certain
diseases. Poor water quality, a manifest example, is a cause of many
major illnesses including malaria, diarrhea and trachoma. As Sur
et al. suggest, improving living conditions such as introduction of
better sanitation and access to basic facilities can ameliorate the
effects of diseases.
In addition to poor living conditions, low vaccination rates cause
excess cases of disease in slums as well.
Slum children are less
likely to be vaccinated mainly because some slum dwellers refuse
vaccinations without understanding its importance or no one at home is
able to take the child to health sectors for vaccinations. Lack
of reliable data also has a negative impact on slum dwellers' health.
A number of slum families do not report cases or seek professional
medical care, which results in insufficient data. This might
prevent appropriate allocation of health care resources in slum areas
since many countries base their health care plans on data from clinic,
hospital, or national mortality registry. Moreover, health
service does not exist in most of the world's slums. Emergency
ambulance service and urgent care is typically unavailable in
Health service providers avoid servicing slums. A
study shows that more than half of slum dwellers are prone to visit
private practitioners or seek self-medication with medicines available
in the home. Private practitioners in slums are usually those who
are unlicensed or poorly trained and they run clinics and pharmacies
mainly for the sake of money. Recent study has shown that there
has been substantial improvement in the health awareness of the slum
Mumbai with regards to
HIV/AIDS and Diabetes
Child malnutrition is more common in slums than in non-slum
Mumbai and New Delhi, 47% and 51% of slum children
under the age of five are stunted and 35% and 36% of them are
underweighted. These children all suffer from third-degree
malnutrition, the most severe level, according to
A study conducted by Tada et al. in
Bangkok slums illustrates that in
terms of weight-forage, 25.4% of the children who participated in the
survey suffered from malnutrition, compared to around 8% national
malnutrition prevalence in Thailand. In
Ethiopia and the Niger,
rates of child malnutrition in urban slums are around 40%.
The major nutritional problems in slums are protein-energy
malnutrition (PEM), vitamin A deficiency (VAD), iron deficiency anemia
(IDA) and iodine deficiency disorders (IDD).
sometimes lead to death among children. Dr. Abhay Bang's report
shows that malnutrition kills 56,000 children annually in urban slums
Widespread child malnutrition in slums is closely related to family
income, mothers' food practice, mothers' educational level, and
maternal employment or housewifery.
Poverty may result in
inadequate food intake when people cannot afford to buy and store
enough food, which leads to malnutrition. Another common cause is
mothers' faulty feeding practices, including inadequate breastfeeding
and wrongly preparation of food for children. Tada et al.'s study
Bangkok slums shows that around 64% of the mothers sometimes fed
their children instant food instead of a normal meal. And about 70% of
the mothers did not provide their children three meals everyday.
Mothers' lack of education leads to their faulty feeding practices.
Many mothers in slums don't have knowledge on food nutrition for
children. Maternal employment also influences children's
nutritional status. For the mothers who work outside, their children
are prone to be malnourished. These children are likely to be
neglected by their mothers or sometimes not carefully looked after by
their female relatives. Recent study has shown improvements in
health awareness in adolescent age group of a rural slum area.
Slums have been historically linked to epidemics. This
trend has continued in modern times. For example, the slums of West
African nations such as
Liberia were crippled by as well as
contributed to the outbreak and spread of
Ebola in 2014.
Slums are considered a major public health concern and potential
breeding grounds of drug resistant diseases for the entire city, the
nation, as well as the global community.
Villa 31, one of the largest slums of Argentina, located near the
center of Buenos Aires
Recent years have seen a dramatic growth in the number of slums as
urban populations have increased in developing countries. Nearly
a billion people worldwide live in slums, and some project the figure
may grow to 2 billion by 2030, if governments and global community
ignore slums and continue current urban policies. United Nations
Habitat group believes change is possible. To achieve the goal of
"cities without slums", the UN claims that governments must undertake
vigorous urban planning, city management, infrastructure development,
slum upgrading and poverty reduction.
Main article: slum clearance
Some city and state officials have simply sought to remove
slums. This strategy for dealing with slums is rooted in the
fact that slums typically start illegally on someone else's land
property, and they are not recognized by the state. As the slum
started by violating another's property rights, the residents have no
legal claim to the land.
Critics argue that slum removal by force tend to ignore the social
problems that cause slums. The poor children as well as working adults
of a city's informal economy need a place to live.
removes the slum, but it does not remove the causes that create and
maintain the slum.
Slum relocation strategies rely on removing the slums and relocating
the slum poor to free semi-rural peripheries of cities, sometimes in
free housing. This strategy ignores several dimensions of a slum life.
The strategy sees slum as merely a place where the poor lives. In
reality, slums are often integrated with every aspect of a slum
resident's life, including sources of employment, distance from work
and social life.
Slum relocation that displaces the poor from
opportunities to earn a livelihood, generates economic insecurity in
the poor. In some cases, the slum residents oppose relocation
even if the replacement land and housing to the outskirts of cities is
free and of better quality than their current house. Examples include
Zone One Tondo Organization of Manila, Philippines and Abahlali
baseMjondolo of Durban, South Africa. In other cases, such as
Ennakhil slum relocation project in Morocco, systematic social
mediation has worked. The slum residents have been convinced that
their current location is a health hazard, prone to natural disaster,
or that the alternative location is well connected to employment
Some governments have begun to approach slums as a possible
opportunity to urban development by slum upgrading. This approach was
inspired in part by the theoretical writings of John Turner in
1972. The approach seeks to upgrade the slum with basic
infrastructure such as sanitation, safe drinking water, safe
electricity distribution, paved roads, rain water drainage system, and
bus/metro stops. The assumption behind this approach is that if
slums are given basic services and tenure security – that is, the
slum will not be destroyed and slum residents will not be evicted,
then the residents will rebuild their own housing, engage their slum
community to live better, and over time attract investment from
government organizations and businesses. Turner argued to demolish the
housing, but to improve the environment: if governments can clear
existing slums of unsanitary human waste, polluted water and litter,
and from muddy unlit lanes, they do not have to worry about the shanty
housing. Squatters have shown great organizational skills in
terms of land management and will maintain the infrastructure that is
Shibati slum in Chongqing, China. This slum is being demolished and
Mexico City for example, the government attempted to upgrade and
urbanize settled slums in the periphery during the 1970s and 1980s by
including basic amenities such as concrete roads, parks, illumination
and sewage. Currently, most slums in
Mexico City face basic
characteristics of traditional slums, characterized to some extent in
housing, population density, crime and poverty, however, the vast
majority of its inhabitants have access to basic amenities and most
areas are connected to major roads and completely urbanized.
Nevertheless, smaller settlements lacking these can still be found in
the periphery of the city and its inhabitants are known as
"paracaidistas". Another example of this approach is the slum upgrade
in Tondo slum near Manila, Philippines. The project was
anticipated to be complete in four years, but it took nine. There was
a large increase in cost, numerous delays, re-engineering of details
to address political disputes, and other complications after the
project. Despite these failures, the project reaffirmed the core
assumption and Tondo families did build their own houses of far better
quality than originally assumed. Tondo residents became property
owners with a stake in their neighborhood. A more recent example of
slum-upgrading approach is PRIMED initiative in Medellin, Colombia,
where streets, Metrocable transportation and other public
infrastructure has been added. These slum infrastructure upgrades were
combined with city infrastructure upgrade such as addition of metro,
paved roads and highways to empower all city residents including the
poor with reliable access throughout city.
Most slum upgrading projects, however, have produced mixed results.
While initial evaluations were promising and success stories widely
reported by media, evaluations done 5 to 10 years after a project
completion have been disappointing. Herbert Werlin notes that the
initial benefits of slum upgrading efforts have been ephemeral. The
slum upgrading projects in kampungs of
Jakarta Indonesia, for example,
looked promising in first few years after upgrade, but thereafter
returned to a condition worse than before, particularly in terms of
sanitation, environmental problems and safety of drinking water.
Communal toilets provided under slum upgrading effort were poorly
maintained, and abandoned by slum residents of Jakarta. Similarly
slum upgrading efforts in Philippines, India and
Brazil have proven to be excessively more expensive than
initially estimated, and the condition of the slums 10 years after
completion of slum upgrading has been slum like. The anticipated
benefits of slum upgrading, claims Werlin, have proven to be a
A slum dwelling in
Borgergade in central Copenhagen Denmark, about
1940. The Danish government passed The
Slum Clearance Act in 1939,
demolished many slums including Borgergade, replacing it with modern
buildings by the early 1950s.
Slum upgrading is largely a government controlled, funded and run
process, rather than a competitive market driven process. Krueckeberg
and Paulsen note conflicting politics, government corruption and
street violence in slum regularization process is part of the reality.
Slum upgrading and tenure regularization also upgrade and regularize
the slum bosses and political agendas, while threatening the influence
and power of municipal officials and ministries.
Slum upgrading does
not address poverty, low paying jobs from informal economy, and other
characteristics of slums. It is unclear whether slum upgrading can
lead to long term sustainable improvement to slums.
Urban infrastructure development and public housing
Housing projects in Chalco, Mexico
Housing projects in Bahia, Brazil
Urban infrastructure such as reliable high speed mass transit system,
motorways/interstates, and public housing projects have been
cited as responsible for the disappearance of major slums in
United States and
Europe from the 1960s through 1970s. Charles
Pearson argued in UK Parliament that mass transit would enable London
to reduce slums and relocate slum dwellers. His proposal was initially
rejected for lack of land and other reasons; but Pearson and others
persisted with creative proposals such as building the mass transit
under the major roads already in use and owned by the city. London
Underground was born, and its expansion has been credited to reducing
slums in respective cities (and to an extent, the New York City
Subway's smaller expansion).
As cities expanded and business parks scattered due to cost
ineffectiveness, people moved to live in the suburbs; thus retail,
logistics, house maintenance and other businesses followed demand
patterns. City governments used infrastructure investments and urban
planning to distribute work, housing, green areas, retail, schools and
population densities. Affordable public mass transit in cities such as
New York City,
Paris allowed the poor to reach areas where
they could earn a livelihood. Public and council housing projects
cleared slums and provided more sanitary housing options than what
existed before the 1950s.
Slum clearance became a priority policy in
1950–1970s, and one of the biggest state-led programs. In the UK,
the slum clearance effort was bigger in scale than the formation of
British Railways, the
National Health Service
National Health Service and other state
programs. UK Government data suggests the clearances that took place
after 1955 demolished about 1.5 million slum properties, resettling
about 15% of UK's population out of these properties. Similarly,
Denmark and others pursued parallel initiatives to clear
slums and resettle the slum residents.
The US and European governments additionally created a procedure by
which the poor could directly apply to the government for housing
assistance, thus becoming a partner to identifying and meeting the
housing needs of its citizens. One historically effective
approach to reduce and prevent slums has been citywide infrastructure
development combined with affordable, reliable public mass transport
and public housing projects.
In Brazil, in 2014, the government built about 2 million houses around
the country for lower income families. The public program was named
"Minha casa, minha vida" which means "My house, my life" The project
has built 2 million popular houses and it has 2 million more under
However, slum relocation in the name of urban development is
criticized for uprooting communities without consultation or
consideration of ongoing livelihood. For example, the Sabarmati
Riverfront Project, a recreational development in Ahmedabad, India,
forcefully relocated over 19,000 families from shacks along the river
to 13 public housing complexes that were an average of 9 km away
from the family's original dwelling.
Percent urban population of a country living in slums.
(Source: UN Habitat 2005)
Slums exist in many countries and have become a global
phenomenon. A UN-Habitat report states that in 2006 there were
nearly 1 billion people settling in slum settlements in most cities of
Latin America, Asia, and Africa, and a smaller number in the cities of
Europe and North America. In 2012, according to UN-Habitat, about
863 million people in the developing world lived in slums. Of these,
the urban slum population at mid-year was around 213 million in
Sub-Saharan Africa, 207 million in East Asia, 201 million in South
Asia, 113 million in
Latin America and Caribbean, 80 million in
Southeast Asia, 36 million in West Asia, and 13 million in North
Africa. Among individual countries, the proportion of urban residents
living in slum areas in 2009 was highest in the Central African
Niger (81.7%), and Mozambique
The distribution of slums within a city varies throughout the world.
In most of the developed countries, it is easier to distinguish the
slum-areas and non-slum areas. In the United States, slum dwellers are
usually in city neighborhoods and inner suburbs, while in Europe, they
are more common in high rise housing on the urban outskirts. In many
developing countries, slums are prevalent as distributed pockets or as
urban orbits of densely constructed informal settlements. In some
cities, especially in countries in Southern
Asia and sub-Saharan,
slums are not just marginalized neighborhoods holding a small
population; slums are widespread, and are home to a large part of
urban population. These are sometimes called slum cities.
The percentage of developing world's urban population living in slums
has been dropping with economic development, even while total urban
population has been increasing. In 1990, 46 percent of the urban
population lived in slums; by 2000, the percentage had dropped to 39%;
which further dropped to 32% by 2010.
List of slums
Variations of impoverished settlements
Favela (slums in Brazil)
Campamento (slums in Chile)
Villa (slums in Argentina)
Komboni (slums in Zambia)
Hooverville (slums in 1930s USA)
Rookery (slums in London, United Kingdom)
Organizations and concepts
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
Shelter The World
Homeless Workers' Movement
Slum Dwellers International
United Nations Human Settlements Programme
United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)
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Slum – Standardizing Quality of Life in
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Slum in America Kevin Baker, The New York Times
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^ Tondo Urban Development Project MIT (2009)
^ Fernando Patino,Urban Safety through
Slum Upgrading United Nations
Habitat (2011); ISBN 978-9211323931; see pages 7–19
^ World Bank Experience with the Provision of
for the Urban Poor Christine Kessides] The World Bank (1997)
^ LUNA, E. M., FERRER, O. P. and IGNACIO, JR., U. (1994) Participatory
Action Planning for the Development of Two PSF Projects. Manila:
University of Philippines
^ BARTONE, C., BERNSTEIN, J., LEITMANN, J. and Eigen, J. (1994) Toward
Environmental Strategies for Cities. Washington, DC: World Bank
^ BANNERJEE, T. and CHAKROVORTY, S. (1994) Transfer of planning
technology and local political economy: a retrospective analysis of
Calcutta, Journal of the American Planning Association, 60, pages
^ Martijn Koster, & Monique Nuijten (2012), From Preamble to
Post‐project Frustrations: The Shaping of a
Slum Upgrading Project
in Recife, Brazil. Antipode, 44 (1), pages 175–196
^ Smolka, M (2003), Informality, urban poverty, and land market
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^ a b Kristian Buhl Thomsen (2012), Modernism and Urban Renewal in
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^ See (in Danish): Lov om Boligtilsyn og Sanering af usunde Bydele,
Rigsdagstidende, 1939, pages 1250–1260
^ Urban Land Tenure Policies in Brazil, South Africa, and India: an
Assessment of the Issues Donald A. Krueckeberg and Kurt G. Paulsen
(2000), Lincoln Institute, Rutgers University
^ Marie Huchzermeyer and Aly Karam, Informal settlements: A perpetual
challenge? Cape Town, SA: University of
Cape Town Press
^ Policy and Planning as Public Choice Mass Transit in the United
States Daniel Lewis and Fred Williams, Federal Transport Agency, DOT,
US Government, 1999; Ashgate
^ Lessinger, J (1962). "The Case for scatteration: Some reflections on
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^ Public transport in Victorian London: Part Two: Underground London
Transport Museum (2010)
^ nycsubway.org—Historic American Engineering Record: Clifton Hood,
IRT and New York City, Subway
^ Before Public Housing, a City Life Cleared Away Sam Roberts, New
York Times (May 8, 2005)
^ The impact of post-war slum clearance in the UK Becky Tunstall and
Stuart Lowe, Social Policy and Social Work, The University of York
Slum Clearance The History of Council Housing; UK
^ A New Urban Vision UK's History of Council
^ Rogers, D. (2013). Can infrastructure prevent a planet of slums?.
Construction Research and Innovation, 4(2), 30–33
^ Mathur, Navdeep (December 1, 2012). "On the Sabarmati Riverfront:
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Look up slum in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Slums.
(2017). Story of the Slum, Chicago West Side 1890-1930
Parenti, Michael (Jan 2014). What's a Slum?
Various authors. The Challenge of Slums: Global Report on Human
Settlements. UN-HABITAT. ISBN 978-1-1-36554-759. Retrieved 15
August 2013. (original report 2003, revised 2010, reprint 2012)
Moreno, Eduardo López (2003). Slums of the World: The Face of Urban
Poverty in the New Millennium?. UN-HABITAT.
ISBN 978-92-1-131683-4. Retrieved 15 August 2013.
Robert Neuwirth: Shadow Cities, New York, 2006, Routledge
Davis, Mike:Planet of Slums London, New York 2006
Elisabeth Blum / Peter Neitzke: FavelaMetropolis. Berichte und
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro und São Paulo, Birkhäuser Basel, Boston,
Berlin 2004 ISBN 3-7643-7063-7
Floris Fabrizio Puppets or people? A sociological analysis of
Korogocho slum, Pauline Publication Africa,
Floris Fabrizio ECCESSI DI CITTÀ: Baraccopoli, campi profughi, città
psichedeliche, Paoline, Milano, ISBN 88-315-3318-5
Matt Birkinshaw A Big Devil in the Jondolos: A report on shack fires
by Matt Birkinshaw, 2008
Every third person will be a slum dweller within 30 years, UN agency
warns; John Vidal; The Guardian; October 4, 2003.
Mute Magazine Vol 2#3, Naked Cities – Struggle in the Global Slums,
Marx, Benjamin; Stoker, Thomas; Suri, Tavneet (2013). "The Economics
of Slums in the Developing World". Journal of Economic Perspectives.
27 (4): 187–210. doi:10.1257/jep.27.4.187.