Slums in Cities | Providing Low-Cost Housing to End Slums

What are Slums? How and where do slums develop?

In the last few decades, there had been a tremendous growth in emerging countries like India, Brazil, Mexico and China. This had been mainly due to a rapid expansion in the manufacturing sector. Thus, there has been a massive migration of workers to cities and production centers. These new workers cannot afford housing. This is what gives rise to slums, as the homeless make temporary shelters which get transformed rapidly into semi-permanent housing colonies. People migrate to cities because the comparative poverty and hardship involved in their alternatives (ie. subsistence farming) is worse.

Dharavi Slums, Mumbai, India

According to UN-HABITAT, a  slum is defined as a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing and squalor and lacking in tenure security. It is estimated that one billion humans live in shanty towns. One in every three people in the world will live in slums within 30 years unless governments control unprecedented urban growth, according to a UN report.

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