MORE AND MORE SLUMS…
Martin P. Brockerhoff, “An Urbanizing World”, Population Bulletin, Vol. 55, No. 3, September 2000, www.prb.org
The high urbanisation has in most cities resulted in rapid growth of slums and squatter settlements because governments cannot cope with the population increase in terms of provision of serviced building plots...
- this situation contributes to illegal developments in the periphery of urban areas making (for example) approximately 65% of the real city in Sao Paulo (Brazil) as illegal. The adverse economic changes have led to dramatic changes in the housing sector as well with the current housing shortage being aggravated by evidence of a deterioration of housing and environmental conditions;
- in Delhi, India planners complain bitterly about ‘slums within slums’ as squatters take over the small open spaces of the peripheral resettlement colonies into which the old urban poor were brutally removed in the mid-1970s. In Cairo and Phnom Penh, recent urban arrivals squat or rent space on rooftops: creating slum cities in the air;
- the five great metropolises of South Asia (Karachi, Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Dhaka) alone contain about 15,000 distinct slum communities with a total population of more than 20 million;
- Egypt was 45% urban in 1998, with an annual urban growth rate of 2.1%. Cairo, with a 2000 population of 10.6 million, is the largest city in Africa. Cairo’s population is expected to reach 13.8 million by 2015. The UN Human Settlements Program (UNCHS) claims that 70% of Cairo’s inhabitants live in unauthorized squatter settlements. Unlike Asian slums, these settlements have taken on rural characteristics. Water supply and sanitation coverage for all settlements in Cairo is high compared with Asian cities;
- the developed area of Lagos, Nigeria doubled in a single decade, between 1985 and 1994. According to the Governor of Lagos State, about 2/3 of the state’s total landmass of 3,577 square kilometres could be classified as shanties or slums’. No one even knows for sure the size of the population - officially it is 6 million, but most experts estimate it at 10 million; (1)
- Lagos, moreover, is simply the biggest node in the shanty-town corridor of 70 million people that stretches from Abidjan to Ibadan: probably the biggest continuous footprint of urban poverty on earth; (2)
- in Central Africa in the 1990s, political conflict generated massive and rapid population flows that created another widespread urban form: refugee cities. One refugee camp sprung up across the border in Tanzania that attracted 250,000 inhabitants within a few days and became Tanzania's second largest city. These spontaneous urban settlements often are plagued by food shortages and a high incidence of sexual violence;
- in India, urban population increased by 31.2% between 1991 and 2001 - nearly double the increase of 17.9% in rural population over the same period. 30% to 40% of urban dwellers are estimated to live in poverty. Over 50% of Mumbai’s 12 million people live in 3000 slums. Indian cities are well known for their pavement dwellers. Many thousands of individuals (250,000 in Mumbai alone) and households occupy space in the streets, either with a tarpaulin stretched out between poles and neighbouring structures or simply open to the sky;
- from 1992 to 1998, the Philippines’ urban population rose from 52% to 58% of the national total. The average annual urban growth is 3.7%, whereas the overall growth rate is 2.3%. Metro Manila is a mega-city of 17 cities and municipalities, home to 10.5 million people in 2000. However, Davao and Cebu are growing 9 times faster than Manila. Squatters or informal settlers form close to the majority of urban dwellers and thus live in poverty without civic amenities, because urban development policies have not kept up with urban growth.
(1) Daily Times of Nigeria, 20 October 2003.
(2) Global Urban Observatory, Slums of the World: The face of urban poverty in the new millennium?, New York 2003, p. 50, as mentioned in Mike Davis, Planet of Slums, March-April 2004, www.doublestandards.org/davis2.html