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The Continous Growth of Slums

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Published: 19th Jul, 2019

The Continous Growth of Slums


  • The widespread growth of slums or informal urban settlements— particularly in the developing world— became a central policy issue during the last two decades. Images of slums were ubiquitous, as the favelas of Brazil and the huge, unserviced settlements of Nairobi caught the world’s imagination.
  • But as an issue, and a challenge to urban managers, the problem was not by any means new, so we can consider it a persistent issue in the classification of this chapter.
  • Slums represent part of the unfinished business of the MDGs or part of the “old” urban agenda that must be addressed by the new urban agenda. This is why Target 11.1 of Goal 11 of the sustainable development agenda seeks to ensure by 2030, access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums.
  • In a major study of this phenomenon, The Challenge of Slums, UN-Habitat estimated that in 2001, 924 million people, or 31.6 per cent of the total urban population in the world, lived in slums.
  • The report noted that”… the immensity of the challenge posed by slums is clear and daunting. Without serious and concerted action on the part of municipal authorities, national governments, civil society actors and the international community, the numbers of slum dwellers are likely to increase in most developing countries.”

Source: World Cities Report 2016, UN Habitat

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