Densely populated areas, like Mathare in Kenya, enable viruses to spread rapidly.
Billy Mutai/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Slums are a challenge for controlling the pandemic. Strengthening their fragile healthcare provision would help mitigate the effects of COVID-19 and future pandemics.
Artwork of men wearing facemasks seen on the street walls in Mathare slums to create awareness of stopping the spread of COVID-19.
Social protection measures and food distribution targeting adolescents in informal settlements are urgently needed.
One of the entry points to San Roque, with a makeshift guard shelter on the left.
Besides battling the coronavirus pandemic, San Roque residents have long been locked in a bigger struggle for their very survival as a community in the face of home demolitions and relocations.
Aerial view of Shivaji Nagar.
Long before the Indian government responded to the threat of COVID-19 with a lockdown, residents of Shivaji Nagar, with the support of a local NGO, were protecting and helping one another.
An aerial view of a waterfront slum in Lagos, Nigeria.
The Lagos state government must go beyond food packages as stimulus, and build capacity for poor people.
A market area in Dhaka, the Bangladeshi capital, crowded with people despite the coronavirus pandemic, May 12, 2020.
hmed Salahuddin/NurPhoto via Getty Images
COVID-19 is spreading fast through not only the world’s richest cities but also its poorest, ravaging slum areas where risk factors like overcrowding and poverty accelerate disease transmission.
Aditya Kabir/Wikimedia Commons
Many are speculating about the pandemic changing how we plan and use our cities. What they overlook is how many people live in unplanned settlements where it’s more likely to be business as usual.
Grafitti artists from Mathare Roots Youth Organisation pose in front of their latest mural advocating safety practices to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. Nairobi/Kenya.
TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images
COVID-19 is having a significant impact on the health, economic and social status of slum dwellers.
Lagos has several slum settlements.
Lagos poses a set of particular challenges when it comes to making interventions work.
Nairobi River flows through a low-income settlement.
There are huge holes in the governance of Nairobi river and city’s waste which means the river’s condition has deteriorated.
The infamous Makoko slum in Lagos, Nigeria.
Stefan Magdalinski/Wikimedia Commons
In our urban world, turning the makeshift and the informal into the livable and sustainable is our greatest challenge.
The Bangladesh government wants Karail, an established community of 200,000 people in the capital Dhaka, to make way for development.
Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World/flickr
A community of 200,000 in Dhaka faces eviction to make room for “development”. Is it time to rethink the concept, especially with a billion people now living in informal settlements worldwide?
© Dennis Weche
How theatre and artwork allowed us to better address severe air pollution.
Residents of slums like Kamla Nehru Nagar, a kilometre away from Patna Junction, have yet to share in the promised benefits of smart cities.
Indians were promised they would be included in planning 100 smart cities and that everyone would benefit. But many of the millions of slum residents have had no say in their homes being destroyed.
Accra’s sprawling slums.
Research in Ghana shows that improving slum housing could be one of the alternatives to the capital’s housing crisis.
More and more people are being drawn into slums in Ghana’s capital city, Accra.
Self-organisation initiatives taken by slum residents across Africa can help urban development.
Women presenting their demands to the elected ward of their district.
To help ensure that environmental and health services are available in slums, Indian women are asserting their rights thanks to solidarity networks and non-confrontational approaches.
The UN defines water and sanitation as human rights. Why not decent drainage too?
Slum in Paris, by the Pont des Poissonniers.
Slums are an increasing common phenomenon across the global North and global South. To what extent could they be seen as an inherent part of the urbanisation process?
From Chinese tourists in Kidlington, to Brits slumming it in Rio, everyone wants an ‘authentic’ experience.