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Articles on urban slums

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The settlement of Old Fadama has reinvented itself Wikimedia Commons

How Accra tackled complex challenges in an urban slum

In cross-sector collaboration, communities and citizens articulate their needs and then partner with governments and NGOs to address these self-identified problems.
One of the entry points to San Roque, with a makeshift guard shelter on the left. Kim Dovey

‘Forced’ evictions eat away at a Manila community as developer spares the golf course next door

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.
Chilean police clash with anti-government demonstrators during a protest in Santiago, Chile, Nov. 12, 2019. Santiago is one of a dozen cities worldwide to see mass unrest in recent months. AP Photo/Esteban Felix

Urban unrest propels global wave of protests

From Santiago and La Paz to Beirut and Jakarta, many of the cities now gripped by protest share a common problem: They've grown too much, too fast.
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

What sort of ‘development’ has no place for a billion slum dwellers?

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?
Scorpions used to be a rural problem in Brazil. Now, residents of São Paulo and other urban areas are dealing with an infestation of these venomous creatures. AP Photo/Alexandre Meneghini

Venomous yellow scorpions are moving into Brazil’s big cities – and the infestation may be unstoppable

Brazil's scorpion infestation, which is terrorizing residents of São Paulo and other major cities, is a classic 'wicked problem.' That means officials must think outside-the-box to fix it.
Residents of slums like Kamla Nehru Nagar, a kilometre away from Patna Junction, have yet to share in the promised benefits of smart cities. Sujeet Kumar

Indians promised benefits of 100 smart cities, but the poor are sidelined again

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.
Tiny Paley Park, surrounded by skyscrapers in New York City, introduced the concept of a ‘pocket park’ in dense urban centers. Aleksandr Zykov/Flickr

Parks help cities – but only if people use them

Research shows that access to urban green space makes people and neighborhoods healthier. But parks can't work their magic if their design ignores the needs of nearby communities.
Homeless residents of El Bronx embrace after a May 2016 raid that displaced thousands, sending some to shelters and others to streets elsewhere in the city. Fernando Vergara/AP

Who are the real targets of Bogota’s crackdown on crime?

Bogota's mayor wants to make the city 'better for all,' but repeated police crackdowns have displaced thousands of homeless Colombians. Are clean streets really more important than human rights?
Just another day in Nairobi’s Kibera slums. Slums are characterised by densely packed settlements with inadequate provision of services. Reuters/Noor Khamis

Slum health is not urban health: why we must distinguish between the two

Despite increased global awareness about poor conditions in slums, the health of their inhabitants is a little studied phenomenon.
Brazil’s favelas are famous, but so are its ambitious efforts to bring roads, water, electricity, and land rights to its informal urban settlements. eflon/flickr

Is this the end of slum upgrading in Brazil?

For decades, Brazil has worked to improve conditions in its poorest neighbourhoods: building roads, drainage, lighting, and safer housing. Will budget cuts end its ambitious slum-upgrading efforts?

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