Philip Ross – Climate Change Solutions: Architects Look To Slums As Models For Sustainable Living

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A cluster of slum houses in Mumbai. The city’s urban population is expected to nearly double to 33 million by 2030. Photo: Reuters

A cluster of slum houses in Mumbai. The city’s urban population is expected to nearly double to 33 million by 2030. Photo: Reuters

ibtimes. July 2014. In the barrios and favelas of South America, gondola lifts offer more than pretty views. They present an escape, however brief, from poverty, a link between slum life and the outside world.
In the past decade or so, cable car transit systems have become increasingly popular in Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela, especially in hillside slums where the only other way down is by narrow,  zigzagging walkways and corridors. The soaring lifts carry commuters over the rooftops of the shanties, making the trek considerably easier and connecting residents with hospitals, train stations and commercial centers below.

In Rio de Janeiro, a six-station gondola lift that runs above the city’s Complexo do Alemão favela has turned a 1 1/2-hour hike to a nearby commuter rail station into a 16-minute aerial hop. In addition to a cable car system of its own, Medellín, Colombia, has an impressive, 1,200-foot covered escalator that slices through the sloped, densely populated community of Comuna Trece.

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/climate-change-solutions

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