Raeesa Pather – South Africa: Urban Planners Must Prepare For More Slums

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Photo: allafrica.com

Photo: allafrica.com

allafrica.com. August 2014. Over our 20-year democracy, South Africans have struggled to improve life for people living in informal settlements. We are not alone in this – slums are a reality, from Venezuela to Islamabad, and the world is bracing itself for more.
A recent report from Foreign Policy shows that urbanisation is quickly accelerating. In 1950, 29% of the world’s population built their homes in cities, but in 2014 more than 50% of the global population lives in cities. This trend shows no signs of stopping – the UN estimates that a third of the world’s population will live in slums by 2050.
“The growth of slums is a bit like climate change: We know it’s happening. We know it’s important. But no one, so far, seems to have much of a response,” writes Prachi Vidwans for Foreign Policy.

In India, a local government has given a nod to building 10 000 new “transit accommodations” for displaced slum inhabitants. In Venezuela, the infamous 45-storey “Tower of David” building has been evicted, with residents now living in government subsidised housing on the outskirts of the city.

Read more: http://allafrica.com/stories/

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