15 Slums and Squatter Settlement

Dr. Deeksha Bajpai Tewari

epgp books
  • To understand the process of urbanization in the world.
  • To comprehend the background processes and factors affecting urbanization of poverty.
  • To understand the factors and causes impacting the
  • proliferation of slums and squatter settlements.

    1.0 Introduction


More than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas. By 2030 it is projected that over half of residents in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) will reside in cities (Montgomery, 2008). Since 1950, mankind has endured its most rapid expansion; from 2.5 billion to 6 billion people. Sixty percent of this gain has been in urban areas, particularly in the urban areas of the developing world, where the urban population has increased more than six fold in only fifty years. The huge increase in urban population amounts to a crisis of unprecedented magnitude in urban shelter provision. Every year, the world’s urban population is increasing by about 70 million, equivalent to seven new mega cities. These people all need to be provided with shelter, with employment and with urban services. The stretched capacities of most urban economies in developing countries is unable to meet more than a fraction of these needs, so that the informal sector is providing most of the new employment and housing in environments that have came to be known as informal settlements or slums, where more than half of the population of many cities and towns of developing countries are currently living and working. The rapid and large scale of urban growth has raced far ahead of the provision of services (Yach et al., 1990) and has precipitated a proliferation of informal settlements – and the development of new, smaller cities (Montgomery, 2009) – without access to water and sanitation, garbage collection or security of tenure.There is an increasing concern of urbanization of poverty as rural to urban migration takes place, people from rural areas move to urban areas in search of jobs. Also, rural areas are overtaken by expanding urban agglomerations. As a result of this, many low- and middle-income countries are increasingly concerned with the urbanization of poverty (Pradhan, 2012).


2.0 Distribution of Slums in the World


Slums are a manifestation of the two main challenges facing human settlements development at the beginning of the new millennium – rapid urbanization and urbanization of poverty. About one billion people or 32 percent of the world’s urban population, live in slums, the majority of them in the developing world. Most of them living under life and health threatening conditions, often lacking several of the following conditions: access to adequate clean water, access to improved sanitation facilities, sufficient living space, dwellings of sufficient durability and structural quality and security of tenure. According to this understanding, almost one out of three urban dwellers (one out of every six worldwide) already lives in a slum. Moreover, the locus of global poverty is moving to the cities, a process now recognized as the ‘urbanization of poverty.’ Without concerted action on the part of municipal authorities, national governments, civil society actors and the international community, the number of slum dwellers is likely to increase in most developing countries. In the next thirty years, the slum population worldwide is projected to rise to about two billion.


Slum Population by Region, 2011

Source: UN Habitat, 2003, United Nations Urban Indicators Database,2013.


In 2001, 924 million people, or 31.6 per cent of the world’s urban population, lived in slums. The majority of them were in the developing regions, accounting for 43 per cent of the urban population, in contrast to 6 per cent in more developed regions. Within the developing regions, sub-Saharan Africa had the largest proportion of the urban population resident in slums in 2001 (71.9 per cent) and Oceania had the lowest (24.1 per cent). In between these were South-central Asia (58 per cent), Eastern Asia (36.4 per cent), Western Asia (33.1 per cent), Latin America and the Caribbean (31.9 per cent), Northern Africa (28.2 per cent) and Southeast Asia (28 per cent).


Today, around the world, a quarter of the urban population live in slums.1 In developing countries 881 million urban residents live in slums conditions. In 1990, this figure was 689 million. This represents an increase of 28 per cent in slum dwellers’ absolute numbers over the 1  UN Habitat 2015, World Cities Report, 2015/2016. past 15 years, even though the proportion of the urban population in developing countries living in slums has declined from 39 per cent to 30 per cent during the same period.2


Slums are spontaneously emerging as a dominant and distinct type of settlement in the cities of the developing world. Since 2000, the global slum population grew on average by six million a year. This means an increase of 16,500 persons daily.3 In Sub-Saharan Africa, 59 per cent of the urban population lives in slums4 and by 2050, Africa’s urban dwellers are projected to have increased to 1.2 billion.5 In Asia and the Pacific, home to half of the urban population of the world, 28 per cent of the urban population resides in slums.6 However, Asia was at the forefront of successful efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goal 7 Target 7D, with governments improving the lives of an estimated 172 million slum-dwellers.7 In Latin America and the Caribbean region, where regularization of informal housing has historically contributed to providing housing solutions, informal settlements continue to be a significant feature of urban areas with at least 21 per cent of the region’s urban population still residing in slums, in spite of a 17 per cent decrease in this proportion over the last decade.8


In spite of great progress in improving slums and preventing their formation – represented by a decrease from 39 per cent to 30 per cent of urban population living in slums in developing countries between 2000 and 2014 – absolute numbers continue to grow and the slum challenge remains a critical factor for the persistence of poverty in the world, excluding fellow humans and citizens from the benefits of urbanisation and from fair and equal opportunities to attain individual and collective progress and prosperity.



3.0 Understanding Slum


The word “slum” was first used in London at the beginning of the 19th century to describe a “room of low repute” or “low, unfrequented parts of the town”, but has since undergone many


2 United Nations (2015), The Millennium Development Goals Report. UN-Habitat (2015), World Cities Report 2015/2016.


3 United Nations (2015), The Millennium Development Goals Report. UN-Habitat (2015), World Cities Report 2015/2016.


4  Ibid.


5  UN‐Habitat (2013), The State of the World Cities 2012/13


6  UN-Habitat (2015), World Cities Report 2015/2016.


7  UN‐Habitat (2013), The State of the World Cities 2012/13


8  UN-Habitat (2015), World Cities Report 2015/2016


Modifications in meaning and application (UN-HABITAT, 2003b). While early definitions of slum dwelling combined physical, spatial, social and even behavioral aspects of urban poverty (UN-HABITAT, 2003a), the spread of associations has more recently narrowed.


The term ‘slum’ is usually used to describe a wide range of low-income settlements and/or poor human living conditions. These inadequate housing conditions exemplify the variety of manifestations of poverty. ‘Slum’, at its simplest, is ‘a heavily populated urban area characterized by sub-standard housing and squalor. This definition encapsulates the essential characteristics of slums: high densities and low standards of housing ‘structures and services’ and squalor. The first two criterions are physical and spatial, while the third is social and behavioral.

Figure: Inequality, Poverty and Slum Formation.


Slums result from a combination of poverty or low incomes with inadequacies in the housing provision system, so that poor people are forced to seek affordable accommodation and land that become increasingly adequate. The numbers of urban people in poverty are, to a large extent, outside the control of city governments, and are swelled by a combination of economic stagnation, increasing inequality and population growth, especially growth through in-migration.


“Today, the catch-all term ‘slum’ is loose and deprecatory. It has many connotations and meanings and is banned from many of the more sensitive, politically correct and academically rigorous lexicons.” (UNHSP, 2003)) It also varies considerably in what it describes in different parts of the world or even in different parts of the same country. In developing countries, the term ‘slum’, if it is used mostly lacks the pejorative and divisive original connotations, and simply refers to lower quality or informal housing. Terms such as slum, shanty, squatter settlement, informal housing and low-income community are used somewhat interchangeably by agencies and authorities. The coverage of settlement types is even more complex when one considers the variety of equivalent words in other languages and geographical regions:



French: Bidonvilles, taudis, habitat prec`arie, habitat spontane`, quartiers ire`guillers.


Spanish: Asentamientos irregulars, barrio marginal, barraca, conventillos, colonias populares, tugurios and solares, bohios or cuarterias, villa miseria.


German: Elendsviertel.


Russian: Trushcholu.


The operational definition of a slum that has been recently recommended (by a United Nations Expert Group Meeting (EGM) held in Nairobi from 28 to 30 October 2002) for future international usage defines a slum as an area that combines, to a various extents, the following characteristics (restricted to the physical and legal characteristics of the settlement, and excluding the more difficult social dimensions):


Inadequate access to safe water.


Inadequate access to sanitation and other infrastructure. Poor structural quality of housing.




Insecure residential status.


Table 2.1: Indicators and Thresholds for Defining Slums


Source: adapted from UN-Habitat, 2002.


Indeed, a slum has been re-defined by the United Nations Program on Human Settlements (UN-HABITAT) as “a contiguous settlement where the inhabitants are characterized as having inadequate housing and basic services. A slum is often not recognized and addressed by the public authorities as an integral or equal part of the city” (UN-HABITAT Urban Secretariat & Shelter Branch, 2002).


The United Nations (UN) even incorporated slums into the Millennium Development Goals as part of Goal 7, to Ensure Environmental Sustainability: target 7.D is to “Achieve, by 2020, a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers” (United Nations, 2013), putting area-level deprivation and urban poverty on the development agenda.

    The UN operationally defines a slum as

  “one or a group of individuals living under the same roof in an urban area, lacking in one or more of the following five amenities”:

  1. Durable housing (a permanent structure providing protection from extreme climatic conditions);
  2.  Sufficient living area (no more than three people sharing a room);
  3. Access to improved water (water that is sufficient, affordable, and can be obtained without extreme effort);
  4. Access to improved sanitation facilities (a private toilet, or a public one shared with a reasonable number of people); and
  5. Secure tenure (de facto or de jure secure tenure status and protection against forced eviction) (UN-HABITAT, 2006/7).

   4.0 Characteristics of Slums


A review of the definitions used by national and local governments, statistical officers, institutions involved in slum issues and public perceptions reveals the following attributes of slums:


Lack of Basic Services


Lack of basic services is one of the most frequently mentioned characteristics of slum definition worldwide. Lack of access to sanitation facilities and safe water sources is the most important feature, sometimes supplemented by absence of waste collection system, electricity supply, surfaced roads and footpaths, street lighting and rainwater drainage.



Sub-standard housing or illegal and inadequate building structures


Many cities have building standards that set minimum requirements for residential buildings. Slum areas are associated with a high number of sub-standard housing structures often built with non-permanent materials unsuitable for housing given local conditions of climate and location. Various space and dwelling placement laws may also be extensively violated.


Overcrowding and high density


Overcrowding is associated with a low space person, high occupancy rates, cohabitation by different families and a high number of single-room units. Many slum dwelling units are overcrowded, with five and more persons sharing a one-room unit used for cooking, sleeping and living.


Unhealthy living conditions and hazardous locations


Unhealthy living conditions are the result of a lack of basic services, with visible, open sewers, lack of pathways, uncontrolled dumping of waste, polluted environments etc. Houses may be built on hazardous locations. The layout of the settlement may be hazardous because of lack of access ways and high densities of dilapidated structures.


Insecure tenure, irregular or informal settlement


A number of definitions consider lack of security of tenure as a central characteristic of slums, and regard lack of any formal document entitling the occupant to occupy the land or structure as prima facie evidence of illegality and slum occupation. Informal or unplanned settlements are often regarded as synonymous with slums.


Poverty and Social Exclusion


Income or capability poverty is considered, with some exceptions, as a central characteristic of slum areas. It is not seen as an inherent characteristic of slums, but as a cause (and often consequence) of slum conditions.


Minimum Settlement Size


Many slum definitions also require some minimum settlement size for an area to be considered a slum so that the slum constitutes a distinct precinct and is not a single dwelling. Examples are the municipal slum definition of Kolkata that requires a minimum of 700 square meters to be occupied by huts, or the Indian Census definition, which requires at least 300 people or 60 households living in a settlement cluster. ‘Living in a slum’ consists of a combination of these multiple dimensions, not only one.


5.0 Slums in India


For the Census of India 2001, following definitions of slums have been adopted for enumeration:


I.  All specified areas in a town or city notified as ‘Slum” by State, UT Administration or Local Government under any Act including a ‘Slum Act.’.


II.  All  areas  recognized  as  ‘Slum’  by  State,  UT  Administration  or  Local  Government, Housing and Slum Boards, which may have not been formally notified as slum under any act.


III. A compact area of at least 300 populations or about 60-70 households of poorly built congested tenements, in unhygienic environment usually with inadequate infrastructure and lacking in proper sanitary and drinking water facilities.


Census 2011, defined slum as:


A Slum, has been defined as residential areas where dwellings are unfit for human habitation by reasons of dilapidation, overcrowding, faulty arrangements and design of such buildings, narrowness or faulty arrangement of street, lack of ventilation, light, or sanitation facilities or any combination of these factors which are detrimental to the safety and health.


For the purpose of Census, slums have been categorized and defined as of the following three types:


•  Notified Slums

•  Recognized Slums

•  Identified Slums


Notified Slum: All notified areas in a town or city notified as ‘Slum’ by State, UT Administration or Local Government under any Act including a ‘Slum Act’


Recognized Slum: All areas recognised as ‘Slum’ by State, UT Administration or Local Government, Housing and Slum Boards, which may have not been formally notified as slum under any act


Identified Slum: A compact area of at least 300 population or about 60-70 households of poorly built congested tenements, in unhygienic environment usually with inadequate infrastructure and lacking in proper sanitary and drinking water facilities (Identified).




According to Census of India, 2011, there were1,08,227 Slum Blocks in India. About 37.20 percent were identified slum blocks, 34.30 percent were notified slum blocks and 28.50 percent were recognized slum blocks.


  According to Census of India, 2011, there were1,08,227 Slum Blocks in India. About 37.20 percent were identified slum blocks, 34.30 percent were notified slum blocks and 28.50 percent were recognized slum blocks.

Households by Type of Slums – India : Census 2011

In 2011, there were 137.49 Lakhs slum households in India.  Maharshtra  reported  the  highest number of Slum blocks in the country. Top five states in terms of slum households to urban households were – Andhra Pradesh (35.7%), Chhatisgarh (31.9%), Madhya Pradesh (28.3%), Odisha (23.1%) and West Bengal (21.9%). Bottom five staes n terms of slum households to urban households were- Chandigarh (9.7%), Gujarat (6.7%), Jharkhand (5.3%), Assam (4.8%) and Kerala (1.5 %).


Source: Census of India, 2011.


Metropolitanization of Slum Households


In 2011 Census, another striking feature of slums in India was an increased concentration of slums in the metropolitan cities of the country. Out of total 137 lakh slum households in the country, about 52 lakhs were in the million plus cities. About 38 percent of the slum households are in the 46 million plus cities.


Source: Census of India, 2011.


6.0 Evolution of Approaches to Slum Policies in Developing Countries: from Negligence to Inclusion


Many policy approaches to slums have been attempted during the course of the last decades. “During the post-colonial period, particularly in the 1950s and 1960s, the issue of slum in Developing Countries emerged as an important area for urban research and policies.” (Pugh, 1997). Slum policies have ranged from passively ignoring or actively harassing men and women who live in slums, to interventions aimed at protecting the rights of slum dwellers and helping them to improve their incomes and living environments. As a result, various slum strategies were implemented to mitigate the socio-economic, physical and health wellbeing of slums and their residents. Comparative analysis of policy approaches to slums shows that, currently cities are still practicing many of those approaches that were in use decades ago. For instance, the use of summary eviction and slum clearance in 19th Century European cities can still be witnessed today in major cities of developing countries including India. There have been various changes in the governmental attitudes, responses and policies towards slum since the 1950s. The changing approaches can be discussed under the following major chronological categories:


    I.    The negligence attitude: 1950s- 1960s.

II.    The eviction attitude: site and services schemes: 1970s

III.   The self-help and in-situ upgrading attitude: 1980s IV. The enabling approach to slums: 1990s

V.     Cities Alliance and Cities without Slums Action Plan: Post 2000s


The Negligence attitude: 1950s- 1960s


This approach predominated in most developing countries until the early 1970s. It is based on two basic assumptions: slums are illegal and slums are unavoidable but temporary phenomenon (mostly linked with accelerated rural-urban migration) that can be overcome by economic development in rural and urban areas. More often than not, slums or informal urban settlements were not even placed on land-use maps, but were shown as blank spots denoting undeveloped land. “During 1950s-1960s governments turned a “blind –eye” to slums and concentrated on public housing.” (Rakodi, 2001). Such attitudes might be deeply influenced by the post-world war II reconstruction policy models that were heavily employed in the industrialized countries, especially Europe. These models were based on heavily subsidized low-cost housing programmes that, in the context of high and steady economic growth, brought improvement of housing conditions and resulted in elimination of urban slums. In an effort to achieve similar results, most developing countries responded to the housing needs of the poor through the formal provision of low-cost housing. Making use of the public land reserves and public subsidies, governments started massive public housing schemes targeted for low income groups. But, many urban dwellers, especially new migrants in the low-income category, could only afford shelter in marginal and unsuitable land around these new “planned settlements”.



“Unfortunately, these projects were implemented in a discriminatory fashion, largely because the indigenous political rulers, who replaced the colonial power, perpetuated the existing social and class divisions as the previous master”. (Fanon, 1963). “In fact, the main beneficiaries of formal public and planned housing schemes were civil servants and middle and upper income earners.” (Fekade, 2000). The high cost of this approach was the main reason why the housing needs of the poor were not met. Thus, such public housing schemes were unable to supply sufficient dwellings. Instead, the approach marginalized the majority of urban dwellers and ignored low-income urban dwellers and rural urban migrants who settled there generating more slums.


The Eviction attitude: site and services schemes: 1970s


This was a common response to the development of slums during the 1970s, particularly in an environment characterized by direct and centralized (state) intervention in decision-making. “The situation was characterized by weak local governance and administration, non-democratic urban management, non-recognition of civil society movements and lack of legal protection against forced evictions”. (UNHSP, 2003). When it became clear to the public authorities that economic development was not going to integrate the slum population, some governments opted for a repressive option often resulting in mass evictions of the slum population. “This policy was driven by affordability and cost-recovery strategies”. (Van der Linden, 1986).”Site and services schemes were credited with enabling shared responsibilities between slum dwellers and government. On the one hand, the program emphasized the participation and the contribution of the beneficiaries to the resettlement process. Similarly, the programs acknowledged and capitalized on the ability of low-income dwellers to mobilize informal resources. On the other hand, local governments were no longer acting as ‘providers’ but as ‘facilitators’, which saved them some resources.” (Pugh, 2001)



The implementation of these schemes were severely criticized especially its demolition and eviction components. Negotiations with slum dwellers (who were considered to be illegal squatters) were rare. Communities living in informal settlements were rarely offered any viable alternative solutions. Evictions were generally justified by the implementation of urban renewal projects and by the construction of urban infrastructures or for health, sanitary and security reasons. This approach did not solve the problems of slums; instead, it shifted them to the periphery of the cities – to the rural- urban fringes where access to land was easier and planning controls non-existent. The continuing spatial growth of cities brought about an endless cycle of new evictions and the creations of new slums at the periphery of cities, outside the municipal boundaries. “Other shortfalls of the scheme included the relatively low number of beneficiaries, lack of understanding and clarity around the role of the private sector, lack of planning around the location of new serviced plots, low or non-existent standards and the failure to achieve cost recovery.”(Pugh, 2001).


The self-help and in-situ upgrading (improvement) attitude: 1980s


This approach stemmed from the late 1970s. This approach recognized the slums as durable structural phenomenon and not a temporary phase and thus required a durable and appropriate response. On the one hand, the failure of repressive options like evictions and housing for the poor by the public sector and on the other hand, increased awareness on right to housing and legal protection against eviction at the international level and compulsions of policy making in an increased sensitization of the civil society led to the emergence of this approach. “In the 1980s, the upgrading strategies emphasized the improvement of communal infrastructure and services within the established slums.” (Banes, et al, 2000). “In particular, the upgrading projects targeted the improvement of basic services (eg, sewage, water, sanitary, garbage collection, electricity) and infrastructure (eg. Road, market, healthcare and education centers) that were lacking or decaying in slum areas (pugh, 2000).


The upgrading programs aimed to achieve three main goals: affordability, cost recovery and replicability. Slum upgrading was considerably cheaper than other alternatives. A 1980 Study estimated World Bank upgrading projects to cost US $ 38 per household, compared with US$1000 to US$2000 for a core site and services housing. In terms of affordability for instance, there were some instances of success. Abelson (1996) reported that in slum upgrading project at Vishakhapatnam the beneficiaries’ income rose by 50 percent and their assets improved by 82 percent.


   There were specific problems with this approach also. First, the program was implemented and financed by foreign agencies, which over time gradually reduced their financial support to the various projects. Governments did not follow through with services; communities did not maintain the facilities and governance structures disappeared once international aid experts exit. “The relative importance of the upgrading budget of the World Bank went from 42 percent in the late 1970s to 8 percent in the late 1980s.” (Brennan, 1993). Second, further reviews showed that the upgradation programs did not contribute to any poverty reduction or problems regarding unemployment and land security. On the contrary, with the upgradation and improving infrastructure and services led to an increase in real estate prices and land speculation which led to out-migration of the original allottees and in-migration of several middle income groups in their settlements. Third, upgradation programs only reached a small portion of slums and did not develop into an ambitious project that could address the shortage of shelter on a citywide scale. “Also, the upgradation of communal services did not improve individual dwellings and thus, on various occasions the socio-economic and physical environment within the upgraded areas continued to deteriorate.”(Werlin, 1999).


The enabling approach to slums: 1990s


The progression of slum upgrading, dealing with the issues of secure titles and economic developments in slums brought an awareness of the need to involve slum dwellers not only in the construction processes of slum improvement, but also in the decision-making and design processes that establish priorities for action and support for implementation. Thus, from the mid 1980s to a culmination in the Habitat Agenda of 1996, the ‘enabling approach’ was developed to coordinate community mobilization and organization. Enabling policies are based on the principles of subsidiarity and they recognize that, to be efficient, decision concerning the investment of resources in domestic economic, social and physical development have to be taken at the lowest effective levels. For the majority of activities in connection with the improvement of slums, the lowest effective level is that of the community and the neighborhood. But, for the decisions to be effectively implemented, communities require supports in the form of training, organizational assistance, financial help etc. The governance role is to ensure that such supports are provided. “The enabling approach advocated seven major aspects: development of housing financing systems, targeting of subsidies, encouraging property rights (including security of tenure), improving infrastructure, auditing and removing barriers, restructuring building industries and reforming institutions.” (Pugh, 2001). In the 1990s, the enabling approach was implemented through security of tenure strategies largely supported by international agencies, namely UN- Habitat and the World Bank. “The assumption was that although slum settlers do not necessarily have the legal title over the land, they could undertake improvement on their properties without fear of eviction. The enabling approach, via its emphasis on security of tenure, also postulated that the availability of and the accessibility to urban land provide a sense of ‘belonging’ and brings stability to an urban area.” (Kombe & Kreibich, 2000).


The capability of slum dwellers to improve the quality of their environments can be seen in the project in Dar-es-Salaam in Africa whereby through securing the land, residents had the incentive and motivation to clean their environment. Another example is the Million Houses Programme of Sri Lanka where the government provided the necessary support and security of tenure and rest was done by the communities themselves.



There are some limitations to this approach also. “This policy tends to advantage the slumlords and land grabbers. So, when regulation does occur, the slumlords resell or rent the land to city dwellers at a much higher price because the land value has increased with the security.” (Payne, 2004). The slum dwellers who were on rent thus have to vacate and settle somewhere else in a slum-like condition.


Cities Alliance and Cities without Slums Action Plan: Post 2000s


Keeping aside a fractional and piecemeal approach towards slums, in 1999, the World Bank and the UN-Habitat initiated the Cities Alliance and Cities without Slums (CWS) action plan, which constitutes a part of the United Nations Millennium Declaration Goals and Targets. The main innovations in this policy is to move from the physical eradication or upgrading of slums adopted by past policies, to start to address one of the fundamental reasons why slums exist in the first place: poverty. The action plan recognized that slums are largely a physical manifestation of urban poverty and to deal with them effectively, future actions and policies should also associate urban and slum stakeholders in the poverty reduction or eradication campaign.


The creation of the Cities Alliance reflects a new approach to urban policy and management by four principal constituencies:


a)     The urban poor.


b)     Local authorities and their associates.


c)     National Governments.


d)     Bilateral agencies (ten countries) and multi-lateral agencies (the World Bank, UN-Habitat)



Advancing collective know-how in working with cities is an objective of the Cities Alliance. Its partners have agreed to pool their resources and experience in order to focus on two-key inter related priorities for urban poverty reduction:


a) City development strategies which link local stakeholders’ vision for their city with clear priorities for action and investment.


b) City-wide and nation-wide slum upgrading that aims to contribute to the improvement of the living conditions of at least 100 million slum dwellers by 2020, with an interim target of improving 5 million to 10 million lives by 2005 in accordance with the cities without slum action plan.


The Cities Alliance was launched in 1999 and ten governments were included. They were: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the UK, and the US. The Alliance is currently working in partnership with the local and national authorities of Brazil, El Salvador, Madagascar, Mauritania, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, South Africa, Egypt, Morocco, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Vietnam, Iran, Yemen, Mozambique, Kenya, Ethiopia, Jamaica and Bulgaria.


The approach though encouraging but has been criticized on various grounds. First, poverty is just one of the components of slum creation. The approach is not comprehensive enough to account for other variables that account for slum incidence. Second, the targets set are too little and too late to make an impact to the situation. By 2020, it is estimated that there will be 1.7 billion slum dwellers and this approach will only seek to improve the lives of 100 million slum dwellers. Third, no measures are identified to curb the emergence of new slums in these cities.


Conclusions: The Way Forward.


There is no doubt that economic development and urban development are natural corollaries. But this also is true that both these processes depend upon social inclusion, smart investment, good governance, and environmental responsibility. Efficient implementation of slum policies will require strong partnerships between governments, investors, and private developers to affect the global and household quality of life. The policies and practices that provide low-income families with quality homes and access to essential services, need to be action-orientated, forward-thinking, and sustainable so that cities become resilient and are able to fulfill the New Urban Agenda.


you can view video on Slums and Squatter Settlement