38 thoughts on “Blog Exercise Four

  1. Reblogged this on All for class and commented:
    These images depict a difficult realization of the issues surrounding urbanization in cities around the world. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary the word slum means “a densely populated usually urban area marked by crowding, dirty run-down housing, poverty, and social disorganization” (www.merriam-webster.com). To me, these words do not give the same impact as a visual one. These images provide a realization of the effects of mass urbanization, specifically in areas that cannot support it. According to The Borgen Project, a nonprofit organization based in Seattle Washington whose focus is fighting extreme poverty has done on slums and their effect in an urban setting (borgenproject.org). According to the Borgen Project an estimated one billion people worldwide are living in slums. “Nearly one-third of all city-dwellers in developing countries live in the poor-quality housing settlements known as slums”(borgenproject.org). Homeless International, another non-profit organization has also done extensive research on urbanization and slums around the world. They predict that the slums population will increase by 500 million by 2020 (www.homeless-international.org).
    The impacts of slums are overwhelmingly hazardous for everyone. Individual health is the primary concern. “Illnesses like cholera, malaria and diarrhea are prevalent in many slums. Diarrhea kills 1.5 million children under five each year” (www.homeless-international.org). Water sanitation or the lack of is the primary reason of illnesses in the slums. Many slums have almost no clean water sources, residents getting water for local streams and rivers that are already contaminated due to run-off sewage. “In slums that have wells, an average of 11 to 20 households share a single, often unsanitary, water source” (www.dellchallebge.com) Almost all the articles I have read that describes the problems in slums have one commonality, clean and available water. Residents in the slums of Khulna have no water sources and are forced to walk miles and miles just to reach a stream or a river. The lack of education in the slums only seems to compound the never ending problems that are associated in slums. Many children in slums are denied the chance to go to school. Social and cultural barriers deny slum dwellers the opportunity to attend schools. This is no more prevalent then in Dharavi; home to somewhere between 600,000 and one million people. Dharavi, unlike most slums is located in the heart of Mumbia, India. With India’s multi-religious and multi-ethnic diversity there are many laws denying slum residences from attending schools and even seeking employment outside of the slum. The largest slum in the world is considered Neza Chalco Itza, Mexico located on the outskirts of Mexico City. With some four million residents in the slum Neza Chalco Itza started in the early 1900s with the expansion of the rail system which brought in textile industries.
    It is hard to grasp the idea of slums, specifically ones with hundreds of thousands to millions of residents. We as Americans typically don’t see it any deeper than what we read in an article we might run across in the media. However, if not put in check it could develop in the U.S. and fast. Since 2008 (the real estate crash) there has been a 13% poverty shift to the suburbs in New Orleans alone! With many people moving into abandoned homes left in the wake of hurricane Katrina. Thousands of people living in structures deemed condemned without power and water (www.brookings.edu).

  2. Reblogged this on esobrien and commented:
    Africa for much of its history has not been very successful when compared to many areas of life in the rest of the world. Atrocities and incredibly poor living conditions have existed in different forms in every society, but the cycle continues to downward spiral for Africa in particular.
    After Europe divided the continent into their own colonies, without any regard to topography, existing cultures, or human rights of the indigenous, their chances of thriving after independence were shot. Europeans established their colonial cities around the world with very similar goals and ideas, using them for their resources and markets. The Europeans colonized it rather late, however, in the 1880s, because of its plateau form, making the rivers unnavigable; once technology advanced enough for railways to be established, the continent was not too much closer to being connected. The established port cities attracted surplus, so they ran the railway lines inward and made satellite cities as collection points. However, they stopped there. Many colonies were surrounded by cities run by other European countries, and they did not see the potential to trade with each other, seeing as the colonies’ main purpose was to bring resources back to their own motherland. As a result, railways did not connect, and still today African countries are not well connected by railroad systems. This disconnect minimized the potential for markets to grow, so there was not a lot of hope for economic development or growth as their only job was to produce raw materials for Europe.
    Today, because of the lack of organized economies from the birth of these African cities, the problem is rapid urban development without rapid industrialization, leading to the horrendous slums and beyond poor living conditions pictured. Because the majority of the continent still mainly focuses on raw materials, there is not much industrial development. In the rural parts of Africa, poor farmers that were unable to afford their land anymore were kicked off, and forced to move to the city. This situation has been a common occurrence all over the world, throughout history, including the United States; in Africa, however, the urban migration became problematic because the urban regions are not growing as well. The labor cost is low, so those who do move into the urban areas have more kids to put to work, so the birth rate rises as well. Normally rapid industrialization creates organization and birth rate lowers as a result, but that idea is hard to implement where no industry exists. People don’t have jobs or taxable housing, so the government doesn’t provide any services due to the stagnant tax base. Because of the high need for services, but the lack of provision, environmental, social, and structural problems emerge.
    The massive influx of people in the cities far surpasses the amount of “formal” jobs, so the “informal” sector emerges. A large majority of people end up in informal housing as a result, and slums arise on land that has no value, in river valleys, on slopes, in industrial areas, and often landfills.
    In these types of informal economies, there is little hope (under current conditions) to better their economic situation because of their incredibly limited market for traditional commercial goods. This partially explains why Africa has been economically stuck while the rest of the world is advancing in many various areas of life.

  3. I am assuming these pictures represent the slums located in Africa which are the result of densely populated cities in countries where one or more of the following issues can be found: lack of or mismanaged natural resources, corrupted governments, immensely divided social/economic strata, lack of internal civil infrastructure, and religious/ethnic/race tension and conflict. However, these pictures are all familiar to me. I have seen either in my travels or via social media (TV, movies, magazines, etc…) slums like those shown in the pictures surrounded major cities the Caribbean (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), North America (Tijuana, Mexico City and the outskirts of Ensenada), Central America (Honduras, Salvador, Belize), South America (Rio de Janeiro), Africa, India, South east Asia, and the Philippines. Most of these places are found in developing 2nd and 3rd World countries.
    A slum is defined as “a densely populated usually urban area marked by crowding, dirty run-down housing, poverty, and social disorganization” (Merrian-Webster). The history of slums is not unfamiliar to the United States. After the end of the Civil War and during the great influx of immigrants in the 1800s and early 1900s, the population of New York City increased so rapidly that the first slum appeared, Five Points, which now is Little Italy and Chinatown. Freed slaves, Italians, Irish, and Chinese people all lived in an area infested with crime, prostitution, and high infant mortality rates (Wikipedia).
    As conditions in rural areas and/or countries deteriorate for whatever reason—lack of opportunities (such as education, employment, social advancement), war, natural disasters, disease—people tend to migrate to areas where the idea of a new found better life is accessible. The constant and ever increasing influx of poor, uneducated and, in most cases, unskilled newcomers into an established urban area overloads the already set civil and political infrastructures. The urban areas (cities) can’t adapt quickly enough to accommodate the newcomers. The work rate drops, housing becomes scarce and expensive, which forces the newcomers to find places where they can settle in less than desirable areas—near rivers, on the slopes of mountains, ravines or “caňadas” —which are not deemed safe or do not have adequate services (potable water, sewers, electricity). This creates a new set of problems. I will use the Dominican Republic as an example. I lived there for 20 years and visit quite often. The main capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo de Guzman. Santo Domingo was founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496 and is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas.
    Santo Domingo was a Spanish colonial city. Built as a citadel, Colonial Santo Domingo (Ciudad Colonial) is surrounded by walls that provided protection from unwanted visitors such as Francis Drake, the infamous pirate that terrorized the Caribbean. The topography of Santo Domingo is a mix of small hills with large ravines to the north, an escarpment that runs east-west that divides the shoreline and the upper area of the city, and two major rivers, the Ozama and the Isabela, that surround the city. The most favorable areas to live in are anything between the upper escarpment and the ravines in the north.
    Santo Domingo was a port city where Spanish flagships would stop as they were traveling from and to Spain from the Americas. It was a very prosperous colonial city until Haiti took over, which sparked the revolution and independence in 1844. Most of the inhabitants of the Dominican Republic lived in rural areas and dedicated themselves to till the land, growing crops, and minimal ranching. As many different political/economic problems arose in the last 30 years, and the addition of natural disasters, the rural uneducated population began to make the trek to the main capital, Santo Domingo, looking for a better life. Hundreds of thousands of people arrived and overloaded the system in place. Most people could not afford housing and slums surfaced in the slopes of dangerous ravines and rivers. Squatters moved in buildings abandoned after major hurricanes had devastated the area. “Barrios”, the Dominican word for slums, popped everywhere there was available land that was not already taken by existing urban developments. As of 2014, the city looks like something out of urban developer nightmare: beautiful residential areas surrounded by “barrios” lacking the most simple and necessary services; modern high rises clusters with million dollar views into the Caribbean Sea to the south and less desirable views of poverty stricken areas in the north.
    Each rain season brings along with in disaster after disaster: the ravines as flooded as well as the rivers that surround the city, hundreds of Dominicans die as unstable slopes give away and landslides take out large sections of the slums.
    Now, we all know that not so long ago, in 2010, the neighboring country of Haiti was the epicenter of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that devastated the capital Port-au-Prince, and brought down whatever little infrastructure that country had. After the earthquake a massive illegal immigration of Haitians nationals crossed over the border and moved into Santo Domingo, aggravating an already overcrowded system.
    The result has been an increase in population, unemployment, contamination, disease, and crime rate (murder drug trafficking, kidnapping, prostitution, and corruption).
    However, although things seem to be leading to a precarious and ultimately socio-economic collapse, most of the residents in these slums are taking advantage of the free services provided by the Dominican government: free education no matter what your nationality is, free health care provided by the state run hospitals—which most of the time are out of supplies due to the increase in population and lack of funds due to a corrupted government; and free college education. More and more people are now working in the tourist sections and moving out of the slums in the city.
    I guess in the end slums are a necessary evil in every developing country. They provide in some cases a cheap labor force that later on encourages the next generation to better themselves to escape such conditions. I mean, look at New York City, once a city plague with slums and now considered the capital of the World.

  4. Reblogged this on notenoughtimeintheworld and commented:
    I am assuming these pictures represent the slums located in Africa which are the result of densely populated cities in countries where one or more of the following issues can be found: lack of or mismanaged natural resources, corrupted governments, immensely divided social/economic strata, lack of internal civil infrastructure, and religious/ethnic/race tension and conflict. However, these pictures are all familiar to me. I have seen either in my travels or via social media (TV, movies, magazines, etc…) slums like those shown in the pictures surrounded major cities the Caribbean (the Dominican Republic and Haiti), North America (Tijuana, Mexico City and the outskirts of Ensenada), Central America (Honduras, Salvador, Belize), South America (Rio de Janeiro), Africa, India, South east Asia, and the Philippines. Most of these places are found in developing 2nd and 3rd World countries.
    A slum is defined as “a densely populated usually urban area marked by crowding, dirty run-down housing, poverty, and social disorganization” (Merrian-Webster). The history of slums is not unfamiliar to the United States. After the end of the Civil War and during the great influx of immigrants in the 1800s and early 1900s, the population of New York City increased so rapidly that the first slum appeared, Five Points, which now is Little Italy and Chinatown. Freed slaves, Italians, Irish, and Chinese people all lived in an area infested with crime, prostitution, and high infant mortality rates (Wikipedia).
    As conditions in rural areas and/or countries deteriorate for whatever reason—lack of opportunities (such as education, employment, social advancement), war, natural disasters, disease—people tend to migrate to areas where the idea of a new found better life is accessible. The constant and ever increasing influx of poor, uneducated and, in most cases, unskilled newcomers into an established urban area overloads the already set civil and political infrastructures. The urban areas (cities) can’t adapt quickly enough to accommodate the newcomers. The work rate drops, housing becomes scarce and expensive, which forces the newcomers to find places where they can settle in less than desirable areas—near rivers, on the slopes of mountains, ravines or “caňadas” —which are not deemed safe or do not have adequate services (potable water, sewers, electricity). This creates a new set of problems. I will use the Dominican Republic as an example. I lived there for 20 years and visit quite often. The main capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo de Guzman. Santo Domingo was founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496 and is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas.
    Santo Domingo was a Spanish colonial city. Built as a citadel, Colonial Santo Domingo (Ciudad Colonial) is surrounded by walls that provided protection from unwanted visitors such as Francis Drake, the infamous pirate that terrorized the Caribbean. The topography of Santo Domingo is a mix of small hills with large ravines to the north, an escarpment that runs east-west that divides the shoreline and the upper area of the city, and two major rivers, the Ozama and the Isabela, that surround the city. The most favorable areas to live in are anything between the upper escarpment and the ravines in the north.
    Santo Domingo was a port city where Spanish flagships would stop as they were traveling from and to Spain from the Americas. It was a very prosperous colonial city until Haiti took over, which sparked the revolution and independence in 1844. Most of the inhabitants of the Dominican Republic lived in rural areas and dedicated themselves to till the land, growing crops, and minimal ranching. As many different political/economic problems arose in the last 30 years, and the addition of natural disasters, the rural uneducated population began to make the trek to the main capital, Santo Domingo, looking for a better life. Hundreds of thousands of people arrived and overloaded the system in place. Most people could not afford housing and slums surfaced in the slopes of dangerous ravines and rivers. Squatters moved in buildings abandoned after major hurricanes had devastated the area. “Barrios”, the Dominican word for slums, popped everywhere there was available land that was not already taken by existing urban developments. As of 2014, the city looks like something out of urban developer nightmare: beautiful residential areas surrounded by “barrios” lacking the most simple and necessary services; modern high rises clusters with million dollar views into the Caribbean Sea to the south and less desirable views of poverty stricken areas in the north.
    Each rain season brings along with in disaster after disaster: the ravines as flooded as well as the rivers that surround the city, hundreds of Dominicans die as unstable slopes give away and landslides take out large sections of the slums.
    Now, we all know that not so long ago, in 2010, the neighboring country of Haiti was the epicenter of a 7.1 magnitude earthquake that devastated the capital Port-au-Prince, and brought down whatever little infrastructure that country had. After the earthquake a massive illegal immigration of Haitians nationals crossed over the border and moved into Santo Domingo, aggravating an already overcrowded system.
    The result has been an increase in population, unemployment, contamination, disease, and crime rate (murder drug trafficking, kidnapping, prostitution, and corruption).
    However, although things seem to be leading to a precarious and ultimately socio-economic collapse, most of the residents in these slums are taking advantage of the free services provided by the Dominican government: free education no matter what your nationality is, free health care provided by the state run hospitals—which most of the time are out of supplies due to the increase in population and lack of funds due to a corrupted government; and free college education. More and more people are now working in the tourist sections and moving out of the slums in the city.
    I guess in the end slums are a necessary evil in every developing country. They provide in some cases a cheap labor force that later on encourages the next generation to better themselves to escape such conditions. I mean, look at New York City, once a city plague with slums and now considered the capital of the World.

  5. Reblogged this on carlylb and commented:
    The pictures provided for this blog are of typical Shanty towns in Africa. These are the slums of African cities which are filled with unregulated settlements constructed and inhabited by squatters who cannot afford to own their own land or pay rent. They exist because of a slow economic development that cannot keep up the pace with the unprecedented growth of the population due to high birth rates. The government does not provide these communities with sanctioned services such as water, police, electricity, roads, and schools. These communities are also not taxed by the government. Because there are no government services, there are no governmental regulations or standards placed on the way these people live. The sites of slums are filthy and dangerous. These communities do not have access to clean water or a sewer system. In overcrowded conditions with stand pipe water, these people are often greatly impacted by disease, such as cholera, because of this the unhealthy environment that they live in. Most shanty towns are located on the edges of cities of developing nations on sites that are unwanted by developers because of health and safety hazards or other reasons that make the land have no value or make it unable to be developed. Many of sites of slums are located on swamps, steep hills, industrial areas, trash landfills, river valleys, steep slopes, under highways and other kinds of “uninhabitable” areas. Much of what is considered trash by people, who make money through a formal economy, is scavenged for and used by people in shanty towns as a commodity for trade and source of income. All services for the community are provided by the shanty town’s residents and are under the counter, that is, nontaxed because there is no big market for commercial goods and services. Goods such as thrown out clothing are cleaned off and resold at tables on unpaved paths throughout the slum along with services that make up their informal and unreliable economy. The children of these impoverished families living in slums are put to work with activities such as gathering tradable items from trash piles, instead of receiving a formal education. The housing of slums are make-shift small simple single spaces constructed of various available materials, commonly including corrugated tin, sheets of plastic, plywood, and cardboard boxes. The houses are often settled densely together and would often be considered a fire hazard. Outside of Africa there are many other countries that have slums including India, China, and countries of Latin America such as Brazil. Cities such as San Paulo have slums that have been so oppressed by the government by militarization that the slum communities have transferred their leadership over to drug lords who protect the slum population from the government and provide services to the community. The drug lords use slum communities to hide drug trafficking. Overcrowding in cities, such as Hong Kong, have what might be considered one step above shanty towns because their growth is regulated, these people actually do have access to jobs and health care. Many people are living in mass produced houses, some even in cages that are as big as 6 feet by 2 feet by 3 feet. In some areas shipping containers are piled on top of each and are paid for as rental homes for families. These shipping containers have electricity which is a hazard because the containers are made of metal. The problem in China is not a lacking economic growth or a lacking of industrial development, rather there is no housing/land to accommodate the rampant industrial growth.

  6. Reblogged this on urban geographical issues and commented:
    The pictures represents slums around the world. According to homeless international about one billion of the world’s population currently live in slums and that by the year 2020 approximately 1.4 billion people will be part of this phenomena (homeless-international.org). A slum is defined as an area of city with below standard housing accompanied by unsanitary conditions, lack of social services, and governmental disorganization. Most slums development is attributed to rapid industrialization of cities in which jobs acted as magnets from the rural areas. People started settling augmenting population concentrations, in time the overcrowding resulted in limited housing which led to informal housing practices and less jobs due to the increasing population dynamics (britannica.com). For example, in class we learned that in current African cities the growth of slums was fueled by fast urban growth in which rural folks moved into cities in search for jobs. The urbanization in Africa lacks industrialization to keep up with the demand for this population boom. The rural to urban migration also exhibit high birth rates with wide spread poverty among these migrants. The unemployment rates among this migrants sore when industrialization is slow and cannot meet the demands for job creation. The low income or nonexistent jobs leads people to established modes of subsistence. As an outcome an “informal economy” develops in which the marginal population provides services to its own communities. This leads to government unregulated services such as retailing, junk salvage, street food services and unregulated transportation services. The urban growth therefore depends on itself for services and even informal housing when regulated housing is aren’t available. Since the people don’t pay taxes or are not regulated by the government, the informal housing also lacks services such as potable water and electricity. Most of the housing also develops in marginal land around or on steep hills, slopes, rundown industrial zones. In addition, since housing isn’t regulated this also leads to houses being constructed out of any material available such as cardboards and plastic sheets. Often this cities with slums there is a clear demarcation between the very wealthy and the very poor, whom often live a few blocks away from each other or are separated only by a wall or fence. Such is the case of some Latin American cities, in which wealth is unevenly distributed. In the case of the favelas (slums) in Brazil, there’s also a growth of drug gangs that control the informal economies in the neighborhoods. Slums or shantytowns, are a phenomena around the world in which rural to urban migration is or has taken place.

  7. Reblogged this on dobbyslittlesock and commented:
    Sub Saharan Africa cities began to develop as either small nodes of crop growing cities or cities that ran entirely on trade. The small node cities developed in areas with fertile farmland. These small clusters of farmers would then trade their crop or resource to the few cities along the southern edge of the Saharan Desert. These were colonial cities established by Islamic expansion. These cities would be set up much like most colonial cities – the Islamic city set up as an African model. They would have developed with the religious and administrative centers in the core of the city with markets surrounding that and residential homes around the market. The residential houses would then have a core with its own mosques and markets. These Islamic colonial cities were solely trade cities. They would collect the goods from the farmland, node cities and act as port cities that moved goods north across the Saharan Desert. These cities didn’t develop along the coast because initially water travel wasn’t an option. At this point in time the only means moving your boat across long distances was by rowing. Sailing technology hadn’t been developed yet. Much of these trade cities became very rich but eventually dissolved. Most likely a change in climate forced these cities to either die out or disperse the citizens back out into the land.
    Following the Islamic expansion came the European colonial settlements along the coast and Cape Town. The goal of these colonies was to do the same thing – extract resources and bring them back to Europe. The colony would be set up along the coast and then a railway would be place going from the center of the colony further inland. Along the rail line would be these node cities or towns that would send their resources back to the colony and on a ship – now having sailing technology and eventually steam engines. In West Africa the primary resources extracted were gold, metals, slaves, salt, textiles and dyes. In east Africa they would extract mostly gold, slaves and ivory. Much of these cities would develop in the same way that the Islamic cites would be set up.
    As these colonial cities begin to become their own independent cities they are not set up properly to be successful. First of all the railways that were developed going inland didn’t connect to each other. This was a major problem because the independent cities have no way of connecting and setting up business for trade with each other. With this isolation it is difficult to thrive. These cities continue to export many goods but cannot break away from severe poverty. Because there is no organization between these cities they cannot communicate and set themselves up for positive economic development. Prices cannot be set with accordance to these cities. They are isolate and cannot set proper prices on the world market. They are trapped in poverty because of their development of these colonial ports. Their lack of connectivity holds them back from breaking from poverty. These railways, in most places, are still the primary means of transportation. However, efforts are being made to expand these railways and create a system. Roads are also being developed to create better connectivity between these cities – with this there is better chance of this break from poverty.

  8. Reblogged this on maybeokay and commented:
    The characteristics used to describe African slums are not very pleasant. Typically built on undesirable land—natural disaster-prone areas, hillsides, industrial areas, landfills, polluted areas—these ever-expanding urban communities are often limited or completely lacking in basic utilities and city services, including police and fire presence, access to clean water, sewage, and electricity. Neighborhoods are arranged haphazardly, opportunistically; the housing structures, often composed of whatever materials are available, are dangerous and frequently too small for the families they house. Dirty, overcrowded, and subject to natural and domestic hazards (fires, for example), slums also have a higher prevalence of disease than other city areas.
    Often situated next to skyscraper-filled city centers, slums can easily appear a contemporary problem. Their underlying causes, however, go back to Africa’s colonial period. Africa was colonized by multiple countries, each cultivating separate, often unconnected colonies. Development was driven by economics, particularly the extraction and exportation of raw materials back to Europe. The result was the creation of rail systems connecting colonial gateway cities to natural resource areas, rather than to other regions. Indeed, railways in the various colonies were often incompatible, difficult to connect even if it had so been desired. Certain areas and cities saw growth and infrastructure investments, however much of the vast African terrain was underdeveloped or ignored—those regions less important to colonial economics.
    After independence, the result was African countries with limited interconnectivity and thus hindered internal trade abilities, still geared towards exporting raw materials (low value goods) and importing higher value goods. Mostly lacking in industrial or manufacturing capabilities, African countries faced difficulties modernizing and diversifying their economies, compounded by growing political disunity and instability. Meanwhile, high birth rates meant a swiftly expanding population. Limited rural opportunities (economically, educationally, medically, etc.), a growing number of political issues and civil wars, and loss of farmland—all factors still occurring—pushed large numbers of the population from rural to urban areas: to cities with limited industrialization and jobs and completely inadequate low cost housing.
    The result was slums, growing in time with the expanding urban populations. Dangerous, overcrowded, disease-laden, and underserviced as they are, slum housing is nevertheless now home to 72% of the residents of African cities—as definitive a part of the urban landscape as any business district, high rise apartment building, or skyscraper (Jackson). Yet ironically, places like Kibera in Nairobi (one of the world’s largest slums) struggle not only with nearly nonexistent basic utilities, but with achieving any recognition, aid, or help from the government. Nairobi has just shy of 3.5 million residents; Kibera has been reported as having nearly 1 million (“Facts”).
    Solutions, meanwhile, are anything but simple. Even massive changes like installing utilities, regulating housing, providing educational and medical services, ensuring a police and fire presence only scratch the surface. These might address the needs of existing slums but not the swiftness with which these areas are expanding, the high birth and urban migration rates, the underlying economic issues contributing to the prevalence of poverty. In Kibera, for instance, 50% is an important number: it is the percentage of the population that is unemployed as well as the percentage of “16 to 25 yr old girls” who are “pregnant at any one time” (“Facts”).

    Sources:
    “Facts & Information About Kibera.” Kibera. Kibera UK, n.d. Web. 16 Feb 2014. .

    Jackson, Rachel. “Contagion: The epidemic of slum growth in African cities and the implications thereof for sustainable urban development.” . Consultancy Africa Intelligence, 02 Aug 2013. Web. 16 Feb 2014. .

  9. Reblogged this on Neverending Wanderlust and commented:
    This collage of images reveals the problems that have arisen as a result of extremely rapid urbanization on the African continent. In Africa, this urbanization usually comes without accompanying industrialization as is traditional in the West. Rural populations in Africa frequently move to the cities if their farms fail. However, there are not many jobs in the cities because of the lack of industrialization. Thus, the newly urban citizens stay in poverty and must utilize informal housing, as their “jobs” in the informal economy cannot provide anything else. As this migration happens en masse, the urban population explodes, as does the need for services, while the tax base remains stagnant. Thus, the city cannot provide services for its newly enlarged population. The most prominent problems that have arisen out of this migration are environmental (especially water pollution due to the lack of a functioning sewer system), social (often no schools, high crime rates, gangs), and infrastructural (traffic problems due to lack of sufficient roads, no/illegal electricity).

    In a few of these pictures, we can see the prevalence of informal housing in African urban slums. This housing situation is often dangerous for the people who live there, as there are usually no services provided by the city, or occasionally extremely limited services. The picture on the bottom left illustrates this lack of services: a woman (probably in North Africa given the Arabic script on the wall) must do her washing in buckets in the middle of a street; the wastewater has nowhere to drain. These houses are unregulated by any building codes and can be very dangerous to live in. They are frequently constructed with cinder blocks, tarps, and corrugated metal and are meant to be temporary. The vast amount of informal housing that makes up slums in Africa is always located on land with little or no value to anyone else who could afford a better situation. The slums can be found on steep hills, landfills, near industrial areas, in marshes, etc. For example, the slum in the bottom right picture is located in a marshy area near a lagoon or river.

    The people who live in these slums in Africa form part of the informal economy; the slow pace of industrialization does not provide enough steady, well-paying jobs. These people take small, odd, insecure jobs and must provide for their family with the meager income they earn. Additionally, they usually only consume from the informal economy because it is too expensive for them to buy goods in the traditional economy. For example, a person in the slums might not be able to afford a whole pack of cigarettes from the convenience store. However, they can afford cigarettes sold individually by someone on the corner. The person selling the cigarettes earns enough each day to buy another pack the next day and sell more. Certain sectors of the informal economy are more important than others, like retailing, salvage, food, and transportation. Hopefully someday the cities will industrialize at a quicker pace and be able to provide a better living for their citizens.

  10. The pictures above depict the type of urban problems that have recently developed in many African and even some Latin American cities. The main systematic problem in these cities is rapid population growth without rapid industrialization. The population growth is a result of many different factors but chiefly among them is the inability of poor rural farmers able to pay taxes on their land therefore forced to move to urban areas in search of work. This kicks off a series of cause and effect actions that lead to the creation of slums. Rapid population increase demands more basic services. However the tax base for these cities is stagnant because so many of the residents live in these slum areas. A slum is roughly defined as an area without sanctioned services. In most cases these massive neighborhoods are not recognized by municipalities. This leads to a lack of job opportunities in the formal sector and so to make a living people find work in the informal economy. Jobs often include basic services, retailing, salvage, food production, preparation and distribution, and transportation. Along with an informal economy comes the culture of informal housing. These houses generally do not have access to electricity, water, or sewage networks. They are no taxed and are often built in the least desirable locations of the city. The image on the bottom right perfectly illustrates this. The slum community is built in the flood plain. It looks as though many houses along the edge are completely submerged. These communities also tend to be found on very steep hills.

    The way that slums are built is often an area that draws the imagination of designers. First is the relationship with the land. A few years ago, a University of Arkansas design studio took on the challenge for a community in Kenya. The proposal, which was built sited on a steep hill, suggested a series of terraces that can function in multiple ways. The terrace wall can be the structure for housing, the roofs can be an extension of the social space of the terrace above it. Terracing can create land for agricultural production. The studio was not trying to solve every problem associated with slum communities. Another proposal out of Mexico is worth considering. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of the firm, but they proposed that municipalities or private investors simply build frameworks. The difference between this proposal and some of the other similar methodologies that provide slum residents with basic building materials is that this building framework structure was built densely, vertically, and with a sense of community and open space. Residents would then move in and build out the rest of their living unit – creating an almost entirely personal space. The residents might then be more likely to take ownership of the space. The built environment alone cannot solve the problem – that much is obvious. There are deep underlying systematic fissures that need to be traversed before the issue of slum communities can be dealt with.

  11. Many of the world’s people live in poverish communities called slums, or squatter settlements, as portrayed in these images. These slums are often in some of the Earth’s largest cities. Overpopulation, caused by rural-urban migration, is a key factor in the creation of these oftentimes third-world living environments; since 1950, the “proportion of people working in developing country agriculture has declined by 20 to 30%” (youthxchange.net). Many people, no longer able to afford to farm, move to the city in hopes of better economic opportunity. But cities, trying to provide substantial, middle-class housing with services, cannot keep up with the rate of population growth, and as a result hundreds of thousands if not millions of people are forced to settle in an urban area with the bare minimum offered by slums (youthxchange.net). The cities may offer these neighborhoods better services (garbage collection, doctors, etc.) but along with that comes a tax, which these people may or may not be able to pay. As depicted in a few of these images, those living in slums are bedeviled by contaminated, unsafe drinking water, partially caused by industrial and agricultural waste. Water may also be polluted by infinite amounts of trash such as plastic and paper products. Many may even live in urban areas with highly polluted air, such as Beijing. Inhabitants of China’s slums must live with the consequences of the country’s poor choices to pursue rapid economic growth and development instead of working to improve its people’s lives.
    Some of the most unsanitary living conditions in slums are found in South Asia. “About one in six Indian city residents lives in an urban slum with unsanitary conditions that are ‘unfit for human habitation,’ according to the first complete census of India’s vast slum population” (huffingtonpost.com). “Nationwide,” the Post goes on to say, “more than one-third of slum homes surveyed had no indoor toilets and 64 percent were not connected to sewerage systems.”
    It is almost shocking to see in some photos the sharp contrast between a clean, modern, high-rise-dotted urban center and a poverish squatter settlement—especially sometimes right next to each other. It is commonplace to see such entirely different quarters of a city within a stone’s throw of each other. Many freeway bridges are built next to or over a slum. In some Chinese megacities a slum could be close to the center of the city, in the way of the central business district which is rapidly growing and needing more room; the slum residents often refuse to move elsewhere, causing a legal battle between the two parties.
    There are different yet interesting types of slums in which people live; some are built on steep hills as in South America, while others are on flatter terrain. In many large East Asian cities, there are vast neighborhoods of residences made of commercial container boxes. Though it may look extremely poverish, these residents have quite a bit, from electricity and other services to a job. Still other kinds of homes include “mini-apartments,” extremely small and tight quarters that provide people the bare spatial minimum, though they do have considerable vertical extent (for makeshift “floors”).

  12. Reblogged this on meshari86 and commented:
    Poverty and chaos are the main cause of the delay in the development of human civilizations.
    Taking into account that more than half the world’s population now live in urban centers, as well as the quality of life experienced by the residents of the cities, also, the threat of exposure to natural disasters and food systems from matters of growing importance for governments and scholars. It is expected that the number of urban dwellers in sub-Saharan Africa to nearly 600 million people within 18 years, double the number recorded in 2010. And facing African cities already enormous problems; living more than half the population in slums are overcrowded, and the lives of about 200 million people live on less than two dollars a day, is likely to suffer poor children in urban areas of the same disease and chronic disease that affects children in poor rural areas such as epidemics of cholera, typhoid, tuberculosis, smallpox, measles, scarlet fever, brucellosis, and botulism. (Johannesburg September 2011)

    According to these pictures, they are examples for city or cities that have an explosion of the population with urban area that shows in pictures. All of these are samples of rapid urban population as we study in urban geography class. In the city that has rabid urban population with lack of services leads to informal economy as many cities in Africa. The informal economy leads to low income security and lack of access to the main city or regular housing, then, leads to informal housing that surround formal city to find cheap places and nearest for their jobs as we see in these pictures. These informal housing and areas usually are unregulated and insecure. They also do not have taxes and services like health care center, grocery formal market, police station, and drainage services, so they are often temporary that when the planning comes to these areas, they will be removing and displacing to out of city. In addition, these housing are located on lands with no value because they are not legal and they usually located in steep hill and in the slopes industrial areas to find informal jobs.

    As a result the weakness is dominated to the institutions in a large number of mega-cities poor. The management structure, which is unable to overcome the thorny problems, Cities are indispensable for the efficient management and finance. And the consequences of overpopulation may be positive and negative. On the one hand, facilitates the free movement of goods overcrowding in the shorter distances, and the spread of ideas and promote innovation. But on the other hand, contributing to higher rates of crime and the spread of diseases. Historically, cities were able to confront the negative consequences of overcrowding by reference to the wealth of big or strong institutions, but the big cities in poor countries lacking such wealth and institutions. These conclusions do not lead to « predominance City» pessimistic, it looks optimistic outlook to the role of cities in global growth, the city is contributing to social mobility may be a viable functioning institutions and policies which leads expect interest and accounting.

    1- Florida, Richard. Al Hayat, “The cities of the developing world is expanding prosperity and no prosperity.” Last modified January 2014. Accessed February 16, 2014. http://alhayat.com/Details/595187.
    2- Johannesburg, . IRIN, “Cities: lend a helping hand to the poor in urban areas.” Last modified September 2011. Accessed February 16, 2014. http://arabic.irinnews.org/Report/3252/تقارير-عامة-المدن-مد-يد-العون-للفقراء-في-المناطق-الحضرية.

  13. Reblogged this on My Thoughts About Urban Geography and commented:
    As we discussed in class, slums exist in many different parts of the world, in many different forms and for various reasons. The ones pictured here look a little more permanent than others we have discussed. Although they don’t seem as organized and well-built as some of the favelas we looked at. Slums can also be something like a group of boxes under a bridge to these structures pictured here to more permanent ones like favelas, and even old shipping containers. No matter what they tend to look like, they almost all share similar substandard qualities of life. Most slums are located on land that is normally government or unclear who owns the land. This land is normally undesirable areas located in or near an urban area. The favelas were built into steep mountainsides and the ones shown look to be located on river banks almost in the river with no type of retaining wall or anything to keep the waters from just washing away the slums or flooding them regularly. Slums are also characterized by overcrowding, and no or very poor infrastructure. A video I saw over the summer discussed what one government that sort of allowed the slums to exist, had done a survey of the conditions and said that having one toilet per 500 people was acceptable. And here in the US, we complain if our house doesn’t have at least 1 for every 2 people. That fact, and many others are one of the factors that start and grow the slum population. Most governments either don’t have the ability finically or they don’t have the means or drive to take care of their poor population. For example, the slums we talked about where they were starting to militarize the areas to fight the drug problems where the drug lords were actually taking care of the people as their own better than the local governments were. If governments had more money and/or coordination, they would be able to create low income housing like we have in most places here in the US. We also discussed in class about the decline of some cities. In that, normally, the cities were only big enough to support a specific number of the population and as weather patterns changed, it forced a rural to urban migration for the farmers to find jobs. A form of this still exists in terms of the rural to urban migration. The city promises jobs and money and happiness and so many other things. Even the typical urban skyline is attractive and promising. So, people move to the city for the promise of wealth and find that they are either unexperienced or cannot compete with the growing job market. Also, a swell of workers in an area will drive down the pay rates keeping the poor as they are. A combination of this incoming work force from rural areas, a lack of low-income housing, and possible natural disasters or wars cause the growth and continuation of slums in these areas.

  14. Reblogged this on The Urban World and commented:
    The continent of Africa, home to all manner of beast, carries with it an urban legacy reaching back a millennium and more. Sub-Saharan Africa, at its northernmost reaches, was once dotted with cities of Islamic empires, extracting the precious resources from the jungles to the south for the greater glory of their nation. Later, with the Islamic empire on the wane, the arrival of European colonial powers, bringing with them the might of railways, forged newer cities, extracting those same resources, and more. With the railroads allowing easy bypassing of the harsh rapids leading to the coast, the nautical colonization went relatively smoothly. Unfortunately, with so many different European powers vying for territory, their railroads used different standards of gauge size, leading to no interconnectedness of transport between the various regions. When the colonies began to gain independence from their colonial overlords, the cost of creating an interconnected railway system was unfeasible throughout the continent, leading to higher prices for the goods of African farmers, which directly caused many of them to fail, as they were unable to pay their property taxes. As the rural population failed economically to maintain a sustainable lifestyle, most sought a better life in the cities. Unfortunately, with no major industrialization in the cities, the utter lack of available manufacturing jobs for the constantly expanding population created a strain on the public services of the city, a strain the cities have never been able to meet. Without adequate housing, basic utilities, and employment, an enormous system of informal economy has sprung up. Ramshackle huts, crafted almost entirely of corrugated tin siding, blue tarps, and whatever scavenged materials are available, are ubiquitous to these neighborhoods, tucked away amongst estuaries, usually prone to floods, disease, or worse. Often, clean water poses a great challenge, with entire blocks relying on a single water source, and contamination of that one water source is easily within the realm of reason given the lack of regulatory oversight by a service entity, and fast to spread and continue to infect given the lack of other available sources of water. Yet electricity, while not as vital, is in many ways more dangerous, as dozens, even hundreds, of illegal lines stealing electricity create fire hazards that cut a swatch of destruction through these neighborhoods, providing a fast lesson in Malthusian economics. For many, the best employment is self-employment, as they scavenge what they can, and attempt to build a small “market” stall that may be no more than a tarp spread across a highway median, struggling to secure enough for their daily bread, and still have enough to make a living again the next day. The most horrifying part of this is the rate of growth of most these cities continues to increase unabated, with generations of children being brought up in these slums on top of a continues flow of population from rural regions to these already overburdened cities. Even if the problem of the railroads were fixed, allowing rural farmers to better compete on the world market, slowing the rate of migration to the cities, the lack of manufacturing jobs to employ those currently operating in the informal economy would continue to plague the city’s slums.

  15. Reblogged this on ztamijani's Blog and commented:
    This is a collage of examples of slums, indicative of what may be found in some African countries as well as India among other areas as well.
    Slums are urban residential areas that exist in an unconventional and sub-par status when compared to the first-world urban environment paradigm. These slums are created out of necessity for the increasing urbanization in developing countries, typically of the third-world subset. Such countries tend to have resource-exporting economies such as those of Africa where skilled industrial workforces, education, and infrastructure are not well established. Given this situation, these economies generally are not robust enough to support their entire population at western standards.
    What you’ll come to notice about these pictures is that slums tend to lack formal, organized planning. Slum housing is largely constructed in an improvised manner using techniques and materials that are usually unsafe and unreliable. Because these buildings are not made of materials or professional building methods, they are commonly in ill status of repair leading to their messy appearance.
    Sickness is rampant in these areas as proper medical services, social welfare, proper sewage disposal, and clean water are almost completely inaccessible. In such developing countries, it is also common to have major water pollution issues resulting from lack of education regarding hazardous materials and their proper disposal, insufficient environmental protection, and corruption.
    In the western world (I.E. USA), these examples of slums are largely non-existent. It’s difficult to comprehend such perpetual, systemic paradigms as related to what we call home but the pictures illustrate an idea of what it may be.

  16. Reblogged this on jennnyp123 and commented:
    The images above depict the slums of Africa, a perpetuating cycle of poverty deep rooted in history and increasingly prevalent today. A slum can be characterized by a number of things including inadequate housing, water, sanitation and access to income. According to Homeless International currently one billion people currently live in these conditions and that number is expected to increase by 500 million just in the next six years due to rapid population growth and lack of reform. In Africa, the development of slums can be clearly seen after colonization as a product of many different factors. The european powers that colonized the continent did so with no regard for natural or previously existing political and social boundaries. Colonies belonged to many different independent countries and corporations with almost no interconnectedness. All of these cities were set up as gateway cities with the purpose of extracting natural resources for production. Port cities were established for trade across the atlantic and with increased technology set up railroads which ran inland to gather resources. These independent settlements had little interaction, with no way to connect with each other trade was impossible between regions and remained from coast to coast. In africa this is still somewhat true today in terms of transporting goods. Profit lies in producing finished products yet Africa is stuck as a producer of raw materials due to the lack of interconnectedness needed to process finished goods. Local economies were unable to truly develop as they were set up for the purpose of producing money for the corporation or crown the region was settled by.
    Today, Africa is faced with the challenge of combating rapid urbanization without increased industrialization. Because most of the economies in Africa have been focused on gathering natural resources from their formation, very little industry has developed. Political unrest, rapidly growing populations and little opportunity for employment have created a situation in which people are forced to live in very poor very urban conditions with little to no chance of advancement. Many farmers, for example, unable to make a profit and in turn pay their land tax were kicked off of it and forced to move to urban areas with very little work. Those who could find work were paid very low wages and children were often put to work due to a lack of labor laws. Population began to increase even more rapidly and these slums have developed as a result. People cannot make any income and do not own houses or property and as a result there is nothing to collect taxes on. Without any tax base these communities have no access to any kind of public services including clean water, sanitation or education. People find ways to make money through the informal economy or the untaxed market using many different innovative ideas. Some make their living simply buying a pack of gum or cigarettes and selling them individually to make a tiny profit. These areas are plagued by horrible unsanitary conditions in which disease, hunger and often violence are common place. These problems are facilitated by a system that leaves little to no room for growth without serious reform. With a rapidly growing population and little access to education as well as conditions that ensure poor health it is easy to see why slums have continued to grow and take hold.

  17. Reblogged this on Uncharted and commented:
    The images above depict a very disturbing image of what people call everyday life living in the slums of Africa. A slum is defined as a district of a city marked by poverty and inferior living conditions. The slums have characteristics such as: lack of a secure tenure, poor access to water, lack of sanitation facilities, insufficient living areas, and poor structure and durability of housing. (Homeless-international) Also with the poor housing too many people living under one “roof” disease and spreads life fire and when there is a natural disaster it brings more devastation to the area. There is extremely poor sanitation and very unclean water that is in the slums and most of the time all the water supply is contaminated in some way. There is also a lack of good hygiene not enough resources of help to get them what they need to clean themselves properly. They may go and wash off in the closest water supply but that would be the same water that they drink. Also the sewer systems are not even in effect and people tend to just go around the town in outhouses or sometimes in public land. Living in the slums takes many people lives each year just from this lack of resources and hygiene product. This doesn’t even cover not having food to eat which take more people’s lives if the living conditions don’t. In Nairobi Africa alone there are 2.5 million people that live in the slums that they call “slum dwellers.” These people are spread out in over 200 different settlements making up for 60 percent of the population. The largest slum city in Africa and one of the biggest in the world it leis in Kibera which lies in Nairobi. In this city the government owns all the land with only 10 percent being the owners of the shack but even still have no rights to them. Most of the people who live there came from the original Nairobi tribe. Their houses or shacks rather are made of mud walls with a tin roof and dirt or if their lucky concrete floor. Sadly there are usually up to eight people or more even sleeping in a twelve by twelve box. There is electricity within the city but only about 20 percent of it. There are no toilet facilities instead the use a hole in the ground called a latrine that is shared but more than 50 shacks. As far as hospitals go and well being of health there is only dependent upon charitable organizations such as MSF to help out. The sad thing is that the population in the slums is growing at a faster rate than the rest of the world. This is due to lack of contraceptives. Through all this though there are some signs that maybe looking up. It is a slow process but with programs like homeless-international and UN-Habitat Kibera is starting to have water which was not available before. Slowly but surely with help from everyone we can get help to these people that desperately need it more then they know.

    Kibera, UK Charity No. for Tax Purpose. Retrieved from http://www.kibera.org.uk/Facts.html. On 15, Feb. 2014. Web

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