Integrating Slums to their Cities and Towns

                                                              

Integrating Slums to their Cities and Towns

The particularity of slums among informal settlements, and what makes them an appalling global urban phenomenon that should be urgently addressed, is the level of perpetual poverty, deprivation and socio-spatial exclusion to which the people residing in them are subjected to live in. A condition that also affects the overall prosperity of the cities and towns in which they exist[1]. Slum dwellers experience constant discrimination and disadvantage, lack of recognition by governance frameworks, limited access to land and property, tenure insecurity and the threat of eviction, precarious livelihoods, high exposure to disease and violence and, due to slums' location, high vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change and natural disasters. Different vulnerable groups living in slums are particularly affected: women are more likely to have lower education levels and face high rates of teen pregnancies, children are constantly exposed to a whole range of impacts, unskilled youth are excluded from economic and employment opportunities, people with disabilities suffer due to the slums’ dilapidated infrastructure. Migrants, refugees and internally displaced persons affected by conflict and economic crisis also face additional levels of vulnerability and marginalization through their uncertain status and lack of resources.

Systematic and city-wide/ ‘at scale’ approaches conceiving and implementing policies, planning, financing and regulations that strengthen the capacity of urban areas to operationalize programmes at a city-wide or ‘at-scale’ level are more likely to improve the lives of slum dwellers then piecemeal responses. All tiers of government are critical and ‘at scale’ slum upgrading strategies and programmes that both improve current conditions and prevent new slum formation. Integration of people and systems at all levels of government concerned must develop and coordinate broader integrated policy planning frameworks that ensure a more complete understanding of the communities living in slums, their specific prioritiesm, social and economic dynamics in implementing practical changes that ultimately result in upgraded slums, linked into the broader urban environment and included in its development plans.

A participatory approach both to neighbourhood and city-wide planning is the main feature of PSUP’s methodology. Through its activities, PSUP capacitates city technicians in integrated, land-efficient city planning through participatory, in-situ slum upgrading tools, as the PSUP urban priorities and city-wide slum upgrading strategies.

 


[1] UN_Habitat (2012), State of the World’s Cities 2012- 2013, Prosperity of Cities; UN-Habitat (2015), ler Reporte del Estado de las Ciudades de Colombia: Camino Hacia la Prosperidad Urbana. To know more about the City Prosperity Index (CPI), please visit <http://unhabitat.org/urban-initiatives/initiatives-programmes/city-prosp...