As with past editions of the global conference on cities, the ninth World Urban Forum kept coming back to the stubborn question of what to do about slums.
An estimated 900 million people live in informal settlements, according to UN-Habitat, the organizer of the event, which concluded last week in the Malaysian capital. According to various estimates, one in four city dwellers is in an area lacking basic services, and the majority of all new housing worldwide is technically built illegally.
Over the decades, governments have tried a range of strategies, from outright eviction and bulldozing to massive relocations into public housing. The latter has not worked especially well, because the new housing is most often built on cheap land at the urban periphery, far from jobs. An estimated 5 million housing units are vacant or under-occupied across Latin America, having been abandoned by the households who were relocated there.
[For more of this story, written by Anthony Flint, go to https://www.citylab.com/equity...-own-destiny/554120/]