Understanding Slum Lifestyle & Slum Upgrading
The word “slum” is often used to describe informal settlements within cities that have inadequate housing, miserable living conditions, often overcrowded with many people crammed into very small living spaces.
These settlements lack basic municipal services such as water, sanitation, waste collection, storm drainage, street lighting, paved sidewalks and roads for emergency access. Most also do not have easy access to schools, hospitals or public places for the community to gather.
Like all informal settlements, housing in slums is built on land that the occupant does not have a legal claim to and without any urban planning or adherence to zoning regulations. Slums are often found to breed unemployment and crime.
Slum upgrading is about putting into motion the economic, social, institutional and community activities that are needed to turn an area around. These activities should be undertaken cooperatively among all parties involved—residents, community groups, businesses as well as local and authorities. The activities tend to include the provision of basic services such as housing, streets, footpaths, drainage, clean water, sanitation, and sewage disposal. Often, access to education and health care are also part of upgrading.