Bad Housing Policies Worsening Slums Around the World

Richard Florida argues that policies in cities around the world are making it harder on those most in need of housing.
July 31, 2017, 11am PDT | Casey Brazeal | @northandclark
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Mark Hillary

When people live in slums, the way to improve their lives is to empower the people living there rather than to attack the slums themselves. Richard Florida argues that when cities try to move or destroy slums and replace them with large-scale projects, they're attacking a symptom of the housing crisis and making the root problems worse. "When residents are displaced or relocated, they are disconnected from critical social and economic networks and livelihood options they themselves created," Florida argues in CityLab.

Slums don't occur at random. When slums develop near cities, it's because the residents know they’ll have access to the economies and infrastructure resources they need.

Florida argues there are policies to help the people directly: "One way to do this is to convert underutilized urban land for affordable housing and economic development, with realistic standards for development." Another is to build infrastructure for the people who live in slums.

"The city of Medellin in Colombia famously did this by using escalators and gondolas to connect steep hillside slums to centers of jobs and economic activity," Florida writes. 

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Published on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 in CityLab
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