What is it about?

A B S T R A C T The world keeps getting better in every aspect including housing and infrastructure and the growing technology keeps improving affordable housing, but the chances of completely eradicating slums will remain slim because there will always be people unable to afford better housing than slums have to offer. Aside from the fact that a slum is known as being the residential environment with the poorest living conditions, it is also known for various negative activities and a relatively high crime rate. The notion that an environment greatly influences an individual holds out the necessity to create better-living conditions that will in time nurture and improve the individual. To this end, the reformation of slums should be a priority. In as much as these slums cannot be eradicated completely, physical upgrading of slums with improved street networks, better building materials, better air quality, easy access to basic municipal services, improves natural ventilation, natural lighting and better drainages will prove to make positive changes economically, socially and reduce crime rates in many cities. It will also improve the physical general wellbeing of communities. In conclusion, a community, no matter how small has the ability to influence the general well-being of an entire nation. Paying a little more attention to the physical reformation of slums will positively affect the world at large in the long run.

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Why is it important?

Reformation of Slums * 1BSc.ModupeOdemakin, 2MSc.AbiolaAyopoAbiodun 1 and 2 Faculty of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, Cyprus Email;17500572@students.emu.edu.tr E mail: abiola.abiodun@cc.emu.edu.tr A B S T R A C T The world keeps getting better in every aspect including housing and infrastructure and the growing technology keeps improving affordable housing, but the chances of completely eradicating slums will remain slim because there will always be people unable to afford better housing than slums have to offer. Aside from the fact that a slum is known as being the residential environment with the poorest living conditions, it is also known for various negative activities and a relatively high crime rate. The notion that an environment greatly influences an individual holds out the necessity to create better-living conditions that will in time nurture and improve the individual. To this end, the reformation of slums should be a priority. In as much as these slums cannot be eradicated completely, physical upgrading of slums with improved street networks, better building materials, better air quality, easy access to basic municipal services, improves natural ventilation, natural lighting and better drainages will prove to make positive changes economically, socially and reduce crime rates in many cities. It will also improve the physical general wellbeing of communities. In conclusion, a community, no matter how small has the ability to influence the general well-being of an entire nation. Paying a little more attention to the physical reformation of slums will positively affect the world at large in the long run. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2019), 3(2), 95-98. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.4705 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2018 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction A slum is defined as a heavily congested or populated, deteriorated, temporary human urban settlement characterized by substandard housing, mostly with no security, prone to crime and anti-social activities, a shortage of safe drinking water, inadequate power supply, lack of proper sanitation, and little or scarce medical and social facilities (UN-Habitat, 2007; Simon et al. 2013). The slum structures are predominantly made of plastic sheets, mud walls, cardboards or tin sheets, with high potential risk to rain leakages and fire outbreaks. The slum possesses narrow and inaccessible paths, rubbish dumps, and stagnant, dirty water bodies, poor drainage systems, little or non-existent of utilities, and the settlers are prone to ailments, diseases and abuses (Alagbe, 2005). The slum household is people dwelling together with no access to basic services, comfortable living space, electricity, clean water, sanitation, security, etc. The urban poverty in developing countries has resulted in congested, disorderly, and poorly erected informal slum settlements (Uduak, 2009). Slums have been around for as long as the 19th century and one of the major causes was urbanization which was as a result of industrialization. According to the available statistics, the slum areas were first defined by the ‘regimen of congestion’ orchestrated by the mass movements of people in the mega cities since centuries ago. The global urbanization process, distribution and realignment of population in character, size, and networking or system, have a lot of relationships with slum formation as too many people began competing for too few dwellings and rooms due to the rapid influx of poor migrants to the cities in search of jobs and a cheap place to live (Simon et. al. 2013). The urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 746 million in 1950 to 3.9 billion in 2014. In 2014, it was reported that 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and predicted to increase to 61 and 66 per cent by 2030 and 2050 respectively. The projections show that the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion to 3.2 billion people recorded in 2007 making it total of 5.7 billion by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa, according to a new United Nations report 2014. By 2050. India, China and Nigeria are projected to add 404, 292, and 212 million urban dwellers (UN Commission on population and Development, 2007; World Urbanization Prospects, 2014). The present trends of global urbanization are becoming neither orderly nor sustainable, thus, squatter and informal slum settlements are proliferating despite many urban development plans and strategies. Slums today are becoming only places with the cheapest possible infrastructural amenities, especially accommodation (housing) adjacent most mega cities in the world. However, the slums have become settlements with the worst possible living conditions in terms of infrastructure, health care, security, economy, education, hygiene and every other condition necessary for human survival. In fact, slums are one of the most stigmatized parts of mega cities. When slum residents are thought of, they are perceived as overcrowded people not just with poor living conditions but also as people with little or no morals, norms or standards of public decency (i.e. people involved in drug abuse, crimes, violence, etc.), which is a rather harsh perception. According to UN-Habitat 2016 report, urban growth and unlawful land conversion to slums are resulting to higher crime rates, environmental degradation, and threats to global ecosystems and human existence (George, 2002). The UN-Habitat 2016 report states that the slum dwellers are estimated to grow by nearly 500 million before 2020. To this end, the chances of getting rid of slums become slimmer as time goes on not only due to the increasing population of slum dwellers, but also because of the factors which lead to its growth and the negligence of governing bodies to the present conditions of these slums. Therefore, if these slums cannot be eradicated, it is possible to create better living conditions and give a new face and identity. The aim of this paper is to discuss the reformation of slums that have been created, managing the emerging ones and to prevent the future development of others. 2. Reformation of Slums (An Investment) Investing in general is defined as allocating money or a valuable resource such as time to a certain cause or action with the expectation of some benefits in the future. A lot of people invest in real estate and affordable housing, but hardly is anyone interested in investing in slums reformation probably because the benefits of doing so have not been spelled out. Slum reformation is a process of making positive changes in the present conditions of slums such as creating better road networks, providing access to basic services and amenities such as pipe borne water, electricity, better air quality, good drainages, waste management facilities and security. The reformation of slums will have a lot of positive impact on the communities at large in terms of health, economy, and security. A community with little or no crime rate and humane living conditions is to the benefit of the general populace. The reformation of slum can be attributed to some basic elements, which include urban sustainability, comprehensive, integrated and strategic visions, plans and actions (Robert, 2006). Such elements are able to effect a long lasting improvement in the economic, environmental, physical, and social conditions in slum areas. The reformation of slums with a well detailed and precise approach can revitalize slum into a more an investment platform. This will bring positive benefits to slums in the future, with more actions taken in order to improve the living conditions in slum settlements. For example, most slum settlements were created and have existed for a century, which implies that some slums have historical significance, but due to poor conditions of the slums, they are not perceived as potential tourist locations for economic benefits. If slums are improved or reformed and are therefore preserved like most of the world heritage sites, the poor will not be the only benefactors.

Perspectives

Reformation of Slums * 1BSc.ModupeOdemakin, 2MSc.AbiolaAyopoAbiodun 1 and 2 Faculty of Architecture, Eastern Mediterranean University, Famagusta, Cyprus Email;17500572@students.emu.edu.tr E mail: abiola.abiodun@cc.emu.edu.tr A B S T R A C T The world keeps getting better in every aspect including housing and infrastructure and the growing technology keeps improving affordable housing, but the chances of completely eradicating slums will remain slim because there will always be people unable to afford better housing than slums have to offer. Aside from the fact that a slum is known as being the residential environment with the poorest living conditions, it is also known for various negative activities and a relatively high crime rate. The notion that an environment greatly influences an individual holds out the necessity to create better-living conditions that will in time nurture and improve the individual. To this end, the reformation of slums should be a priority. In as much as these slums cannot be eradicated completely, physical upgrading of slums with improved street networks, better building materials, better air quality, easy access to basic municipal services, improves natural ventilation, natural lighting and better drainages will prove to make positive changes economically, socially and reduce crime rates in many cities. It will also improve the physical general wellbeing of communities. In conclusion, a community, no matter how small has the ability to influence the general well-being of an entire nation. Paying a little more attention to the physical reformation of slums will positively affect the world at large in the long run. CONTEMPORARY URBAN AFFAIRS (2019), 3(2), 95-98. https://doi.org/10.25034/ijcua.2018.4705 www.ijcua.com Copyright © 2018 Contemporary Urban Affairs. All rights reserved. 1. Introduction A slum is defined as a heavily congested or populated, deteriorated, temporary human urban settlement characterized by substandard housing, mostly with no security, prone to crime and anti-social activities, a shortage of safe drinking water, inadequate power supply, lack of proper sanitation, and little or scarce medical and social facilities (UN-Habitat, 2007; Simon et al. 2013). The slum structures are predominantly made of plastic sheets, mud walls, cardboards or tin sheets, with high potential risk to rain leakages and fire outbreaks. The slum possesses narrow and inaccessible paths, rubbish dumps, and stagnant, dirty water bodies, poor drainage systems, little or non-existent of utilities, and the settlers are prone to ailments, diseases and abuses (Alagbe, 2005). The slum household is people dwelling together with no access to basic services, comfortable living space, electricity, clean water, sanitation, security, etc. The urban poverty in developing countries has resulted in congested, disorderly, and poorly erected informal slum settlements (Uduak, 2009). Slums have been around for as long as the 19th century and one of the major causes was urbanization which was as a result of industrialization. According to the available statistics, the slum areas were first defined by the ‘regimen of congestion’ orchestrated by the mass movements of people in the mega cities since centuries ago. The global urbanization process, distribution and realignment of population in character, size, and networking or system, have a lot of relationships with slum formation as too many people began competing for too few dwellings and rooms due to the rapid influx of poor migrants to the cities in search of jobs and a cheap place to live (Simon et. al. 2013). The urban population of the world has grown rapidly from 746 million in 1950 to 3.9 billion in 2014. In 2014, it was reported that 54 per cent of the world’s population lives in urban areas, and predicted to increase to 61 and 66 per cent by 2030 and 2050 respectively. The projections show that the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion to 3.2 billion people recorded in 2007 making it total of 5.7 billion by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa, according to a new United Nations report 2014. By 2050. India, China and Nigeria are projected to add 404, 292, and 212 million urban dwellers (UN Commission on population and Development, 2007; World Urbanization Prospects, 2014). The present trends of global urbanization are becoming neither orderly nor sustainable, thus, squatter and informal slum settlements are proliferating despite many urban development plans and strategies. Slums today are becoming only places with the cheapest possible infrastructural amenities, especially accommodation (housing) adjacent most mega cities in the world. However, the slums have become settlements with the worst possible living conditions in terms of infrastructure, health care, security, economy, education, hygiene and every other condition necessary for human survival. In fact, slums are one of the most stigmatized parts of mega cities. When slum residents are thought of, they are perceived as overcrowded people not just with poor living conditions but also as people with little or no morals, norms or standards of public decency (i.e. people involved in drug abuse, crimes, violence, etc.), which is a rather harsh perception. According to UN-Habitat 2016 report, urban growth and unlawful land conversion to slums are resulting to higher crime rates, environmental degradation, and threats to global ecosystems and human existence (George, 2002). The UN-Habitat 2016 report states that the slum dwellers are estimated to grow by nearly 500 million before 2020. To this end, the chances of getting rid of slums become slimmer as time goes on not only due to the increasing population of slum dwellers, but also because of the factors which lead to its growth and the negligence of governing bodies to the present conditions of these slums. Therefore, if these slums cannot be eradicated, it is possible to create better living conditions and give a new face and identity. The aim of this paper is to discuss the reformation of slums that have been created, managing the emerging ones and to prevent the future development of others. 2. Reformation of Slums (An Investment) Investing in general is defined as allocating money or a valuable resource such as time to a certain cause or action with the expectation of some benefits in the future. A lot of people invest in real estate and affordable housing, but hardly is anyone interested in investing in slums reformation probably because the benefits of doing so have not been spelled out. Slum reformation is a process of making positive changes in the present conditions of slums such as creating better road networks, providing access to basic services and amenities such as pipe borne water, electricity, better air quality, good drainages, waste management facilities and security. The reformation of slums will have a lot of positive impact on the communities at large in terms of health, economy, and security. A community with little or no crime rate and humane living conditions is to the benefit of the general populace. The reformation of slum can be attributed to some basic elements, which include urban sustainability, comprehensive, integrated and strategic visions, plans and actions (Robert, 2006). Such elements are able to effect a long lasting improvement in the economic, environmental, physical, and social conditions in slum areas. The reformation of slums with a well detailed and precise approach can revitalize slum into a more an investment platform. This will bring positive benefits to slums in the future, with more actions taken in order to improve the living conditions in slum settlements. For example, most slum settlements were created and have existed for a century, which implies that some slums have historical significance, but due to poor conditions of the slums, they are not perceived as potential tourist locations for economic benefits. If slums are improved or reformed and are therefore preserved like most of the world heritage sites, the poor will not be the only benefactors.

Journal of Contemporary Urban Affairs
Girne American University

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