Planet of Slums
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According to the united nations, more than one billion people now live in the slums of the cities of the South. In this brilliant and ambitious book, Mike Davis explores the future of a radically unequal and explosively unstable urban world. From the sprawling barricadas of Lima to the garbage hills of Manila, urbanization has been disconnected from industrialization, and even from economic growth. Davis portrays a vast humanity warehoused in shantytowns and exiled from the formal world economy. He argues that the rise of this informal urban proletariat is a wholly unforeseen development, and asks whether the great slums, as a terrified Victorian middle class once imagined, are volcanoes waiting to erupt.
usually on the urban periphery. Mexico City, for 22 Shi, "How Access to Urban Potable Water and Sewerage Connections Affects Child Mortality," Appendix 3, derived from UNCHS Global Urban Indicators Database, 1993. A decimal point may be misplaced in the Ibadan figure. 23 Jonathan Rigg, Southeast Asia: A Region in Transition, London 1991, p. 143. 24 Imparato and Ruster, Slum Upgrading and Participation, p. 52. 25 Paul McCarthy, "Jakarta, Indonesia," UN-HABITAT Case Study, London 2003, pp. 7-8. 26
Washington Post in August 2002, "hundreds of families who fled combat between Taliban and opposition forces in rural northern Afghanistan are now squeezed into a maze of vertical slums without kitchens or bathrooms, sleeping 15 and 20 to a hut." There has been little rain for years and many wells have stopped working; children in these slums suffer from continual sore throats and various diseases from contaminated water. Life expectancy is among the lowest in the world.102 Two of the world's
Apartheid City in Transition, Cape Town 1991, pp. 29-30. 30 Carole Rakodi, "Global Forces, Urban Change, and Urban Management in Africa," in Rakodi, The Urban Challenge in Africa, pp. 32-39. 31 Urban Planning Studio, Columbia University, Disaster-Resistant Caracas, New York 2001, p. 25. September 1966 - he was deposed by President Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, a politician notorious f or his many ties to foreign capital and land speculators. A fast-growth agenda that included tolerance for pirate
Economy 99 (2004), p. 185. 20 Stiglitz's 1998 speech, "More Instruments and Broader Goals: Moving Towards the Post-Washington Consensus," is discussed in John Pender, "From 'Structural Adjustment' to 'Comprehensive Development Framework': Conditionality Transformed?," Third World Quarterly 22:3 (2001). 21 Imparato and Ruster, Slum Upgrading and Participation, p. 255. Thus development economist Diana Mitlin, writing about Latin s America, describes how, on one hand, NGOs "preempt community- ;
uprooting of tens of millions more from traditional tenures. The end result (in Latin America as well) was rural "semi-proletarianization," the creation of a huge global class of immiserated semi-peasants and farm laborers lacking existential security of subsistence. As a result, the twentieth jcentury became an age not of urban revolutions, as classical Marxism | had imagined, but of epochal rural uprisings and peasant-based wars of ^national liberation.2 Structural adjustment, it would appear,