Robert L. Peters

30 January 2009

The Places We Live






in slums, around the world

For the first time in history more people now live in cities than in rural areas. Of those urban dwellers, a third—approximately 1 billion—live in slums, ghettos, shantytowns, and favelas. (I’ve had the chance to see some of these first-hand in places such as Johannesburg, Mumbai, the outskirts of Sao Paulo—the memories are haunting and raise serious questions about the “great divides” within humankind and between us “haves” and “have-nots.”)

“The United Nations forecasts that the number of slum dwellers will double in the next 25 years. Urban slums are the fastest-growing human habitat. The UN defines slums as poor, overcrowded communities lacking adequate access to safe water and sanitation, public services, basic infrastructure, and quality housing. Slums exist outside the official city grid, built without architects or municipal maps, and are in a constant state of transition.”

Check out the telling documentary photographs and touching narratives of slum dwellers in The Places We Live, here (heart-wrenching images from Caracas, Venezuela; Nairobi, Kenya; Mumbai, India; and Jakarta, Indonesia).

(Thanks for the link, Gregor).

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