chapter  4
24 Pages

Policy and Practice: The Missing Link

As mentioned in the earlier chapters, informal settlements are usually seen as unwelcome “dens of crime” and “eyesores” that “destabilize” modern society. In the previous two chapters we tried to give them a human face, and to demonstrate that, in spite of physical and economic barriers, so-called slums are a productive segment of society that consume the least while contributing substantially to economic growth. From the macrolevel and from a historical perspective, informality is the fi rst stage in a natural progression toward urban growth and development: after all, many of the world’s largest cities have a history of slums and informal development.