— Field Notes

Planet of Slums

From Mike Davis’s crucial book (2006)

shape of the city:
“the cities of the future, rather than being made out of glass and steel as envisioned by earlier generations of Urbanists, are instead largely constructed out of crude brick, straw, recycled plastic, cement blocks, and scrap wood. Instead of cities of light soaring toward heaven, much of the twenty-first-century urban world squats in squalor, surrounded by pollution, excrement, and decay.”


informal workers:

“a billion people currently live in slums and more than a billion people are informal workers, struggling for survival…the entire future growth of humanity will occur in cities, overwhelmingly poor cities, and the majority of it in slums.”

"The informal sector generates jobs not by elaborating new divisions of labour, but by fragmenting existing work, and thus subdividing incomes." 

Benefits of density:

“Urban density can translate into great efficiencies in land, energy and resource use, while democratic public spaces and cultural institutions likewise provide qualitatively higher standards of enjoyment than individualized consumption and commodified leisure.”

Submit comment