Cities with Slums: From Informal Settlement Eradication to a by Marie Huchzermeyer

By Marie Huchzermeyer

The UN’s towns with out Slums crusade, which aimed to enhance the lives of a hundred million “slum” dwellers, has been inappropriately communicated throughout Africa as a venture to remove slums and this e-book explains how present city coverage encourages this interpretation which has resulted in conflicts among city citizens and native and nationwide gurus. It argues that the perfect to town, in its unique notion, has direct relevance for city contestations in Africa this day.

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Additional info for Cities with Slums: From Informal Settlement Eradication to a Right to the City in Africa

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Precisely because they are not [considered] controversial, however, these norms are often not the centrepiece of political debate and for that reason tend to be ignored by political scientists. (ibid: 904) However, norms have a ‘life cycle’, and many norms of the past have lost their hegemonic status (ibid: 829). A ‘domestic norm’ may become an international norm ‘through the efforts of entrepreneurs of various kinds’ (ibid: 893). 39 Cities with ‘Slums’ The Brazilian notion or norm that there should be a ‘right to the city’ for all (Fernandes, 2007) is a relevant case in point.

Advocates of the entrepreneurial and competitive city, in turn, are influentially located in Cities Alliance and evidently in UN-HABITAT — the successor of UNCHS (Habitat) as of 2002. The globalised, neoliberal, capitalist society has long destined the poor (whom it persistently fails to uplift) to inhabit the city margins. In Harvey’s words, ‘there is little to be expected from neoliberalization except poverty, hunger, disease and despair’ (2005: 185). In the context of increased economic polarisation, a direct outcome of economic neoliberalism and globalisation (Harvey, 2004; Watson, 2009), the urban poor constitute a convenient surplus of low-cost and unregulated labour, their cheap accommodation in informal settlements thus ‘playing a very crucial function in peripheral economies’ (Njoh, 1999: 163).

Focuses on causes and complexity of Focuses only on symptoms of poverty/ poverty/informality. informality. Source: Based on Nelson (2007) of poverty’ (ibid). Social policy analysts describe the symptom-oriented approach as pounding the tip of an iceberg (Herson & Bolland, 1990). In my own attempt to confront this tendency in the South African government’s approach to informal settlements, I have referred to this as a direct (usually repressive) approach, rather than an indirect approach that would address the root causes (Huchzermeyer, 2008a, 2010a).

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