Part 1 Mobile Slumization A. Vredenburg

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Research on three emerging cities mobilization and slumization

Research on three emerging cities mobilization and slumization

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  • 1. MOBILESLUMIZATIONStudent: Atilla VredenburgTeacher: Karin Christof 1
  • 2. MOBILE SLUMIZATION ATILLA VREDENBURGIntroductionThe rapidly growing megacities due to migration from rural to urban areas show a fastdevelopment. The sprawling city became a phenomenon. It shows a fast and cheap way toaccommodate a rapidly growing population. This extraordinary growth creates large slums,that are car depended and are insufficiently connected to the formal city. This unplanned,emerging urbanism shows a lack of design and control by not looking at the bigger scale byconsidering the environment and the future. We could describe it as a kind of “UnsustainableUrbanism”. This kind of unplanned urbanization makes the connections/distances betweenslums and the formal city vague. While the population is still growing in the cheaperunplanned areas, like slums, large investments for infrastructure/mobilization are usuallymade in the city centre, where the global financial market dominates the developments.Our urban planning system is based on the automobile, business and real-estate, but it isnever enough to keep up with the population that keeps on growing. Sustainable publicmobility systems are the future to make cities an equal and environmental friendly place.Chris Borroni-Bird the director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts of GM gives aninteresting example about thinking in a other way than what we are used too.“In the past 100 years, the automobile has shaped the city rather than cities shaping theautomobile. In the future the opposite will be the case: cities will start to shape mobility.”(Chris Borroni-Bird, Director of Advanced Technology Vehicle Concepts, GM”)This quotation not only shows a kind of awareness about the existing planning system, but italso makes a starting point for a subject that should be researched. The kind of transportationsystems determines our behavior. We take the car because the city is built on automobiles.Slums are spontaneously created urban areas where regular mobility systems do not fitin. Mobility problems are a part of daily life in these areas of the city, but which aspectsdetermines these problems? Is it only, because the slum is built on an steep slope? Or are localauthorities dismissing the existence of slums? What if a innovative sustainable public transportsystems would connect the slums with the formal city? Will this give the slum an equal statusand will this change the behavior of the population? What kind of an effect will this haveon further developments in the slums? To get a picture about how slums are organized andplaced in the Megacity[1], I will research three settlements in three different cities, which allof them have a long history and had a different kind of growth (Mexico City, Sao Paulo andIstanbul). 2
  • 3. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011CHAPTER 1Cities/Slums and increasing populationAccording to the United Nations study, more than one billion people in third world countriesnow live in slums. The future developments estimate an increase of almost four billioninhabitants till 2030. Slums will get larger and more important for the existing growing cities.The term “Slum” is used a lot in researches, but what does this word mean? Where does theterm come from and what are the characteristics? To define the term ‘slum’ we have to goback to the 18th century. The origin of the word slum is thought to be a Irish phrase ‘Slomé ‘,a destitute place. It referred to the dark side of town, where a cluster of poor people andfrequently criminals and prostitutes were living in a densely populated area. The Englishdescribed the physical characteristics, like poorly constructed informal dwellings, areasof gloomy narrow streets and alleyways. Forty years later the US Department of Laborcame with its first scientific researched definition about the slum. After a research on fourlarge cities in America, the conclusion was ‘’an area of dirty back streets, especially wheninhabited by an squalid and criminal population.’’ Now almost 100 years later the UnitedNation characterized a slum as overcrowded, poor or informal housing, inadequate accessto safe water and sanitation and insecurity of tenure in peri-urban shantytowns and inner-city tenements. From 1800 till now the term and the classic characteristics did not change:slums are still overcrowded destitute informal areas in cities, which exist out of a poorpopulation, poor accessibility and mobility. By lack of political will borders between theformal and informal city arise, slum dwellers set up their own communities. Slums can actuallybe described as innovative places where the poorer population tries to set up a life withouthelp from the local authorities. Slums are cities within cities, but in which both of them, formaland informal city, are getting more dependent of each other. Unfortunately that after twodecades this phenomenon is still on the globe where big differences and separations betweenpopulation classes are still strongly visible.Besides the classic characteristics of slums, a large difference in scale is visible. Today’s urbangrowth in some slums is so high, that local authorities began to change their behavior opposedto unregulated urban settlements. The economical and residential importance of existingMegaslums[2] is growing, which interests the authorities and vanishes the separation betweeninformal and formal city. The population rate per slum or the slum population per countryvaries a lot. There are more than 200.000 slums on the globe, which vary in population butalso in mobility systems and location. Slums can exist from a few hundred to a couple ofmillion people. The differences in population rate are caused by the kind of development. Inthe large cities of South Asia (Mumbai, Karachi and Kolkata) a total of 15.000 small squattersettlements, obviously shows a lower population rate per slum than in Mexico City with acontiguously belt of linked slums, which households a couple of million people. 3
  • 4. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011CHAPTER 2Mobility issues and politicsWhat if private car use would be excluded in the three cities discussed in this paper and inreplacement sustainable public transportation would be the new mobility system, what kind ofnew values besides only its functional could this bring to the cities? In the beginning phase ofthe population growth, public transportation was not the priority of developing cities. Citieswere dominated by private cars and still are. Sao Paulo and Mexico City are cities with oneof the highest private car ownership (368 and 360 per 1000 residents). Istanbul for instancehas a low car ownership compared with the other two, an estimated 139 per 1000 residents.This does not mean that the public transportation system in Istanbul is more developed.Actually out of these three cities, Istanbul has the poorest public transportation system, leavingmany areas of the city inaccessible. Especially areas with poor people who cannot afforda car are suffering. The separator in society in this story is the car. You have a group of thesociety who can afford a car and the rest of the society who cannot. Sao Paulo and MexicoCity has a poor public transport system also. Inhabitants are forced to use the car, becausethe cities are built on car lanes. The politicians, urban planners and architects are the onesthat can be blamed for this behavior and urban design. A nice example of a ‘wrong’ projectis “Secundo Pisto” of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (mayor Mexico City 2000-2005). Heintroduced an elevated highway through the middle of the city, so that only a small part ofthe inhabitants could use this highway to drive to the rich suburbs. For the largest group ofinhabitants nothing changed, but forty percent of the city’s total budget was spent.Fig. 1. ‘Private car ownership per 1000 Fig. 2. ‘System length (km) metro/railway’’.residents’. Source: Urban Age: Istanbul city Source: Urban Age: Istanbul city ofof intersections. 2009 intersections. 2009 4
  • 5. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011The opposite was done in Bogota, Columbia. Bogota was one of the worst case scenario ofpoverty: pollution, criminality and corruption were all part of a city in urban decay. After1990, the two mayors, Enrique Penalosa and Antanas Mockus arise with a clear vision. Theirvision was “equality by urban design’, as separation between rich and poor was dominating.A revolution in the whole corrupt political system took place, with a mission, which waschanging the behavior of the citizens and politicians of the city, by giving them high qualitypublic space. To accomplish this mission the cities mobility system had to change, car lanestransformed into fast and cleaner bus lanes (Transmilenio) accessible for every citizen. Byexpending public transportation systems and restricting private car use, equality was partlycreated. Rich and poor began to use public transportation and simultaneously by decreasingcar lanes pollution decreased and public space was created for social activities. In thethree cities discussed in this paper projects such as in Bogota are getting slowly shape. TheMetrobus in Istanbul and the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) in Mexico City and Sao Paulo are arising.These are large scale public transportation projects on the metropolitan scale. Governmentsare making responsible decisions, towards the environment and citizens, but still most of thepoorer parts (slums) of the cities are still suffering.CHAPTER 3Mexico City, Sao Paulo and IstanbulAccording to the research of the “London School of Economics,” the population growth inMexico City, Sao Paulo and Istanbul had a relatively slow growth in the first half of the20th century. After 1950 an abrupt acceleration of population growth began. Due to lackof a good planning systems, massive rural poverty brought unregulated urban settlements.The Megaslums in Mexico City with more than one million inhabitants are getting importantbusiness centers for low and middle income groups. Because of the size of such a slumgovernments are taking slowly more care of these areas. The smaller settlements in Istanbuland Sao Paulo (10.000-100.000 inhabitants) as compared to Mexico City are not consideredas important, because of their size. They do not have such an important economical value for Fig. 3. ‘Population growth urban age cities’. Source: Urban Age: Istanbul city of intersections. 2009 5
  • 6. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011Fig. 4. ‘Large slum Paraisopolis next to wealthy district” . Source: Urban Age conference Saothe city. But when all these little settlement are added to each other a couple of million slumdwellers are getting part of the economical interest of the cities. It should not matter what sizea slum is, actually every citizen or area of a city has a economical importance. We have tolook at the total number of inhabitants and consider the whole city, slum or wealthy suburb asequal.In Mexico City the flat and dry plateaus on the north and the hills on the east side are thepoor parts of the city, which are located outside the administrative city. Large chemicalcompanies and open air dumps just like in Santa Cruz Mege Hualco were perfect locationsfor this kind of settlements. Because of the enormous growth of Mexico City from 2.9 millioninhabitants in 1950 to 20 million in 2010, the city had to expand. First older settlementsin the inner-city became slums, but to accommodate the larger group, enormous peripheralslums arose. Over a million people now live in places where only 10,000 people used tolive before. Some developers saw big opportunities in this explosive growth of the poorpopulation. On cheap land mass production of informal settlements outside the administrativecity were built up for the poorer population. These settlements arose next to chemicalcompanies with limited or no resources, no means of public transportation, no electricity andwith poor water resources.Sao Paulo with its 2.4 million inhabitants in 1950 has a different story when it comes to theslums. The first large population growth after 1950 brought peripheral slums on floodplainsand along railways outside the administrative city. After 1970 the growth accelerated.Informal housing began to move in to the inner-city. The distances between wealthy andpoor districts began to get smaller. Unprotected empty urban lots inside the inner-city wherebuilding was difficult were immediately occupied by slum dwellers. Limited interest of the 6
  • 7. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011formal market for this lots brought rich and poor next to each other, but strong separations bylarge concrete walls were made. A large amount of empty lots resulted in small settlementsall over the city. Now the city has a total population of 20 million inhabitants, which is stillincreasing. The inner-city slums are full and expansion is impossible, so peripheral slums aregrowing again.Istanbul has a large amount of small settlements on the Asian side of the city. The Europeanside had a fast economic growth, but the Asian side had arrears and was more plannedfor industrial use. Along the motorways from Istanbul to Ankara, publicly owned lots in theperiphery of the city were designated and used for industrial purposes. Since 1950, theseindustrial zones are being slowly surrounded by slums. Although this part was within theborders of the administrative city, local authorities had no supervision. Informal construction ofhousing was allowed to develop, in exchange of the votes that were cast for the supportingpoliticians. That is why most of the slums compared with slums in Mexico City and Sao Paulohave sewage systems and sometimes even have paved roads. Now 60 years later, Istanbul’spopulation is still growing. The expanding city to the east side is changing the location ofthe slums on the city map. Peripheral slums are now becoming the inner-city slums, and thelocal authorities are continuing to fail to address the problem and offer solutions to thisunauthorized and unplanned substandard construction.CHAPTER 4Nezahualcoyotl / Paraisopolis/ GulensuWith a population rate of 1.3 million, Netzahualcoyotl is located on the border of theadministrative city of Mexico City (see Appx 1.). The first settlements came around 1950, adecentralized place was getting urbanized without any connection to the inner-city. Peopleused to walk or take a bike for their daily needs. After 1973, the government began to put inplace drainage systems and paved roads in a new orthogonal urban structure. This changedthe behavior of the inhabitants, and people began to use the car. Private car ownershipincreased and the district began to attract more people with low income, with or withouta car. The metro system of Mexico City is situated within the borders of the administrativecity. The only metro system that connects Netzahualcoyotl with the inner-city is located on thesouthern border. This leaves the biggest section of the district unconnected to the city centerwith a sustainable transportation system.Paraisopolis (Sao Paulo: see Appx 2.) is a smaller slum with an estimated inhabitants of80.000. It had a fast growth after 1970 and is surrounded by a well served wealthy area.The problem of this area is different, because of its high density and narrow roadways.Having a car is almost impossible. Actually this is good; people are not used to cars. Publictransportation is very important for this area but creating a sustainable public transportationsystem in such a difficult place is not easy to accomplish . The most important kind of public 7
  • 8. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011transport at this moment is the bus system. Some streets have been redesigned making thedemolition of existing dwellings necessary.Gulensu (Istanbul: see Appx 3.) is actually a slum that kept its original form since 1945. Aregional motorway from Istanbul to Ankara crosses through Gulensu. The south side is denselyurbanized and a new metro system is being developed. The northern part of the area isconnected to a green zone, which is free from further development. Gulense with its 60.000inhabitants follows the organic form of the hill, where it is built on. Winding steep but pavedroads in between the dwellings make accessibility almost impossible to implement a standardpublic transportation solution. Therefore, private car ownership is considered as an attractivealternative to public transportation.CHAPTER 5Conclusion / new concept for mobile slumizationIn this paper I tried to show the lack of interest towards slums. Unfortunately most large citiesin the developing countries have slums. The second topic in this paper is about mobility issues.At one side there is an increase of the poorer population and simultaneously the city thatis built on a expensive and polluting automobile. Urban planners, architects and politiciansare designing cities where business or automobile is more important than the quality of life.The high income groups always have access to high quality private and public spaces andparks, but the poor have no alternative. The neighborhood where the poor live in is themost important place for leisure. The kind of citizens who are living in the city determinesthe development of a place. Due to the estimations of the United Nations the increase ofthe poorer population will bring larger areas of cheap housing in cities. This is reality andall professionals who deal with city planning have to change their behavior. Every design,decision and development has to correspondent with its surroundings and society.To establish the new poor population by migration, professionals and politicians in thedeveloping cities have to make decisions. In some cities wrong decisions are made. Slums aregetting demolished and different squatter social housing projects in the peripheries are thesolution of the governments. Private developers are seeing a chance to build in a cheap andprofitable way. They do not really think about the quality of live and the kind of mobilitysystem. A car road is putted in to connect with the inner-city. The largest part of the poorerpopulation cannot afford a car, so people have to commute for a longer time. A visionabout mobility and environment is dismissed. Actually this phenomenon is nowadays visiblein Istanbul. The problem you get is the same as in Mexico City, which started years ago.Growing cities have to learn and think together. Exchange of knowledge is valuable for allof us. New settlements only for housing purpose are a waste of money. Why build new whenthere are already slums which can be upgraded. Governments are choosing for the easy way.If new settlements could be more than only housing like a mix of new parks, business centers a 8
  • 9. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011self-sufficient place, than it would be an improvement on the scale of the city.When comparing the physical differences between the slums in three cities similaritiesbetween the slums in Mexico City and Istanbul become visible. In some parts of the city,governments took initiative to built paved roads with different purposes, but still without awell connected public transportation system. Sao Paulo’s slums are built with narrow, windingalleys, almost only accessible by pedestrians. There are physical, historical and economicaldifferences between the cities, but all of them deal with similar kinds of problems. Oneof the biggest problem is mobility. Connecting different areas of the cities by developingsustainable transportation systems should be the highest priority. The average projectedgrowth till 2025 per hour is estimated on 15 people, of which most will live in the poorerunconnected districts like slums.My vision for ‘’mobile slumization’’ is that large paved roads and cars do not fit in the imageof a slum. An overcrowded area with a poor population needs a cheap and a compactsustainable mobility system. What I already showed before is that the public space in thepoorer areas are important for daily activities, but the public space in some slums are pavedroads (Netzahualcoyotl ), as solution to bring down traffic jams of the city. Here governmentsdid not think about the needs of the slum dwellers itself. Because the public space where slumdwellers live in is so important, governments should give priority to a compact sustainablemobility system and to the needs of the slum dwellers. With this way of thinking the quality oflive could improve substantially. It should not matter if the slum is built on a slope or along afloodplain. Recent projects like in Caracas show how a cable system on a steep slope connectsthe slum with the city. Innovation and behavior change towards slums inside the governmentand urban planners are necessary to accomplish such a kind of project. Putting the cars outmeans less pollution, streets can get another function (urban gardening – self-sufficient) andquality of live will increase. This will also change the image of a slum. It will get a kind ofcommercial value ‘’the most environmentally friendly place of the city”. This can attract newpeople and even green companies, who want to show that the environment is important forthe globe. Just like in Bogota this has to begin on a little scale to change the behavior of thepeople and governments slowly on. 9
  • 10. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011APPENDIX 1Fig. 5. ‘structure Nezahualcoyotl’. Source: Google earth Pro. 2011 Nezahualcoyotl - Mexico City Inhabitants: 1.300.000Fig. 6. ‘Mexico city build-up area’. Source: Urban Age: Istanbul city of intersections. 2009 10
  • 11. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011APPENDIX 2Fig. 7. ‘structure Paraisopolis’. Source: Google earth Pro. 2011 Paraisopolis - Sao Paulo Inhabitants: 80.000Fig. 8. ‘Sao Paulo build-up area’. Source: Urban Age: Istanbul city of intersections. 2009 11
  • 12. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011APPENDIX 3Fig. 9. ‘structure Gulensu’. Source: Google earth Pro. 2011 Gulensu - Istanbul Inhabitants: 60.000Fig. 10. ‘Istanbul build-up area’. Source: Urban Age: Istanbul city of intersections. 2009 12
  • 13. MOBILE SLUMIZATION vredenburg, Atilla., 10-06-2011NOTES1. see - Forum for the Future: Megacities on the move. 2010, (pp 6)2. see - Davis, Mike: Planet of Slums. London: Vero, 2006, (pp 26-27)Example Megaslum: In the district of Neza/Chalco/Izta in Mexico City almost a quart of the cities totalpopulation (20 million) lives in informal constructed houses.REFERENCESBooks:Boelens, Luuk: The urban connection an actor relational approach to urban planning. Rotterdam: 010Publishers, 2010.Buijs, Steef. Tan, Wendy. Devisari, Tunas: Megacities exploring a sustainable future. Rotterdam: 010Publishers, 2010.Burdett, Ricky. Sudjic, Dejan: The endless city: The Urban Age Project by the London School of Economics.London: Phaidon Press, 2008.Davis, Mike: Planet of Slums. London: Vero, 2006.Neuwirth, Robert: Shadow cities: A Billion Squatters, a New Urban World. New York: Routledge, 2005.van Susteren, Arjen: Metropolitan World Atlas. Rotterdam: 010 Publishers, 2005.Wright, Herbert: Instant cities. London: Black dog publishing, 2009.Articles:Forum for the Future: Megacities on the move. 2010: []. 2011-02Forum for the Future: Sustainable Cities Index. 2010: []. 2011-02UN Habitat: The challenge of Slums. 2003: []. 2011-03UN Habitat: Slums of the Word. 2003: []. 2011-03Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Azcapotzalco: The case of Mexico city. 2003 []. 2011-03Urban Age: Istanbul city of intersections. 2009: []. 2011-04Urban Age: South American cities. 2008: []. 2011-04Websites:øl Dalsgaard, Andreas. Cities on speed Bogota Change. Denmark, 2009.Schröder, Rob. The informal city Caracas. Netherlands , 2007 13