15 Apr What Is an Informal Settlement Definition
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Squatter settlements, favelas, cottages, villas, miseria, slums, slums and many other names are usually used to refer to these poor neighborhoods. In general, all these names highlight their negative properties and imply clearly pejorative connotations. Through cruel expansion, the words used to describe the physical conditions of settlements tend to apply equally to their inhabitants. Regardless of what normative frameworks might say about the fact that all people are equal before the law and the state, residents of informal settlements are generally treated as second-class citizens. Informal housing or informal settlements may include any form of housing, accommodation or settlement (or lack thereof) that is illegal, outside the control or regulation of the State, or is not protected by the State.  As such, the informal housing sector is part of the informal sector.  WJ: What role does land play in the creation and survival of slums and informal settlements? No country recognized as a global phenomenon can claim to be free of informal settlements, although the number of people suffering can vary greatly from region to region: these problems now affect up to 60% of the world`s population – or even more – in some cities in sub-Saharan Africa and South-East Asia, and the number of people affected in these places is expected to double over the next two decades. High percentages can also be observed in several Arab countries, and at least 25% of Latin American urban dwellers live in informal settlements. Precarious housing and living conditions and increasing homelessness can also be found in Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand, affecting an average of one in 10 people. ES: Informal settlements provide a large number of people with housing and work opportunities that are not available in the formal sector. But from a moral point of view, slums represent a system that creates and reinforces human and environmental vulnerabilities to unemployment, homelessness, violence and disasters. For example, if you don`t have the right to prove ownership of a house, you usually have no legal recourse if that house is taken away from you.
What are your ways to claim the theft or destruction of this asset? And then there is the question of whether informal settlements are good for the city as a whole. Unregulated and precariously built settlements can be places of pollution and contamination that are dangerous to the places where toxins are produced, as well as to everything associated with them – water sources, canyons, etc. As the world rapidly urbanizes, millions of people flock to informal and unplanned settlements, often located on the urban periphery, without access to services such as water and sanitation. These settlements are home to a quarter of the world`s urban population and absorb most of the urban growth in developing regions. WJ: Why should the world worry about the growth of slums and informal settlements? This movement, called the social production of housing, aims to highlight the positive and transformative characteristics of so-called “informal settlements”, which involve human-centered and human-centered processes for the manufacture and management of housing, services and community infrastructure. In other words, practical problem-solving processes to achieve human dignity and a better quality of life. Difficulties in defining a phenomenon as diverse and dynamic as “informal settlements” are often cited to justify the continued use of the term collective and the emphasis on what they do not have (Connolly, 2007). But academics from several regions have discussed the false formal/informal dichotomy as a kind of “discursive differentiation” that shapes and implements knowledge and power relations in territories. Many argue that binary classifications are clearly not sufficient to reflect the complexity of the settlement processes we face in reality; At the same time, such classifications hide the responsibility of the authorities for the production of informality (Roy, 2009; Yiftachel, 2009; Wigle, 2013).
ES: Slums are often portrayed as these black holes of social, economic and cultural pathologies – places of violence, insecurity, etc. And there is another end to the specter that it shows as these places of heroic realization in the face of terrible living conditions. Overall, the media reinforces that these places are different from everything else – that they are separate. We need to take a more critical look at this effect. Visual media, in particular, is a kind of language in images that influences public debate. We need to find ways to shape influence constructively. While slums and informal settlements are ubiquitous, policymakers, academics and activists are still working to understand why these places are created and exist. To spark ideas that could help improve existing slums and create alternatives to the future, the Lincoln Institute worked with Harvard University`s Graduate School of Design and the Joint Center for Housing Studies this fall to bring together top international experts at the Slums: New Visions for an Enduring Global Phenomenon conference. In general, these classifications do not allow us to analyze the root and structural causes that explain the creation of precarious and inadequate settlements: displacement of rural, peasant-American and indigenous populations due to the lack of state support for small and medium-sized agricultural enterprises; the lack of mechanisms to control land grabbing and speculation; displacement and displacement due to multifactorial crises, social conflicts related to land, resources and natural or man-made disasters; urban renewal and “development projects”; lack of facilities and services; lack of land and affordable housing policies; social vulnerability and low-paid and unprotected jobs; lack of opportunities for young people; Discrimination and exclusion. A number of interrelated factors have led to the emergence of informal settlements: population growth; rural exodus; lack of affordable housing; weak governance (especially in urban policy, planning and management); economic vulnerability and low-paid work; marginalization; and displacement due to conflict, natural disasters and climate change (UN-Habitat, 2015b). Life in informal settlements disproportionately affects certain groups.
Informal settlements are often located on the outskirts of urban areas and lack access to markets and/or resources. For women, for example, this can increase the barriers they face when accessing livelihoods. Homeworkers also face challenges for entrepreneurial activity (Chant, 2014). Women in informal settlements spend more time and energy accessing basic services than their counterparts in other cities, limiting their ability and time to earn a living through paid employment (UNFPA, 2007). In addition, the prevalence of male-oriented land ownership policies and restrictions on women`s property rights reduces the likelihood of alternative housing options. Poor housing quality or eviction and homelessness can also increase the risk of insecurity and sexual violence (Chant, 2013; McIlwaine, 2013). All over the world, people face problems of homelessness and insecurity of occupation. However, particularly damaging circumstances can occur in developing countries, leading a large part of the population to resort to informal housing. According to Saskia Sassen, the race for a “global city” with the cutting-edge economic and regulatory platforms needed to manage the operations of international businesses and markets often requires radical physical interventions in the fabric of the city, replacing “low-income, low-income businesses and households.”  Persistent conflicts and insecurity can also weaken institutions that would seize and formalize real estate transactions. For example, until 1991, municipal officials had a land registry in Mogadishu, Somalia. But these records are now kept by a Somali diaspora living in Sweden who charges a fee to check the title deeds.  Map Kibera is an example of a community information project that uses mobile phone and geographic information system (GIS) technology to support data collection, reporting and information publication.
The project was launched in 2009 in response to the lack of information about the informal settlement of Kibera. Roy, A. (2009) Strangely Familiar: Planning and the Worlds of Insurrection and Informality. Planning Theory 8.1: 7-11. However, it appears that these important analyses and recommendations were not part of the second set of official documents, the Guidance Documents (February 2016). None of these 10 documents dealt exclusively with informal settlements, and their content does not appear to take into account the key concepts or factors discussed in previous thematic papers. It is true that a formal thematic preparatory meeting on this particular topic was held in Pretoria a few weeks ago, which resulted in clear and strong recommendations on relevant elements such as land policy (balanced territorial development and urban planning), protection against forced evictions, participatory programmes and slum upgrading in situ; But again, his statement did not take into account a critical examination of the concept or alternative definitions. .