Building Urban Safety through Slum Upgrading

Abstract

Excluded from the city’s opportunities, physically, politically and economically marginalized, slum dwellers are particularly vulnerable to crime and violence. They face an acute risk of becoming victims or offenders and live in a state of constant insecurity. Only a few cities have incorporated a coherent component to prevent crime and mitigate violence in their urban development agendas. Impact on urban safety has occurred somewhat unexpectedly. That is the main lesson to be drawn from the pages of this book: urban policy integration.

“Among the several forms of urban development interventions, slum-upgrading offers an incomparable opportunity to provide urban safety for the poor. Progressively, the main concern for urban safety is moving from reducing measurements of either crime or violence to improving the quality of life. A holistic notion of “safety” has been brought into play and slum upgrading interventions set a suitable scenario to realize its practical implications. The UN-HABITAT publication on slum up gradation offers insights to achieve urban safety which will ensure sustainable and equitable urban prosperity.

Despite worldwide progress on the improvement of the living conditions of the poor, world over, the absolute number of slum dwellers has actually increased from 776.7 million in 2000 to 827.6 million in 2010.

Proliferation of informal settlements result in worst consequences of economic, spatial, opportunity and social divides for the urban poor. Excluded from the city’s opportunities, physically, politically and economically marginalized, slum dwellers are particularly vulnerable to crime and violence. They face an acute risk of becoming victims or offenders and live in a state of constant insecurity.

The safety of slum dwellers cannot be taken to be an incidental consequence of the upgrading of their neighborhoods. Rather, it must be considered an explicitly planned outcome of upgrading. However, very few cities attempt this. Cities that have more attractive public spaces, more lively streets generally experience less segregation.

India is urbanizing fast. Hence, it is all the more essential to integrate these principles in urban policy framework.”

Full Text

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Details

Publication Type Book
Publisher UN HABITAT
Year 2011
Other Numbers ISBN: 978-92-1-132393-1
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