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on the cover

Peter Bauza World Press Photo 2017 Contemporary Issues, third prize stories “Eduarda lives with seven siblings in one of the abandoned apartment blocks of ‘Jambalaya’ in Campo Grande, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Millions of people in Brazil live without secure housing. Government-backed social housing schemes, aimed at reducing an estimated shortage of 5.24 million homes in Brazil, have had limited impact. Some 300 families live in a neighborhood in Campo Grande, in the western zone of Rio de Janeiro, squatting in derelict apartment blocks: the remnants of a failed middle-class housing development of 30 years ago. Residents call the quarter ‘Jambalaya’, after a TV show, or sometimes ‘Copacabana Palace’ after a luxury hotel. Like many favelas and slums across the country, the quarter lacks basic infrastructure and living conditions are poor.”

AB 420 Dissertation 2017/18 BSc Honours Architectural Studies Declaration “I hereby declare that this dissertation submission is my own work and has been composed by myself. It contains no unacknowledged text and has not been submitted in any previous context. All quotations have been distinguished by quotation marks and all sources of information, text, illustration, tables, images etc. have been specifically acknowledged. I accept that if having signed this Declaration my work should be found at Examination to show evidence of academic dishonesty the work will fail and I will be liable to face the University Senate Discipline Committee.� Emilia Maria Borowik 08/03/2018

Abstract Nearly one billion people – one in eight – live in slums today

(United Nation Habitat, Slum Almanac 2015/2016). Living conditions in slums are often poor – no appropriate housing, no sanitation, no basic facilities, no laws, no jurisdiction and overwhelming deprivation. For the last few decades, governments and NGOs have been conducting slum upgrading projects in order to improve the living standards of slum dwellers. Slum upgrading projects are complicated and challenging. They have to be appropriate for the area in question on many levels: culturally, financially, aesthetically, socially. Although hundreds of slum redevelopment projects have been completed to date, there is no agreed methodology of how to conduct them in order to achieve the best possible results. The aim of this research is to show that a slum redevelopment project has the potential to impact on both housing conditions and the economic environment of the slum, contributing to the reduction of poverty in the local community. Poverty is a multidimensional concept, one not to be described poverty solely in monetary terms. To gain a deeper understanding of changes in the economic environment, four criteria have been established:

facilities and space for work and development, employment level and opportunities, education and skills the financial situation of community members. Three redevelopment projects: Baan Mankong (Thailand), Dharavi Redevelopment Project (India) and Favela Bairro (Brazil) have been examined against those criteria in order to identify policies and methods that have impacted on the economic environment either in a positive or negative way.

An analysis of case studies indicates that community participation may be the long-term answer to improving the economic environment. A community involved in a redevelopment process gains skills, education and strength that can trigger an escape from poverty. However, in order for this to happen, governments need to create viable and functional redevelopment schemes for the disadvantaged communities to participate in. The role of architecture is similar to the role of the government. Rather than being an architect’s selfportrait, infrastructure should serve as a blank canvas for the community to populate with aspirations and practical use.

Table of Contents



A slum redevelopment scheme can both provide a better housing conditions and create economic opportunities for slum dwellers to escape poverty.




The primary purpose of this research is to show that slum upgrading projects have the power to change the economic environment of underprivileged slum-dwelling communities. An analysis of multiple case studies will help identify key factors in slum redevelopment schemes that have a positive impact on the economic environment of the slum.

Favela, Rio de Janeiro, credit: WallpaperUp


Research Questions

What are the currently existing approaches to slum redevelopment projects? Does design have the potential to change the economic realities of a slum and reduce poverty in slum communities?

How can redesigning a slum impact the economic situation of slum dwellers? What are the key factors in slum redevelopment that can trigger economic growth for the community?




[4.1]Urbanisation Boom

In 2007, for the first time in the history of our planet more people were living in urban rather than rural areas. Mike Davis – activist, urban theorist, author of sensational “Planet of Slum” (2006) writes about this change being comparable to the Neolithic or Industrial revolution. All data indicates that our future lies in cities. Already in 2014, 54% of the world’s population was urban. Cities promise prosperity, employability in diverse sectors, better education and new opportunities –no wonder the majority of people opt for them. The developed world is an urbanised world, with countries like: UK, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Australia, New Zeeland and USA featuring urbanisation levels above 80% (United Nations, World Urbanisation Prospects: The 2014 Revision). In the recent years, there has been an immense growth in urbanisation outside developed regions. Since 1990 until 2014 the percentage share of urban areas rose by: 15% in middle income countries and 8% in low income countries. It is expected that by 2050 middle income countries will reach urbanisation levels of 67% (increase of 16% from 2014), with low-income countries reaching 48% (increase of 18% from 2014) (United Nations, World Urbanisation Prospects: The 2014 Revision). This rapid urban growth presents cities with a great challenge. To live up to an expectation of prosperity, governments and urban planners of today must come up with ground-breaking ideas and unprecedented policies to cater for the needs and expectations of millions. As governments in less or medium developed countries often have insufficient resources, stability and infrastructure to provide decent housing and facilities for newcomers, struggling people can end up slowly building up a slum.


Source United Nation 44


[4.2]Slums Defining The official United Nation Habitat definition from 2008 states that a slum is a household missing one or more of the conditions listed below:

“1. Durable housing of a permanent nature that protects against extreme climate conditions. 2. Sufficient living space which means not more than three people sharing the same room. 3. Easy access to safe water in sufficient amounts at an affordable price. 4. Access to adequate sanitation in the form of a private or public toilet shared by a reasonable number of people. 5. Security of tenure that prevents forced evictions.” However, even without the 2008 definition, the recognition of slums is intuitive and comes naturally to those who have a sound understanding of local environments. The difficulty of coming up with an accurate scientific definition of a slum underlines the challenges and complexity of the problem at hand. Going on simple definitions and hard data alone, one would struggle to get a complete picture of real life in a slum. Slum dwellers all around the world face enormous challenges on an everyday basis. Poor housing conditions, lack of stability and land tenure, lack of basic infrastructure such as sewage and electricity, restricted access to clean water, poor sanitation, no health or social care, no education, high unemployment rate, high criminality rate and little police protection, discrimination, social exclusion and extreme poverty, just to name a few. 5

According to the United Nations’ Slum Almanac 2015/2016 one in eight people today live in slum – which comes up to a billion people in total. Even though there has been progress (between 2000 and 2014 urban population living in slums dropped from 39% to 30%), in absolute numbers the amount of people living in slums continues to grow. The Global South – less developed and developing countries are the biggest contributors to this number. Slum dwellers constitute 59% of urban population in Sub-Saharan Africa, 28% in Asia, and 21% in Latin America (United Nations, 2014, p 8-9). In some countries the situation in truly tragic with more than 70% of the population living in slums – Ethiopia (99%), Tanzania (92%), Sudan (85%), Bangladesh (84%), Nigeria (79%) and Pakistan (73%) (Davis, 2006, p 24). The affordable housing gap is now estimated at 650 billion UDS (McKinsey Global Institute, 2014). Researchers from the World Resources Institute describe the housing gap to be 330 million urban households The gap is forecast to grow by more than 30% to reach 440 million households, or 1.6 billion people, by 2025. (King, Orloff, Virsilas and Pande, 2017). In Planet of Slums, Mike Davis writes there are probably more than 200,000 slums on earth, ranging from a few hundred to millions of inhabitants. According to the author, the biggest slum squatters’ communities in the world are: Millions Neza/ Chalco/ Izta – Mexico City1 4.0 Libertador – Caracas 2.2 El Sur/ Ciudad Bolivar – Bogota 2.0 San Juan de Lurigancho – Lima 1.5 Cono Sur - Lima 1.5 Ajegunle - Lagos 1.5 Sadr City - Baghdad 1.5 Soweto – Gauteng (Johannesburg) 1.5 Gaza - Palestine 1.3 Orangi Township - Karachi 1.2 Cape Flats – Cape Town 1.2 Pikine - Dakar 1.2 Imbaba – Cairo 1.0

Davis caused quite a controversy calling Nezahualcรณyotl (Neza) a slum when his book was published in 2006, which again shows how difficult it is to define and talk about slums. 1


[4.3]Right To The City Henri Lefebvre was a French philosopher and sociologist. He is the author of “Right to the City”, first published in 1968. In the book, Lefebvre expresses a frustration about the influence of capitalism on exclusion and inequities that manifest themselves both spatially and socially. The right to the city consists in a demand for an alternative way of life in the city – less alienated, happier and fundamentally dialectic. Lefebvre argues for a universal right to live in a society in which everyone has equal rights and opportunities for self-fulfilment. He advocates the creation of an urban strategy based on knowledge and extensive research into the economic, political, cultural and social structures in the city. Nonetheless, urban planning alone is not enough to truly change the city – it is only the power of the community that can produce a real change. Lefebvre developed his work under the influence of Marxist intellectuals of the 1960s and 70s Paris. He was also greatly inspired by the industrial communities of his time. Despite the profound social changes that have taken place since, Lefebvre’s ideas about spatial and social exclusion produced by modern capitalism appear very relevant today. In his book “Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution”, critical theorist David Harvey (2012) elaborates on Lefebvre’s concept of the right to the city and applies it to the contemporary context. Concluding that the key to a better city lies in the collective hands of a democratized community, Harvey proclaims that “the freedom to make and remake ourselves and our cities is […] one of the most precious yet most neglected of our human rights” (2012, p 4). In the context of a contemporary developing city, social and class divisions are more startling than ever before – with slums being most visible example. It may seem that after all these years we have still not even come close to determining what the right to the city might be like in practice. 7

Importance [4.4]Upgrading and Types There is an undisputable difference between the “rightful city” described by the Lefebvre and today’s slum. Since the 1950s, governments, NGOs and individuals have become increasingly involved with governing the slums and planning a better future for slum-dwelling communities through changes in policy. “Confronting the Urban Housing Crisis in the Global South: Adequate, Secure, and Affordable Housing” presents a categorised, complete history of slum upgrading approaches (described on the right).

The United Nations Millennium Goal 7D proclaims to “achieve, by 2020, a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers”. The Millennium goal testifies to a widespread agreement that providing better accommodation for millions living currently in slums is one of this century’s biggest challenges. And yet there appears to be no simple answer to the question of how to generate and evaluate scenarios for future slum redevelopments.

1950s – 1960s MASS PUBLIC HOUSING CONSTRUCTION NEW HOUSING FINANCE INSTITUTION Provided by governments, low - cost housing, usually in form of high – rise tenement blocks. In many cases, out of city centres and poor structure condition lead to many fails of this approach. A classic example of top – down initiative, insensitive to inhabitants needs. Examples: USA, USSR, Eastern block, Brazil, Egypt 1950s – 1980s SLUM AVOIDANCE Policies restricting migration towards urban areas. Slum clearances and relocation of inhabitants to city outskirts. Examples: India, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, China, Korea 1970s – 1980s PUBLIC HOUSING PROGRAMS Provided by the state – public housing for urban poor. Again, an example of top – down initiative. Examples: Nigeria, Philippines, Kenya, Malesia 1970s – Present SITES & SERVICES governments provide slum dwellers with basic amenities – water, sewage, electricity, in some instances walls of new housing units, later on inhabitants incrementally build new households by themselves. Examples: Kenya, Peru, Tunisia

1970s – Present IN SITU UPGRADES Upgrading slum with no relocation of its inhabitants. Examples: Manilla - Philippines, Thailand, Jakarta – Indonesia 1990s ENABLING APPROACH Government plays a role of enabler and it is the communities themselves that are expected to act. Governments provide subsidies or other financial support and flexible land tenure laws. Bottom – up driven initiatives. Examples: Chile (Quinta Monroy), Mexico (FONHAPO), Karachi (Orangi Pilot Project) 2000s COMPREHENSIVE SLUM UPGRADE A step further from Enabling Approach. Organized communities lead the management and design. Multisectoral approach means infrastructure and social aspect is being upgraded. Future prevention of slum creation is also considered. Examples: Nicaragua (PRODEL), Medellin Colombia (Programa Urbano Integral) Argentina (PROMUEBA) 2010s RETURN TO LARGE, SUBSIDIZED “LOW – INCOME HOUSING” CONSTRUCTION AT SCALE Repetition of 1950s idea. Examples: Angola, Brazil, Colombia, India


[4.5]Evaluation The process of slum upgrading is extremely complicated. The challenge lies not only in coming up with a suitable design but navigating a sociocultural context rich in political tensions. The sheer variation of slum environments makes it impossible to identify a single solution that would apply in all situations. Redevelopment projects are usually evaluated post factum. In their paper “Evaluation of Slum Upgrading Programs: Literature Review and Methodological Approaches�, Laura Jaitman and Jose Brakarz from Inter-American Development Bank present a compendium of indicators used for evaluating upgrading projects. The authors assign each indicator to one of the three categories: housing outcomes, neighbourhood outcomes and individual outcomes (see tables beside).

The broad scope of these indicators demonstrates the immensity of impact that an upgrading programme can have on life in the slum. Evaluation post factum may be difficult in terms of collecting accurate data in sufficient numbers. But it is even harder to predict the future impact of redevelopment projects. After decades of trialling different projects, there is still no evidence of straightforward causality between building, planning and managing redevelopments and increasing or decreasing certain indicators. 9



This dissertation analyses slum redevelopment projects and their impact on the economic situation in a slum after the project has been completed. While the main goal of redevelopment projects is always to improve housing conditions in a slum, this dissertation will show that a well-designed and well-executed slum redevelopment scheme can also trigger economic growth for the local community. Case studies of various slum redevelopments will be analysed and described. Each instance will be examined through a review of literature, statistical data and secondary sources including reports, documentaries, photography and interviews conducted with local communities. In order to have the widest possible understanding of redevelopment projects rather than focusing on small-scale or singular initiatives, the paper examines vast (in numbers) and renowned (sometimes even controversial) schemes. Analysing large-scale projects will allow for greater generalizations and discovery of key factors that could later on be applied in the evaluation of any future projects. All cases studies are drawn from different countries and continents of the Global South– Asia and Latin America. Although each scheme has developed within a different cultural, sociological or religious context, all take place in developing countries where the urban poor constitute a great percentage of the total population. To achieve best and most accurate results about the impact of redevelopment projects, it would be preferable to compare a slum undergoing a redevelopment project with an identical slum not undergoing a redevelopment project. This is obviously impossible. Identifying two slums with a high degree of similarity, out of which one is undergoing a redevelopment project and another is not, is unrealistic. The second-best choice is to analyse the impact of slum upgrading projects by comparing the before and after situation in the same slum. However, as upgrading processes are usually long-term initiatives, the economic


and political context of the project would change. A rise in housing value following an upgrading scheme may be caused by economic growth, inflation, change in general purchasing power and many other factors. Hence, rather than studying general indicators, this evaluation will focus on direct, grassroots effects of an upgrading scheme. For example: NO: Illiteracy level in Thailand dropped from 2.9% for men and 6.1% for women in 2000 to 1.5 % for men and 3.3% for women in 2015 (United Nations Habitat, The Challenge of Slums, 2003 p 264) – this change in illiteracy may have been caused by general national trends; YES: Studies have shown that children in households involved in the Baan Mankong scheme spend more time doing their homework – this outcome is caused directly by the program described rather than general trends.  


The change in the economic environment of a redeveloped slum before and after project completion will be defined in terms of:

◦ Facilities and space for work and development for slum inhabitants ◦ Employment level and opportunities for slum inhabitants ◦ Education and skills of slum inhabitants ◦ Financial situation of slum inhabitants Economic growth could be represented through raw numbers and monetary value. On a large – national level economy growth is usually presented by GDP (Gross Domestic Product). However, due to a large amount of unregulated production and workforce in slum areas, numbers may be misleading or even non-existing. Sampling society that is not in any way registered is difficult and often results in inaccurate data, which adds to the challenge of producing a thorough analysis of slums. Focusing on qualitative analysis (based on descriptions obtained from reliable secondary sources)

of opportunities – such space and facilities, education and employment created by redevelopment seems to result in a more adequate assessment of the economic situation of redeveloped areas. United Nation’s Sustainable Goal 1: “NO POVERTY” states: “Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources to ensure a sustainable livelihood. Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs and promote equality.” Additionally, Goal 4: “QUALITY EDUCATION” states: “When people are able to get quality education they can break from the cycle of poverty.” The first three qualitative criteria have been set through analysis of 17 United Nation’s Sustainable Goals, as well as through reading multiple case studies describing slum. Quantitative data will be analysed in relation to the financial cost of redevelopment projects in cases where this data is available to the public.

If slum redevelopment projects are truly designed to improve people’s life in the long term and help them escape poverty, evaluating their potential impact on local economy is absolutely crucial. The final outcome of this dissertation will be identifying general key factors within design, policy and overall approach to slum redevelopment that can cause economic growth within redeveloped areas. These key factors could then be used in evaluating any future slum redevelopment scheme. 12



[6.1]Baan Mankong, Thailand

-> Bang Bua Canal Network community member examines households avaliable under Baan Mankong scheeme picture credit:

Baan Mankong (Thai for “secure home”) – is a nationwide slum redevelopment scheme introduced in Thailand in 2003. The author of Baan Mankong is the Community Organizations Development Institute (CODI) which forms a part of the Thai government under the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (a department created solely for CODI’s purposes) (Boonyabancha, 2009). CODI’s success relies partly on the strong foundations of its predecessors. Urban Community Development Office (UCDO), formed in 1992 with an incredible 30 million USD budget, directed most of its funds towards infrastructure development and housing loans for communities. UCDO’s projects were successful and as they worked in a participatory way, they gained the trust and involvement of communities. UCDO reached 53 out of a total of 75 provinces in Thailand (Boonyabancha, 2009). Building on the experience of UCDO, CODI designed Baan Mankong to be truly community-driven. As this case study is a nation-wide programme, the analysis cannot be tied to one specific region, but it will focus on general rules and outcomes of the programme.



SITUATION BEFORE BAAN MANKONG Facilities and space to work and develop: The Thai National Housing Authority (NHA) defines a slum as “a dirty, damp, swampy, or unhealthy area with overcrowded buildings and dwellings which can be harmful for health or lives or can be a source of unlawful or immoral actions, with a minimum number of 30 housing units per 1600m²” (United Nations Habitat, The Challenge of Slum, p 201). It is such environments that became the target for redevelopments for both UCDO and later on CODI. In 1994, roughly half of all housing units within urban areas in Thailand had access to running water (Cities in Globalizing World: Global Report on Human Settlement 2001, Habitat, p 284). Employment level and opportunities: Slum dwellers in Thailand are hugely centralized – 62% are living in Bangkok, which attracts newcomers because of employment opportunities (United Nations Habitat, The Challenge of Slum, p 201). The 1990s brought on an economic boom in Thailand – international investment, new construction sites and vast employment opportunities encouraged migration towards cities. In 1997, the Asian crisis (originating in Thailand due to bath’s value floatation) hit Thailand hard, and many workers were laid off. Poor slum dwellers were the group that was most affected by the crisis. Education and skills: In big urban centres like Bangkok, access to public education was not a problem. However, the situation was much worse in rural areas. 15

-> Bangkok’s Klong Toey Slum 2014 - no Baan Mankong upgreading “Dating back from the 1950s, Klong Toey is one of the country’s oldest and most well-known slums. Many inhabitants of Klong Toey originate from the country’s poorer northeast who have been attracted by the work opportunities of the district’s river port, Bangkok’s largest wet market, the business district as well as the oil refineries in nearby districts. Aside from poverty, drug addiction is a very pressing problem among the slum’s youth. Methamphetamine and crystal methamphetamine are the two most common hard drugs. Furthermore, basic amenities such as water and electricity are always in short supply.” Peewara Sapsuwan for BORGEN Magazin, 28 Appril 2014

Financial situation of slum dwellers: In the 1980s, Thailand experienced an economic boom. However, this did not necessarily have a positive impact on the entire society. The income share of the top 20% grew from 51% in the early 1980s to more than 60% in the 1990s, while the share of the bottom 20% fell from 15% to 5% during the same period (United Nations Habitat Community Development Fund in Thailand, p 4). In simple terms – the rich were getting richer and the poor were getting poorer. The 1997 crisis brought some communities to the edge of bankruptcy. In their Global Report dating from 2003, United Nations Habitat posits that access to formal housing in Thailand is easier than before. However, the required down payment of 2,000 USD is unachievable for about 75% of slum inhabitants. In spite of this, the organisation only identifies a minority of slum dwellers as poor.



Facilities and space to work and develop: Communities have the final say when it comes to designing their future homes. Encouraged by CODI to collaborate with architects, professionals and NGOs, in the end it is the community who makes the final decisions. The strength of this idea lies in the absolute elimination of the possibility of misunderstanding the community’s needs by architects or other scholars (as seen so often in redevelopment projects). The community knows exactly what facilities they require. Rather than being told what is best for them, it is the slum dwellers who explain their way of life to the architects. This goes a long way towards ensuring that the inevitable changes in the fabric of the community will not mean that a seamstress or a washer might lose the space to perform their jobs. Architecture for Baan Mankong is not striking with novelty, creativity or extreme aesthetics – it is total pragmatism, functionality and ease of build and maintenance that dominates the scene in Baan Mankong. Thai labour restrictions about foreign businesses in Thailand mean that no international architects were involved or consulted. Building materials and technologies are surely more modern in comparison to the pre-existing slum, yet somehow the vernacular character of Thai huts still shines brightly in Baan Mankong. 17

Participating in Baan Mankong project communities show a strong willingness to improve and upgrade their homes in the future.

source: Diane Archer, Empowering the urban poor, 46th ISOCARP Congress 2010

In true community spirit, many neighbourhoods decided to include infrastructure for troubled youth and houses for the elderly within the redevelopment scheme. This commitment not to leave anyone behind can be interpreted as evidence that the project has been successful in bringing the community closer together instead of dividing it.

18 18


Education and skills:

Employment: Employment opportunities, especially in an urban context, are often influenced by location. Under Baan Mankong, slum dwellers had an opportunity to decide themselves whether to stay on the land they currently occupied (usually in the city centre, smaller and more expensive than the relocation options), or search for new land that they find attractive. In both cases, slum dwellers made the decision with an awareness of employment opportunities and public transport connections in the city so that the redevelopment did not mean surrendering control over access to employment opportunities. As of 2008, almost two thirds of all communities involved decided and managed to negotiate to stay in the areas previously occupied (Community Organizations Development Office, Baan Mankong Progress Report, October 2008). Community involvement in the process resulted in some specialization within certain tasks. Most of communities chose to undertake construction themselves instead of employing professional builders. Gaining this experience led to the emergence of teams of masonry builders, carpenters and plumbers, which can now be hired by other communities to help them with further redevelopment. There are 52 builder teams employing 2000 people in Bangkok alone (Archer, p 6). Legalizing land tenure and slum redevelopment removes the stigma around slum dwellers and endows them with official housing and legal rights. This change can increase employment opportunities in the formal sector.

In their article “Community-Driven Development in the Slum: Thailand’s experience”, Tanvi Bhatkal and Paula Lucci from Oversees Development Institute write about education in a community involved in the Baan Mankong project: “Children in participating households were found to spend an average of about 3.6 hours per week more on studying and doing homework than those that did not participate. Average education expenditure per child increased by 40%, with resources made available through community funds.” Perceived stability and security of housing conditions, better infrastructure, and less hardships in everyday life proves to have a positive impact on education. It is not only children that get a chance to develop further thanks to Baan Mankong. Seeing as the project was community-driven, the communities had to step up and complete their jobs within the scheme. This involved setting up and managing financial groups as legal entities negotiating with land owners and the government, cooperating with professionals and scholars during the design stage and following the completion of the project, and finally maintaining the community infrastructure. It is a huge challenge and an enormous responsibility for people who often have had no formal education or preparation for this change of circumstances, living up until now beyond official structures. Throughout this process, leaders were born, inspiring more and more communities to join in. Building on the experience community members have gained, some specialised to gain expertise in a certain aspect of the upgrading. Community-driven actions encourage horizontal rather than vertical support, which led to the creation of the National Union of Low-Income Housing Community Organisations (NULICO). By discussing their experiences and skills gained throughout the process, the communities who had already completed the upgrade were able to share their knowledge with others. 20

Financial situation of slum dwellers:


The uniqueness of Baan Mankong lies in its extreme financial flexibility. Funds and loans are available to communities in a variety of formats, each with a different aim. First of all, in order to qualify for Baan Mankong, a community must procure savings. Government offers a subsidy of 68,000 Thai Bhat (around £1,500) per family. However, the money is not given directly to each family – it is directed to a collectively-managed community fund. On top of the housing subsidy, the government offers infrastructure subsidy, and soft loans (around 2%) are offered by CODI to communities. Community is allowed a great flexibility in how to use subsidies and loans – some create a security savings fund that allows support for struggling families, some choose to use part of the housing subsidy for land lease or purchase. Through flexible funding, CODI has been able to make economically-disadvantaged communities market-attractive as a buyer and give them a voice and an acting power they have never had before.

Baan Mankong is a truly remarkable upgrading project – one of the precious few on the national scale. Its success is indicated by the community engagement it generated. Boonyabancha writes that “After five years, virtually all urban poor communities across the country know exactly how much subsidy they can access if they are able to negotiate for secure land and plan for their new housing projects.” Even though Boonyabancha mentions in her paper, in the beginning of the project, communities did make some mistakes, it all contributed to a greater learning process.

Individually, no one owns much, but collectively, the community manages the budget of the entire project. Somsook Boonyabancha (former director of CODI) writes that in the beginning, the idea of collective tenure was unclear to people, but collective ownership is what protects the valuable assets newly gained by former slum dwellers. Collective ownership of all land and infrastructure means that a single family cannot sell their new house to the highest bidder, but if they decide to leave, they can sell their house back to the community, and then the community decides who to resell it to. This prevents the risk of huge developers or private companies buying out redeveloped land and properties. Boonyabancha writes about the role of the community and fellowship in Asian traditions, and how in modern societies it is now being lost. This clearly is not the case here, which is incredibly inspiring. Creating a structure of mutual support and resistance to the dangers of free-market economy through reinventing close-knit neighbourhoods is truly the genius of Baan Mankong.


With the support of CODI, improved financial flexibility and the unification of all economically disadvantaged communities into one numerous group, Baan Mankong has given slum dwellers an unprecedented decisionmaking and negotiating power. In the modern context of a neo-liberal city, housing often became a financial commodity, and the real estate market is hugely supplydriven. Putting slum dwellers in the centre of upgrading projects shifts this to a demand-driven process. Rather than being merely a commodity, housing and land in a valuable urban localization can serve its function to urban citizens. Boonyabancha identifies three main objectives in slum upgrading programs: securing the tenure of the land, maintaining the land after the upgrade has been completed and creating a strong community with social support structures. Baan Mankong’s uniqueness lies within the strength of its approach to achieving the third objective. This upgrading program goes above and beyond purely material needs. Building a strong and resilient community amongst past slum dweller is an achievement that nourishes future development. The new community has no limits in terms of employment and education. Social stigmatization, discrimination and exclusion from formal city life has come to an end as the emerging communities work hard and integrate within the city. Communality offers protection for newly acquired assets, making Baan Mankong a long lasting, secure, sustainable program.

Bibliography: Archer, D. (2010), “Empowering the urban poor through community-based slim upgrading: the case of Bangkok, Thailand” Empowering the Urban Poor, 46th ISOCARP Congress 2010 Bhatkai, T., Lucci, P. (2015) “Community – Driven Development In The Slums: Thailand’s experience”, Overseas Development Institute, London Boano, C., Astolfo G. (2016) “BANGKOK – On Transformation and Urbanism” The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, Available at: dpu-ucl/docs/bkk_book_final_web Boano, C., Kelling, E. (2013) “Towards an Architecture of Dispenses: Participatory Urbanism in South – East Asia”, Footprint, 7(2) p 41-62 Boonyabancha, S. (2009) “Land for housing the poor – by the poor: experiences from the Baan Mankong nationwide slum upgrading programme in Thailand”, Environment & Urbanization, 2009 International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) Vol 21(2): 309–329


Castanas, N., Yamtree, P.K., Sonthichai, Y.B., Batreau, Q. (2016) “Leave no one behind: communitydriven urban development in Thailand”, IIED Working Paper, IIED, London. CODI’s website: Norford, E. (2016) “What Can We Learn from Thailand’s Inclusive Approach to Upgrading Informal Settlements?” , TheCityFix, World Resources Institure 22


Redevelopment Project, Mumbai, India

Mumbai City, India, is located on an island with the surface area of 69km². Due to this geographical limitation and the constant growth of Mumbai, the city is now merged with Greater Mumbai (GM). The total population of GM has increased more than 12 times during the 20th century (Risbud, 2003). Indian Independence (1947) and industry growth encouraged huge migration of refugees and villagers towards Mumbai and most of them settled in slums. Mumbai is often referred to as ‘Slumbai’ because of multiple slums located all over the city (Patel, Paul 2010) The biggest of them all is Dharavi, spanning an overall area of 525 acres. Dharavi has been a big concern for politicians in India for the past 60 years, but lately the


question of its redevelopment and future became more significant than ever before. Due to Mumbai’s persistent growth and an ambition to become a ‘world city’, the land is running short and real estate prices are growing rapidly. Dharavi is now neighbouring with an attractive modern business district (the Bandra-Kurla Complex – BKC), resulting in a huge interest from both public and private sector so as to what future possibilities for business Dharavi has to offer. The land value of the Dharavi district is so high that Dharavi is often called a ‘golden triangle’ (Patel, Paul 2010). In 1950, the Indian government took the first official steps to solve Dharavi’s problems. Back then, the prevalent approach towards slums was simply a total clearance (Mukhija 2000 p 40). Needless to say, Dharavi

kept growing despite the government’s actions. Since the clearance fiasco, many redevelopment projects much more considerate in character were introduced in Dharavi (Mukhija 2000 p 40). Studying all past redevelopment schemes and analysing their impacts on current Dharavi is a great lesson on slum redevelopment planning. The most recent and perhaps the most controversial upgrading scheme, the Dharavi Redevelopment Project, was introduced in 2004. The project has not yet been completed but plans and drawings are available to public. This chapter is going to examine the validity of DRP, analyse its potential outcomes and evaluate whether it can truly improve the living conditions of Dharavi inhabitants. 24


Facilities and space to work and develop: A great majority of infrastructure of Dharavi is the outcome of slow, bottom-up, incremental self-build (Athavankar, 2014). In 2003, 62% of homes in the slum were made of durable materials – brick wall and concrete roofs (Risbud, 2003). Due to extremely highdensity of the built environment, homes are often adapted to cater for businesses, as well as housing. A great example of adaptation and using land to its maximum capacity is one of the oldest communities in Dharavi – Kumbharwada, the potters’ district. Their homes all have two opposite entrances – one leading to a communal patio and working space, and another that serves as a shop front, where the final products are exhibited and sold. In the internal courtyards, kilns are shared between neighbours. The space is filled with drying pots, leaving only narrow passages for moving around. Public spaces in Dharavi may seem chaotic, but in truth it is a perfect organization, maximising functionality as a result of years of coexistence and understanding the needs of the community. 25

-> pictute credit: Jonas Bendiksen/ Magnum Photos “Mumbai. 2006. Men sleeping in a Dharavi Pongal House, which are basic communal lodgings for male laborers. It’s not uncommon for up to thirtyfive men to share a room.” source:

A similar synergy between working and living spaces is present in Dharavi across all industries. Bakeries use rooftops to dry pastries, and textile workers often use their homes for sewing. The production lines are carefully packed away so that in the evening a family can enjoy a meal together, and when the meal in finished, the space becomes a bedroom. Facilities and infrastructure in Dharavi are not regulated or controlled in any way. One toilet is shared between 1,440 people, and “in the rainy season streets, lacking drainage, become channels for filthy water carrying human excrement” (Human Development Record, 2006, p 37). Clean water is also scarce, with an average of 15 families depending on one tap of clean water that works for an average of two hours per day. Lack of clean water has a direct impact not just on health and sanitation but working conditions too. Water is essential for pottery. In the Kumbharwada community, women spent three to four hours a day collecting water (Human Development Record, 2006, p 48). There is no steady electricity provider in Dharavi, and shortages are common.


Employment: Sheela Patel – director of Society for the Promotion of Area Resource Centers (SPARC) – a grassroots NGO working in Dharavi since 1984 and Aneerudha Paul – director of The Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies (KRVIA) wrote a detailed report on Dharavi in 2010. Despite all the shortcomings in facilities described above, Patel and Paul write “You name it – Dharavi will produce it!”. The authors estimate Dharavi’s employment at a stunning 85% (higher then the UK). Dharavi is home to approximately 5,000 businesses and 15,000 single-room factories (World Population Review). The Kumbharwada community is known for producing traditional ceramic pots that are being sold all over the world. Tannery and leather work has a long history in Dharavi. Today it employs over 5,000 people and the yearly turnover is estimated at Rs 6 crore (around £670,000). There are 25 bakeries in Dharavi, producing a variety of pastry and delivering over 200,000 lunch boxes to all of Mumbai (Patel, Paul 2010). 27

Another big employment sector in Dharavi is recycling, putting over 5,000 people in work. Booming Mumbai industry produces tons of rubbish, but in a slum nothing goes to waste. Dharavi recycles over 80% of Mumbai’s plastics (McCloud, 2010), relying on manual labour for sorting and picking all recyclables. Everyday services such as restaurants, barbers, pharmacies and shops offer further employment for the community. There is no doubt that finding a job in Dharavi is not very difficult. However, existing employment opportunities may not be a dream come true. Employment in Dharavi is not controlled and mostly not registered. Lack of regulation means that there are no workers’ rights, no minimum wage, no limits about shift’s length, no minimum working age, and no health and safety measures for the workers. A 12-year-old child doing a 12-hour shift working with toxic materials in return for accommodation and lunch as remuneration is a perfectly normal situation in Dharavi.


-> pictute credit: Jonas Bendiksen/ Magnum Photos “Mumbai. 2006. The Dr. Ambedkar Vidayala school, a private school in Dharavi.” source:

-> pictute credit: Jonas Bendiksen/ Magnum Photos “Mumbai. 2006. From the Marsha Forest pre-school. It is run by a local NGO, and is supported by the Spastic Society. It runs on a very low budget, and being in the less-developed New Dharavi, has to make do with only intermittent electricity and water supply. It is located just meters from a big sewage and drainage canal. The municipality does not supply electricity here, so they rely on a unreliable pirate connection.” source:


Education and skills: Literacy rate of the Dharavi population is 69% (World Population Review). Its central location within the city means that children living in Dharavi can attend public (free of charge) schools in Mumbai. Children’s commitment to school education is threatened by the lack of minimum employment age. A big part of education takes place at home, as the crafts of pottery, tannery and baking are passed from generation to generation. Self-built houses are an extraordinary expression of skill, creativity and extreme resourcefulness. Through collective knowledge and determination, people build shelters for their families. Financial situation of slum dwellers: The total financial turnover of Dharavi cannot be known for sure, but a rough estimate of the scale of business is a daily turnover of Rs 5 crore (around £556,500) (Patel, Paul 2010 p 14). There is no doubt that Dharavi is a booming and vibrant economy. Humble, or maybe even deprived way of life needs little funds and so the local community works hard and hopes for the better future for its children. It is the financial reasons and hopes that brought so many to Dharavi in the first place. Many of those who had come from rural areas years ago have now settled, opened their own factories and employed more people from their villages. In a 2007 interview for The Economist, one of Dharavi inhabitants says, “In the village we were starving, here, we were poor, but we could eat”.

DHARAVI REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT IMPEMENTATION RESULTS In 2004, the Dharavi Redevelopment Plan (DRP) was announced. The lead architect, Mukesh Metha, pointed out that despite high incentives during the last 12 years, only 15% of Dharavi has been redeveloped. Metha’s idea for speeding up redevelopment was to attract multinational private developers. To attract private investors, floor space index (FSI) was significantly increased from 2.5 – the usual value for slum redevelopments – to 4 for Dharavi (Sharma, 2009 p 83). In practice, it means developers can build higher tenements – and consequently sell more flats. Selling flats on a free market for a market price allows for a subsidy that covers the cost of flats given to slum dwellers. A cross-subsidy scheme is a copy of a previous Dharavi redevelopment project – the Slum Redevelopment Scheme (SRS) from 1991. SRS set a limit of earnings for developers equal to 25% of total project value for private investors. DRP has no such limits. To facilitate management and future construction process, Metha drafted a master plan – dividing Dharavi into five sectors. 30

-> pictute credit: Jonas Bendiksen/ Magnum Photos “Mumbai. 2006. Mukesh Mehta trying to convince Dharavi community to support DRP.” source:

Facilities and space availability to work and develop: As described before, working and living space in Dharavi often merges into one. Under DRP, families accepted for redevelopment will all receive 21m² flats in high-rise tenements. In a high-rise scheme, a single flat does not have access to the street or rooftops – all the interstitial spaces so resourcefully used by slum dwellers today. Small businesses now often rely on pedestrians walking by as potential customers. If a family running a bakery ends up on the third floor in the redeveloped tenements of the future, it unavoidably means the end of their business. Relying on self-build, families were able to constantly adapt their shacks for work purposes and ever-changing circumstances. Tenement flats are not flex¬ible and offer no possibility of expansion. Rigid accommodation will undoubtedly have a tragic influence on existing economy and production3. In an interview for NDTV Profit, an Indian news program, asked about facilities provided for craftsmen and traders under DRP, Mukhesh Metha answers: “In our scheme of things, we are causing several much, much higher percentage of open spaces plus terraces plus interconnectivity with terraces, various kinds of levels of raising podiums et cetera, and then create markets for diverse needs, areas for diverse needs”.

This is not an uncommon occurrence. John Turner in his book “Housing by People, Towards Autonomy in Building Environments” describes a story of Vincente Guerrero – a Mexican slum dweller and a street vender, who have been recently relocated to a new tenement block. Due to relocation he has no longer access to a pavement – that was his business location. Turner writes: “This family’s situation would not be quite so bad if, in addition to the dramatic rise of their expenditure, they had not also suffered a substantial reduction of their income through the loss of the vending business which is forbidden in their new location. This double loss is typical of ‘housing improvement’ programmes for low and very low-income people”. (“Housing by People, Towards Autonomy in Building Environments” p 57) 3

Modern tenements are designed with all amenities including running water, electricity, bathrooms in every flat and a sewage system – all major improvements from today’s Dharavi. The new, redeveloped Dharavi was designed with no humility – golf courses, sports centres, universities, commercial centres, high parking, high-rise walkways. Embracing the spirit of a worldclass city, the post-DRP Dharavi is a glass and concrete paradise, with fashionable modern entertainment available in malls and carefully planned landscape parks. 31


Employment level and opportunities: Dharavi is in a very central location and offers ample communication links with Mumbai city. New developments aim to create commercial space and service-based economic boom. Employment opportunities in newly refurbished area should be high. A shift in employment from informal, often self-owned businesses to regulated employment for multinationals will most likely occur. As complete demolition of existing infrastructure will surely weaken (if not completely destroy) production, today’s craftsman and manual worker will have to adapt to new employment opportunities. Shifting towards regulated employment will possibly reduce child labour and improve general working condition. However, it remains a question whether slum dwellers will adapt well to this new scheme. Education and skills: Redeveloped Dharavi will have more educational facilities – current plans feature new schools and a university campus. However, the planning, developing and management of the DRP happens entirely outside the community. Slum dwellers who were directly responsible for the creation of their urban environment before are now excluded from the DRP process – gaining no skills, no experience. Assuming that tenement flats will not allow for incremental self-build, all the skills, resourcefulness and creativity involved in the building of shacks will eventually be lost. So far, it appears as though the only skill that the Dharavi community has had a chance to improve on while DRP has been taking place is organizing strikes. 33

Financial situation of community members: Thanks to the cross-subsidy scheme, flats under DRP are provided free of charge for slum inhabitants. New flats are designed to a modern standard – with running water, electricity and a sewage system. Costs of maintenance in comparison to the poorly equipped shacks are going to rise. Additionally, a lot of families are going to lose their source of income, no longer being able to run their businesses. This double loss is common in redevelopment projects. Rather than a dream come true, the high maintenance of modern flats can become a horrible burden on former slum dwellers. Real estate in a modern tenement in a very desirable location becomes a big financial asset in itself. Considering the soaring land value, it is perhaps the biggest asset any slum dweller would ever possess. With no restrictions on selling or renting these flats, new owners may be tempted to take advantage of market prices and sell their flats. If big investors buy out whole sectors of flats, slum dwellers may eventually find themselves on the street again.



DRP is perhaps the most controversial and talked about slum redevelopment of this century. All seem to agree on one point – Dharavi needs to be redesigned. Almost a million people living with no sewage system and restricted access to clean water in close proximity to a rich business district is a situation impossible to ignore. But there are many ways to solve the situation. Opponents of DRP calls the plan a simple land grab that disregards the local community in every possible way. Indeed, in a ‘world-class’ city, there is no place for a slum, even as productive and unique one as Dharavi. DRP is the fulfilment of a dream of a modern, worldly Mumbai. ‘Mainstreamisation’ of Dharavi may be a win for Mumbai’s middle class, politicians and tourists but creating a vibrant, fashionable neighbourhood leaves no space for the current inhabitants of Dharavi.

Athavankar, U. (2014) “Think Bottom-Up: Can You Used That in Mumbai Slum Upgrade”, In The Economy of Sustainable Construction, by Nathalie Janson IIKA & Andreas Ruby, 146-154. Ruby Press

In many interviews, Mukhesh Metha points out that tenement housing in a modern neighbourhood may help integrate past slum dwellers into the new middle-class environment. Yet perhaps the biggest controversy of DRP is complete neglect of the will of Dharavi’s inhabitants. Existing rule about redevelopment projects in India dictates 70% of local community has to support the plans, in order for redevelopment to happen. This rule has been dismissed for DPR (Kalpana Sharma, “Dharavi: An Uncertain Future,”), which in strict terms means the future of local community is now decided for them against their will. Tenement blocks, even equipped with modern facilities, can appear alien when contrasted with the incrementally built slum environment. SPARC, an NGO with a long track record of work in Dharavi, proposed an alternative redevelopment scheme – described in detail in Re-Dharavi. Rather than top-down artificial master plan divided into five sectors, the plan proposed by SPARC is sensitive to the needs of the community and natural district divisions based on family and ethnical groups. Despite its apparent appeal, this plan has been completely neglected by authorities and DPR is still in motion. India is already a country with a huge disparity between rich and poor. DPR will probably increase this disparity even more. Introducing global brands and a modern look to Dharavi while destroying local production sounds dangerously like a neo-liberal paradise.

Baweja, V. (2015)“Dharavi Redevelopment Project: Contested Architecture and Urbanism.” In The Expanding Periphery and the Migrating Centre: Proceedings of the 103rd Annual Meeting of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), March 19–21, 2015, Toronto, Ontario, edited by Lola Sheppard and David Ruy, Washington, DC: Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Press Boano, C., Hunter, W., Newton, C. (2013) “Contested Urbanism in Dharavi” The Bartlett Development Planning Unit, Available at: urbanism_in_dharavi_edite Jacobson, M. (May 2007) “Mumbai Slums: Dharavi”, National Geographic Magazine Mukhija, V. (2000) “Squatters as Developers?: Slum Redevelopment in Mumbai” Doctoral Thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA published as a book by Ashgate Publishing in 2003 Patel, S., Paul, A. (2010) “RE DHARAVI, SPARK AND KRVIA”, Mumbai, India Risbud, N. (2003) “UNDERSTANDING SLUMS: Case Studies for the Global Report on Human Settlements 2003”, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi The Economist (2007) “A flourishing slumThe residents of Dharavi, allegedly Asia’s biggest slum, are thriving in hardship” available at: www.economist. com/node/10311293 Videos: DRP - Dharavi Redevelopment Plan, produced by PUKAR – available through YouTube Kevin McCloud (2010) “Slumming It”, available through YouTube NDTV Profit – interviewing Mukhesh Metha available at: 34

Brazilian favelas are famous worldwide; unsurprisingly, none more so than the slums of Rio de Janeiro. Sliding down the picturesque hills between Copacabana and Ipanema, graced by an occasional visit from Michael Jackson (1996) and acting as set for the Oscar nominee “City of God” (2002), playing host to the 2012 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games – all eyes are on Rio!

[6.3]Favela Bairro -

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio e Janeiro is home to the biggest slum upgrading program in Latin America – Favela-Bairro (Portugese for ‘favela to neighbourhood’) (Riley, E., Fiori, J., Ramirez, R. and McGuirk, J., 2001). The project originated from the 1992 Plano Director – a master plan for Rio de Janeiro. Founded by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Favela-Bairro received a budget of 180 million USD (Soares, Soares, 2005). In order to manage this vast project, a new municipal office was created – Secretaria Municipal de Habitacao (SMH). The target for Favela-Bairro were middle sized slums (500 up to 2,500 households) which constitute one-third of all favelas and are home to around 60% of total favela population (Riley, E., et al. 2001). The project was accompanied by Barrino – a scheme for small slums’ upgrade and Grandes Favelas – for huge favelas. By 2000, Favela-Bairro reached 150 communities and nearly half a million people (McGuirk, 2016). IBD names four goals to be achieved by the projects: 1. basic infrastructure (water, sewerage, drainage, street lighting, street paving, parks and sport areas, reforestation); 2. social services (childcare centres; social-service centres with an emphasis on families, children and adolescents; income and work-generating activities); 3. community organization and development; 4. land titling.



SITUATION IN FAVELAS BEFORE FAVELA BAIRRO PROJECT: Facilities and space for work and development In 1980, only 1% of favelas were connected to the public sewage network, 17% had rubbish collection services and 6% had a full water system (Riley, E., et al. quoting Cavallieri P.F., 1986. Favelas Cariocas; mudancas na infra-estrutura. Quatro Estudos, IPLANRIO, Rio de Janeiro). Although the statistics treated all favelas as a single entity, it is important to acknowledge that favelas are not a homogenous environment. They differ in terms of location: city centre, suburbs, cliffs, canal banks or rail tracks; they are made out of a range of materials, durable or not. A lot of Rio’s favelas are located on the hills. With no building regulations, disasters such as mud slides are common. Hills and cliffs would have to be drilled into in order to provide a good urban connection but the cost of such an investment would be huge (Gilbert, 1995). Aware of the transport issue, the government introduced a flat-fare policy for trains in Rio, making it possible for poorer communities to settle further away from the city centre and commute for employment. Although the idea had its advantages, it gave rise to a division between the city’s rich south, and poorer north. 37

Employment level and opportunities: Physical and sociological isolation has a tremendous impact on the favelas. Drug trafficking, crime and violence stigmatizes the whole community, making it difficult to find legal employment in formal sectors. With drug trafficking booming in 1980s, working for gangs may have been the only easily accessible and profitable employment option for the favela’s youth. In terms of geographical restrictions, Roy Gilbert (1995, p 106) sums up the issue as follows: “By 1984, 55.9% of all jobs of the metropolitan region were located within the central part and inner suburbs of the city of Rio de Janeiro. The city as a whole concentrated 90.1% of all metropolitan jobs, leaving only 9.9% in the municipalities that make up the rest of the metropolitan region, where 47.2% of the population lives”. A commute from the favelas may be extremely long – Gilbert quotes four hours as a common amount of time for a low-income worker to spend travelling to work. Education and skills: The lack of state involvement in the favelas before the 1980s resulted in an exclusion in terms of education and public schooling.

With state negligence, communities self-organized for mutual support. Associacoes de moradores provided all sorts of services – from sorting mail to providing discussion platforms and advisory groups (Soares, Soares, 2005). The perfect illustration of state absence and complete ignorance on the subject may be the lack of a single favela (out of 661) in any official city map before 1994. Financial situation of slum dwellers: Rio during the 1980s was home to 3.64 million of economically disadvantaged people, with the proportion of people living below the poverty line reaching 32,5% (Riley, E., et al. 2001). Wealth distribution within the city is described by Gilbert (1995, p 111) as follows: “the richest 10% of the metropolitan population accounted for 60% of all personal income, while the poorest 10% accounted for less than 2% of the total.” Later on, Gilbert referred to a World Bank study defining the urban poor as a household earning less than two minimum salaries per month. On the basis of this definition, half of the metropolitan population of Rio - 4.9 million of the city’s inhabitants, would be classified as poor. Approximately a half of this group are favela inhabitants. 38


Facilities and space for work and development: Since the beginning, the primary ambition of Favela Bairro project was the “provision of basic services such as infrastructure, water, sewerage, drainage, street lighting, street paving, parks and sport areas, reforestation”. The project was successful on all those fronts. McGuirk (2016) writes: “Roads were paved and widened to improve access for vehicles, while staircases, ramps and funiculars improved pedestrian mobility in and out of the favelas. At the same time, public spaces were inserted into the dense streetscape. Plazas and meeting platforms were used to create a sense of breathing space, but also to induce civic pride and encourage ‘urban values’” Roads provided easier access to favelas, but there was a worry that drug traffickers would be one of the leading beneficiaries of the improved flow of goods and people. Competitions for new structures were announced, and many architects participated. New structures were erected on the edges of favelas in order to break the barrier and create a bridge between the city and the slums. 39


Employment level and opportunities: The 2010 Development Effectiveness Overview (DEO) report issued by IDB, the sponsor of the Favela-Barrio project, states that: “There is still little evidence of impact on employment, participation in social and recreational activities, or other behavioural changes”. However, there is a hope that with increased education level and higher school attendance, new employment opportunities may arise within the next decade Education and skills: While infrastructure improvement was a major focus of the first part Favela-Bairro, part two shifted towards the social aspect of upgrading. In their paper “The Life-cycle Approach”, Jose Brakarz and Wanda Engle Aduan (2004) describe an innovative approach to favela redevelopment that sees the family unit as the core of upgrading. The authors argue that the poverty cycle can only be broken by an amalgam of social protection, integration and promotion. Applied to Favela-Bairro, the life-cycle approach involved: • Full-time assistance for children 0-6 years old provided by community members trained and hired by residents’ associations or NGOs; • “Oficina da Crianca”, an afterschool program for children aged 7-14, designed to help with education and improve academic performance of favela children. Afterschool educational activities have also been shown to reduce child labour; • Professional training for teenagers – the most challenging group due to its exposure to illicit business, drug trafficking and early pregnancies; special attention has been given to improving school attendance; • “Centros de Convivencia”, community centres created to encourage the elderly to remain involved in family life and take care of younger generations. Since the implementation of the project, IDB notes an increase in school attendance of youth 5-20 years old. (IDB, 2010 Development Effectiveness Overview) Favela-Bairro acted as the trigger inspiring other 41

organizations to work alongside the main project. For example, ever since the first phase of upgrading, professional training programs have been provided through Fundo de Amparo ao Trabalhador. (IDB, 2010 Development Effectiveness Overview) Financial situation of slum dwellers: All Favela-Bairro upgrades were carried out in situ, meaning no displacement for the favela community. In situ upgrades are usually conducted through issuing land tenure titles, or another sort of security provision so that the land can become a monetary asset for the community. Favela-Bairro, however, did not guarantee this to participating communities. In the paper “Is legalized land tenure necessary in slum upgrading? Learning from Rio’s land tenure policies in the Favela Bairro Program”, Kenan Handzic (2009) explains how not legalizing land helps to keep the cost of housing maintenance low after an upgrading project has been completed –lack of land tenure translates to no taxes or formal monthly payments, easing the financial situation of the community. Even without legal tenure, home owners in favelas have an opportunity to rent out. Due to land shortages in desirable locations, favelas often verticalize – giving current house owners an opportunity to sell or rent out their roof space – lajes – for further housing unit development. Handzic (2009) quotes values for lajes sales at 8000 to 10000 Reals (circa £1,770 to 2,200) for properties with no land tenure rights and 3 times more for the legally registered ones. Similar rates apply to rentals. This tendency allows favela newcomers to find accommodation for a moderate price. Thus, a lack of legal tenure may be beneficiary for urban poor. On the other hand, luck of tenure ownership always indicates a level of instability, with political changes, future leaders may decide to evict favelas again. Inhabitants may not be willing to improve their shack feeling uncertain of long lasting future. In 2010, IBD stated that an increase of 15% was seen in overall household income (IDB, 2010 Development Effectiveness Overview).

Huge “GENTRIFICATION” written across shacks expresses a fear of inhabitants and an opposition to rent increases in favelas. Source:


CONCLUSIONS: Favela-Bairro was a huge step forward in favelas’ revitalization. It was a softer, more comprehensive upgrading scheme then any of its precedents in Brazil. For the first time, favelas were seen not as a “cancer” of the city, but as its viable part. In the end, the project clearly had a positive impact on favelas – mostly through improvements in infrastructure. Following the first stage of Favela-Bairro, the project was criticized for a mere “beatification” of favelas, while having little impact on poverty reduction. The hope was that redeveloping common areas may trigger selfbuild and improvements of infrastructure generated by the community, but that did not happen. (Riley, E., et al. p 525). One of the reasons why may be that even though Favela-Bairro was intended as communitydriven, it ended up as a top-down process (Soares, Soares, p 14). Nonetheless, it is important to note that the staff involved in planning, mostly working for the municipality, were competent people who have spent a great deal of time in the favelas and knew the needs of society (Riley, E., et al. p 526). A public school cultural programming director who has lived in one of Rio’s favelas, Acari, for the last twenty years, says: “A favela is not the physical form of a neighbourhood but rather the people who live there where they come from, and especially how they socialize and relate to each other” ( Catherine Osborn for Rio on watch, 2012). This insight demonstrates that favelas are social constructs and purely material improvements to the area can never result in a fully successful upgrade. The final sentence in “Favela-Bairro and a new generation of housing programs for the urban poor” (Riley, E., et al) sums up the project as follows: “ Favela Bairro will doubtless lead to real improvements in the lives of favela residents, giving them access to a wider range of services and infrastructure than ever before, yet as it currently stands, the programme does not fulfil its potential to act as a catalyst for broader process of democratization which are essential to ensure long – term and substantive poverty reduction”. 43

Bibliography: Brakarz, J., Engle Aduan, W. (2004) “Favela-Bairro Scaledup Urban Development in Brazil”, Washington, DC: World Bank. Inter - American Development Bank (multiple authors) (2010) “Development Effectiveness Overview (DEO) 2010” Gilbert, R. (1995) “Rio de Janeiro: the make up of a modern megacity”, Habitat International 19(1), p 91 - 122 Handzic, K. (2009) “Is legalized land tenure necessary in slum upgrading? Learning from Rio’s land tenure policies in the Favela Bairro Program”, Habitat International 34, p 11-17 McGuirk, J. (2016) “Failing the Informal City: How Rio de Janeiro’s Mega Sporting Events Derailed the Legacy of Favela Bairro” Architectural Design, May 2016, Vol.86(3), p 40-47 Osborn, C. (2012) “A History of Favela Upgreads, Part II: Introducing Favela – Bairro (1988 – 2008)”, Rio on watch – website Riley, E., Fiori, J.,Ramirez, R. (2001) “Favela Bairro and a new generation of housing programmes for the urban poor” Geoforum, Vol.32(4), p 521-531 Sinclair, C., Stohr, K. (2006) “Design like you give a damn : architectural responses to humanitarian crisis” Architecture for Humanity, Thames & Hudson , London Soares, F., Soares, Y. (2005) “The Socio-Economic Impact of Favela-Bairro: What do the Data Say?” Inter-American Development Bank Washington, D.C. Zaccaglini, N. (2013) “Architecture as Instruction: Paradigmatic Interventions in the Favelas of Rio de Janeiro” Senior Capstone Projects. 189




The table below compares the three case studies in terms of how well the projects performed across the four criteria established at the beginning of the research: 1. Facilities and space for work and development for slum inhabitants 2. Employment level and opportunities for slum inhabitants 3. Education and skills of slum inhabitants 4. Financial situation of slum inhabitants As a way of scoring for each criterion, 3 points are given to the best-preforming project, 2 points to the second-best one, and 1 point to the one comparing least favourably. The project accumulating the most points is considered the most successful in improving the economic environment of the slum community and helping its members escape poverty. All three projects have their merits and have to overcome different difficulties, the comparison between them does not aim to undervalue any of the projects but to helps to spot key factors that triggered economic growth.

The results indicate that the Thai project Baan Mankong is the one with the strongest positive impact on the economic environment of the slum.

The high performance of this project across all three criteria corroborates the initial hypothesis of this dissertation, supporting the claim that a slum redevelopment project CAN improve both the housing situation and the economic environment of a slum community. In order to draw valuable conclusions applicable in future slum upgrading schemes, it seems vital to determine what exactly made Baan Mankong more successful than other redevelopment projects.



Extremely Inclusive Approach

There are many arguments supporting both bottom-up and top-down approaches towards slum redevelopment projects. Most of the early (1950s to 1970s) slum redevelopment projects can serve as examples of top-down initiatives. Low-cost or subsidised social housing provided by the government in high-rise tenement blocks was the most common outcome. With many of them failing (famousely Pruitt-Igoe) due to poor conditions and social exclusion, sceptics have raised their concerns. Most famously, the architect John F.C. Turner expressed his criticism of the slum upgrades he witnessed during 1950s and 1960s as follows:

“The vast majority of officials and professionals keep recommending the destruction on people’s homes in order to solve those same people’s ‘housing problems’ by providing them with alternatives either they or society cannot afford. In a world of grossly maldistributed resources and injustice, this is a huge, but very black joke.” (Turner, 1976 p 65) Turner was the first to see the slums as a portrait of human creativity and power – a miracle of a selfbuild. He posited that with minimum state support or even left alone to pursue self-generated development projects, slum dwellers may enjoy a better quality of life than crowded in massive public housing blocks. Sites and Services, the first bottom-up slum redevelopment scheme, was strongly influenced by Turner’s work. The World Bank founded and consequently implemented Sites and Services all over the world – in Nairobi, Manilla, Calcutta, Jakarta and Madras. Each site has their own story, but over the years many deteriorated due to a lack of maintenance, and some were no longer homes to slum dwellers, but a new middle-class who bought the original inhabitants out.

If both bottom-up and top-down initiatives proved to fail long-term – what next? The answer lies in Baan Mankong. The project shows just how much a slum community can achieve and learn,


It is the state that must come up with an appropriate set of tools and make it available for the community so that they can act. Enabling a community to get involved may be challenging – as it was with Favela-Bairro. Even though the authors of the scheme assumed it was going to be a bottom-up, community driven project, decision-making powers were ultimately delegated to municipality officials instead of the favela community. The United Nation Habitat now officially recommends a participatory scheme for redevelopment projects, acknowledging the importance of community involvement (Slum Almanac 2015/2016, p 20). It is only reasonable that people whose households are about to change should be listened to, and that governments ought to do their job by creating opportunities and enabling people to thrive. But in practice, such projects are extremely hard to manage, not least because greed and corruption often override high ideals. Community involvement in decision-making helps integrate slum dwellers within the wider landscape of the city, become active democratic citizens and participate in formal society – which in long terms translates to bettering their economic conditions. This alone indicates that despite inherent organisational difficulties, this way of managing redevelopment projects is absolutely worth striving for. 46


Land Tenure Uniqueness

Land tenure, or more precisely how to ensure its security is a challenge for most upgrading projects. Experience shows that in situ upgrading is more successful and preferred by slum dwellers. But land is cities is a valuable asset, and free market rules dictate that it should go to the highest bitter. When the state makes a decision to upgrade a slum and provide new flats for slum dwellers in an attractive city location, there is a high risk that investors are going to show an interest in buying the slum dwellers out: “[…] middle-class “poaching” – as housing experts call it – of public or state-subsidized housing has become a quasi-universal phenomenon” (Davis, 2006 p 65). A prevention method must hence be established in order to protect newly acquired financial assets (in the form of a flat or land) from “poachers”. Baan Mankong’s answer is the communal ownership of land – a truly genius idea that could be perhaps introduced in other redevelopment projects. Creating of a new strong community bonds thanks to the scheme is a real cherry on a cake!


Flexible and widely available founding

CODI provided communities with a variety of options for funding upgrading project (see Baan Mankong chapter). The cash was available in a transparent and uncorrupted way. Communities had choice how to allocate financial resources – more expensive land deal, or more money for hosing upgrades. Such a level of financial liberty is not offered in either Favela Bairro, or DRP. Perhaps the most difficult and the most important issue to be solved with slum upgrading projects is changing social aspect of slum – end stigmatization, encourage inclusion and make slum dwellers a part of democratic society, so then they can uplift themselves. There is no one correct answer on how to accomplish that. Baan Mankong shows that communities’ involvement in redevelopment scheme can help slum dwellers integrate with the society. 47

Architects’ role Writing about slum upgrading schemes, one can not help to wonder, how important is the brilliancy of architecture for the project to be success. Drawing conclusions from three case studies described in this dissertation – modern shine of glass and steel – DRP caused the most opposition from the local inhabitants; tasteful, practical, designed by local architects infrastructure for Favela Bairro – pleases an eye, but did not cause the enthusiasm planners were hoping for, and finally – simple, not in any way outstanding little huts all across Thailand helped to change economic environment in slums hence bettered slum dwellers lives. Leaders behind these three cases: DRP – Mukhesh Metha – Pratt Institute Graduate, successful business man, who brings his American inspirations back to Mumbai, Favela Bairro – contests were held for architects across Rio to participate, Baan Mankong leadership may be attributed to Somsook Boonyabancha – an architect, who spent years working designing for urban poor, coworking with NGOs. Outcomes of the project mirrors the leading architects: Dharavi under DRP is to become a modern centre, easily confused with any other “world city”, Favela Bairro – maintained favelas charm, yet demonstrates division – fancy architecture does not involve favela community as creators, but just final users, and Baan Mankong – is there to satisfy inhabitant’s needs in an easiest possible manner. Architecture and urban design mould our everyday life. Architecture is political and powerful and through design societies can be shaped. When it comes to vulnerable communities - like slam dwellers, their livelihood, their capacity to survive may depend on how well architects do their job.

“When a new, planned building rises in the slum – be it a public toilet or a sewing co – operative – it immediately becomes a monument. It was conceived by an architect, it indicated things are changing: People understand they now have the right to what was only available in the so – called ‘formal city’”. Jorge Mario Jauregui


[8]Bibliography The bibliography in this dissertation is divided - each case study ends with bibliography section – regarding this same case study, additionally this below is the bibliography for the rest of the research.

Davis, M. (2006) “Planet of Slums”, Verso, London Harvey, D. (2012) “Rebel Cities: From the Right to the City to the Urban Revolution”, Verso, London Jaitman, L., Brakarz, J. (2013) “Evaluation of Slum Upgrading Programs: Literature Review and Methodological Approaches”. Available at: www.iadb. org King, R., M. Orloff, T. Virsilas, and T. Pande. 2017. “Confronting the Urban Housing Crisis in the Global South: Adequate, Secure, and Affordable Housing.” Working Paper. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Available at:

UN-Habitat, PSUP Team Nairobi (2016) “Slum Almanac 2015 2016: Tracking Improvements in the Lives of Slum Dwellers”, Nairobi: UNON, Publishing Service Section

Lefebvre, H (1996) “Writings on Cities” BlackWell Publishers, Massachusetts

UN – Habitat (2003) “The Challenge of Slum” First published in the UK and USA in 2003 by Earthscan Publications Ltd for and on behalf of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

Owen, C.L. (2009) “Bottom-up, Top-down”, Institute of Design, Illinios Institute of technology. Available at: Sinclair, C. (2006) “Design Like You Give a Damn: Architectural Responses to Humanitarian Crises”, Architecture for Humanity


Turner, J. F.C. (1976) “Housing by People – Towards Autonomy in Building Environments”, Pantheon Books, New York

United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2014). “World Urbanization Prospects: The 2014 Revision, Highlights”, (ST/ESA/SER.A/352) Werlin, H. (1999) “The Slum Upgrading Myth”, Urban Studies, 36 (9) pp.1523-1534

Marta Basak illustration of Rio source:


architectural dissertation  

a short story about slum upgrading projects, featuring: Baan Mankong, Dharavi Redevelopment Plan, Favela Bairro

architectural dissertation  

a short story about slum upgrading projects, featuring: Baan Mankong, Dharavi Redevelopment Plan, Favela Bairro