The Other City

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Informal settlements are a swift growing reality, which concerns almost all metropolitan centres. Slums, favelas, barrios, bidonvilles, villas miserias, baraccopoli, know no boundaries and make no distinctions between “North” and “South” of the world.

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Informal settlements are a swift growing reality, which concerns almost all metropolitan centres. Slums, favelas, barrios, bidonvilles, villas miserias, baraccopoli, know no boundaries and make no distinctions between “North” and “South” of the world.

From 2007 a third of the world’s urban population – over one billion people – live in slums.
Today, informality is mostly a problem generating ways, styles and regimes of daily life that cannot be adapted to the globalized society of mass consumption. A society trapped in the "fatal illusion" of the economic development.
Of course, “degrowth” is a dirty word: «what it evokes is ambiguous, and furthermore is negative, which is an unforgivable thing in a society in which we must, at all costs, “think positive”. Briefly, degrowth is not sexy», wrote Latouche in 2010.

One of the characteristics of the slums is, precisely, of being "out of the economy", to recover what Seabrook calls "autonomy". The recovery of autonomy, along with the rediscovery of self-reliance – cultural, social, politic and economic –, is an essential step to rethink our strategies of land use and, therefore, the urban structure.

With contributions from: Tyin Tegnestue Architects, Urban-Think Tank, Killian Doherty, Arqui 5, Vazio s/a, Thelma Lazo-Flores, Anne Feenstra, Tanvi Maheshwari, Elio Trusiani, Flavia Restaldi, Singh Intrachooto, Architect Kidd, Ying Xiao, Shengchen Yang, Rossana Nicolò, Gabriella Restaino, Francesco Cianfarani, Stuart Maggs, Prasanna Desai Architects, Albert Company Olmo, João Guimarães + Miguel, Magalhães, Cliff Gouws.

Boundaries is a quarterly magazine on sustainable, socially engaged and humanitarian architecture. Each issue is monographic, with full texts in English and Italian (facing), and all articles are accompanied by notes and a bibliography for further reading. ISSN 2239-0332.

Grade 
05/03/2014

Striking!

The theme for the fourth issue of Boundaries refers to the informal settlements of the poor in cities around the world. The cover illustration depicts a vertical city rising from a flat base that is mirrored by the slums silhouetted against the steep terrain they occupy; the image hints at the proximity, inequality, and interrelationship of this "other city."
The projects and research in the issue are targeted at Bangkok, São Paulo, Caracas, Manila, Dehli, Buenos Aires, and other places where informal settlements predominate. While many of the images inside echo the cover's illustration, the varied responses to the enormous difficulties of informal housing seem to share one important trait: They strive to improve the infrastructure and well-being of the places and people while embracing their positive aspects and incorporating residents into the process; eviction and clearance is not the preferred solution. There are no easy answers to such a large, multi-faceted issue, but it's a testament to the vision of Boundaries that they tackle it head on, reminding us once again of problems that need to be addressed.

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The Other City

The Other City

Informal settlements are a swift growing reality, which concerns almost all metropolitan centres. Slums, favelas, barrios, bidonvilles, villas miserias, baraccopoli, know no boundaries and make no distinctions between “North” and “South” of the world.

English edition.

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