Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Recommended reading: Planet of Slums

Last night I started rereading Planet of Slums (2006) by Mike Davis. It’s a stunning book, worthy of a more careful reading than my first effort.

Based on this book, I believe that the two biggest threats facing our world are global warming and the incredible growth of “megaslums.”

According to Davis, “There are probably more than 200,000 slums on earth, ranging in population from a few hundred to more than a million people….”Megaslums” arise when shanty-towns and squatter communities merge in continuous belts of informal housing, usually on the urban periphery”(p. 26).

Davis’s book is full of references to official reports, books and articles about the growth of slums around the world. The 2003 United Nations report The Challenge of Slums looks worth reading. You can download it here.

(Planet of Slums book jacket: Maritimes Indymedia, Challenge of Slums book jacket: UN-HABITAT)

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