A slum, as defined by the United Nations agency UN-HABITAT, is a run-down area of a city characterized by substandard housing, squalor, and lacking in tenure security. According to the United Nations, the percentage of urban dwellers living in slums decreased from a massive 47 percent to 37 percent in the developing world between 1990 and 2005. However, due to rising population, and the rise especially in urban populations, the number of slum dwellers is rising. One billion people worldwide live in slums and the figure is projected to grow to 2 billion by 2030.

The term has traditionally referred to housing areas that were once relatively affluent but which deteriorated as the original dwellers moved on to newer and better parts of the city, but has come to include the vast informal settlements found in cities in the developing world.

Many shanty town dwellers vigorously oppose the description of their communities as 'slums' arguing that this results in them being pathologised and then, often, subject to threats of evictions. Many academics have vigorously criticized UN-Habitat and the World Bank arguing that their 'Cities Without Slums' Campaign has led directly to a massive increase in forced evictions.

Although their characteristics vary between geographic regions, they are usually inhabited by the very poor or socially disadvantaged. Slum buildings vary from simple shacks to permanent and well-maintained structures. Most slums lack clean water, electricity, sanitation and other basic services.

The rising phenomenon of slum tourism has western tourists paying to take guided tours of slums. This tourism niche is operating in almost all major slums around the world, including in Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Kibera, and Jakarta.

Read more about SlumEtymology, Characteristics, Growth and Countermeasures

Other articles related to "slum, slums":

Slum - Growth and Countermeasures
... years have seen a dramatic growth in the number of slums as urban populations have increased in the Third World ... Millennium Development Goals which targeted significant improvements for slum dwellers and an additional 50 million people have been added to the slums of the world in ... to a 2006 UN-HABITAT report, 327 million people live in slums in Commonwealth countries - almost one in six Commonwealth citizens ...
Slum Tourism - History
... In London, people visited "slum" neighborhoods such as Whitechapel or Shoreditch in order to observe life in this situation ... areas of developing nations, often known as slums ... for example, upwards of 300,000 tourists visit the city each year to view the slums ...
Slum Tourism - Criticism
... Slum tourism has been the subject of much controversy ... Slum tourism critics have also cited the fact that Christmas and Valentine's Day as common times for slum tourism further supporting the belief that Westerners often visit slums just to "f ... Proponents of slum tourism say it is benefits all parties involved ...
Slum Rehabilitation Act 1995
... The Slum Rehabilitation Act 1995 was passed by the government of the Indian state Maharashtra to protect the rights of slum dwellers and promote the development of slum areas ... The ACT was the result of policy development that included grassroots slum dweller organisations, particularly SPARC ...
Slum Upgrading - Background and Overview
... Slums have posed a huge problem for developing nations because they are by definition areas in which the inhabitants lack fundamental resources and ... solutions to the problem, and one of the proposed solutions is slum upgrading ... Slum upgrading is essentially a strategy in which the infrastructure of a slum is improved, such as giving adequate water supply and sewage to the community ...

Famous quotes containing the word slum:

    The daily lesson of slum life, visualised, reiterated, of low standards, vile living, obscenity, profanity, impurity, is bound to be dwarfing and debasing to the children who are in the midst of it.
    Albion Fellows Bacon (1865–1933)

    What is a slum?... it is something that mostly exists in the imaginations of middle-class do-gooders and bureaucrats: people who do not have to live in them in the first place and do not have to live in what they put up afterwards once they have pulled them all down. One person’s slum is another person’s community.
    May Hobbs (b. 1938)

    ... several generations of slum environment will produce a slum heredity ...
    Albion Fellows Bacon (1865–1933)