Slum Ecology

636 Words3 Pages
In Chapter 6 of “Planet of Slum” Author, Mike Davis addresses the sanitation conditions that exist in slum living. The chapter also outlines possible health and environmental risk factors associated within highly concentrated poverty areas. Sacrifice of public health for land usage is a very complex tradeoff that is presented within the chapter. Even though disease and famine are likely to occur within the slum, there is consistently a demand for land and shelter. To begin, the chapter talks about the occurrence of “unnatural hazards” within geographic locations who are most susceptible to natural disasters. Slum housing almost two thirds of the urban population are built on unstable hillsides and on deep gorges surrounding the seismically active Caracas (Davis, 2006). I think it is important to analyze the effects of weaker geographical locations because it does have great bearing on urban planning in developing countries. When countries lack the proper infustructure needed to prevent or deal with natural disasters, it creates a ripple effect of issue that disturbs the ecological system. Additionally, urban environment vulnerability is determined by “hazard” as it relates to slum living. “Hazard” is defined as (hazard x assets x fragility). I believe these three variables are interconnected with each other. One would assume that if a developing country or metropolis area had the ability to increase its assets, then the “risk of hazard” would decrease. While this may be true for cities like Tokyo who have the resources to create new infustructure, it is not the case for countries that lack governmental and aid. Furthermore, Slums are largely made up of shanty towns which provide no real security from basic natural elements. ... ... middle of paper ... ...nd deindustrialization appear to be problems that plague urban poor. Interesting enough, the problem is not isolated to this group alone. The urban middle class and urban poor continue to clash and economic division, land segregation, and policy disagreements remain ever present. In closing, the “Slum Ecology” presents complex problems and requires innovation solutions. All levels of planning must dedicate themselves to the development of proactive strategies instead of reactive research, which continues to exacerbate the problems. I think the chapter does a great job of breaking down environmental hazards into simple terms that anyone could identify with. I believe by focuses on the living conditions of slums as it relates to the environmental impact, I was better able to actualize these issues. Works Cited Davis, M. (2006). Planet of Slums. New York : Verso.
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