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Learning from slums


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Prof. Akhtar Chauhan, FIIA

At the Habitat II World Conference on Human Settlements, held in 1996 United
Nations Centre for Settlements (UNCHS) presented the Global Report on An
Urbanizing World. It had some shocking statistics, which should shake any
professional into a positive action. e.g. there are 100 million people
without shelter in the world and about 600 million people are forced to
living in dilapidated and unhygienic living conditions.

It is in this context of homelessness and unhygienic conditions in the human
settlements, that architects, planners and policy makers should understand
the phenomenon of slums through in-depth surveys and analysis of slums, in
order to learn critical lessons for shaping a humane habitat. Every problem
has within itself the seeds of its possible solution, therefore, learning
from slums, is an important step forward in resolving this unprecedented
human and social issue.