GLOBAL URBAN OBSERVATORY
Slums ofthe World Report
appears at a time ofgrowing awareness ofthe red flags raised by theurbanization process,particularly because ofan increasing number and proportion ofcityresidents who live in poverty in precarious settlements in the core historic part ofcities and in theperi-urban areas. The empirical evidence compiled in this study is overwhelming.Today,one-third ofthe world’s urbanpopulation lives in slums,and four out often inhabitants in the developing world are informal settlers. This information is available because for the first time a baseline information on slums was produced,surveying over 1 million household records and compiling data from over 316 different sub-national,national and international sources. This enormous work was done by the Global Urban Observatory (GUO) ofUN-HABITAT in collaborationwith the African Population and Health Research Centre (APHRC).The study represents a milestone in the efforts ofUN-HABITAT to monitorprogress in the implementation ofthe Millennium Development Goal 7,Target 11,for which we are the responsible agency for the improvementofthe lives ofat least 100 million slum dwellers by the year 2020. The number ofissues relevant to urban poverty and slums is practically infinite.This study is accordingly confining itselfto the globalestimation ofslums at the country level,establishing quantitative and qualitative analysis ofthe statistical information produced.Based on these preliminary estimates on slums,it will be possible to develop time series on slum indicators,helping to track in a moresystematic manner the ‘improvement’in the lives ofthese informal dwellers.Adopting the agreed methodology to local context and needs,Governments would be able to set up their own targets directed at meeting theMDG objective.Likewise,the GUO would be able to undertake future analysis on slum incidence and trends,in order to establish comparisonsbetween countries,sub-regions and regions.Awareness ofthe magnitude ofslums in the world is key.As awareness increases so openness to discuss this issue increases as well and newideas will inevitably expand. This Report therefore merits attention by all partners ofthe Habitat Agenda at a time when slums are being clearly identified as a crucialdevelopment issue around the world.They are,after all,pointers ofthe most acute scenarios ofurban poverty and physical and environmentaldeprivation.
Mrs.Anna Kajumulo TibaijukaExecutive DirectorUnited Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT)
SLUMS OF THE WORLD:THE FACE OF URBAN POVERTY IN THE NEW MILLENNIUM?