09 junho, 2011


Mega-cities of 10.000.000 or more are on the rise across Asia, while cities like Dhaka, Jakarta, Lagos and Delhi will cross the 20.000.000 threshold by 2020. Planning and building ins not keeping pace. The world ignores the slums at its own peril.¹
1. E. Eaves, ‘Two Billion Slum Dwellers’, Forbes.com, 2007.
In the 1950’s, poverty was a condition for post-war European architects to work on. In the 1970’s, when favelas hit the architectural media, poverty became a source of social and architectural inspiration as it contained models alternative to the existing order. In the 1980´s, poverty was overshadowed by postmodern musings, but in the late 1990’s and early 2000´s, it began forging its architectural comeback – this time in full colour and high resolution. We have now entered an era where poverty tourism (poorism) has become a popular holiday; Favela Chic is a hot nightclub in London, and the words ‘slum dog’ and ‘jai ho’ were among the 15 finalists in contention to become the 1 millionth English word. How long will poverty be in fashion this time? If ´all press is good press´, how can we take advantage of the latest wave of slum popularity?
In: Visionary Cities.

Graphics credits: João Amaral