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Friday, August 26, 2005

1 billion urban squatters

Fascinating article in Reason magazine:

Since 1950 the population of the world has increased from 2.5 billion to 6.1 billion. Many of these newcomers earn less than $1 a day—far below the U.S. poverty standard—and live in sprawling megacities such as Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) in India, and Nairobi in Kenya. They are frequently beset by bad governments and corrupt officials. How do they survive?

Investigative reporter Robert Neuwirth gives the answer in his fascinating book Shadow Cities. About a fifth of Rio de Janeiro’s residents, half of Mumbai’s, and two-thirds of Nairobi’s live as urban squatters, a category that includes an estimated 1 billion people around the world.


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