With the number of slum dwellers expected to reach 889 million by 2020 it has been recognized that there is a need to move away from piecemeal project-based slum upgrading interventions. Instead, it is necessary to bring slum upgrading to a citywide scale and implement a twin-track approach that promotes both the upgrading of existing slums and simultaneously uses policy to prevent the multiplication of slums and urban informality.
While 220 million people have been lifted out of slum conditions over the past 10 years, the number of people living in slum conditions is likely to grow by six million every year, to reach a total of 889 million by 2020. It is necessary to equip cities and their practitioners with the tools and capacities to anticipate and control urban growth and city officials will require knowledge, skills and methodologies that will allow them not only to upgrade existing slums but also prevent the appearance of new ones.
This publication (in the form of a Strategy Paper) highlights the global problem of slums and advocates for using streets as tools for urban transformation. A street-led approach to citywide slum upgrading is promoted which advocates for a shift from piecemeal project based to programme scale upgrading. This publication draws from many slum upgrading experiences worldwide and encourages a relatively easy to implement approach. It views slums as integral parts of a city system which are spatially segregated and disconnected due to an absence of streets and open spaces.