The shantytowns are more or less vast whole of precarious habitats, where misery is concentrated. The quality of the habitat is particularly poor there, and certain dwellings consist of materials of recovery (Bidon S, paperboards, plastics, sheets,…).
Certain large shantytowns can be made up of several districts and extend on a very large surface. Generally built on grounds where them presence illegal or is only tolerated, the inhabitants are either of the Squat teurs, or sometimes rent their property with those which preceded them, with exorbitant tariffs.
The majority of the large shantytowns are located in developing country, but, although it is often occulted, those also existed in the industrialized countries and still remain, but in a more discrete way.
The word “shantytown” was employed for the first time in 1953 in connection with the Morocco to literally indicate “houses out of cans”, i.e. a whole of dwellings built with materials of recovery. This word gradually took a broader significance to join the English terms shanty town and slum . This last was forged at the beginning of the 19th century, probably by the writer James Hardy Vaux to describe the slums of Dublin, but more meant “racket” or “criminal trade” at the time; shanty town literally means “district/town of slum”.
Other names exist, specific to each language, even at each country or each city. One thus finds the “shantytowns” in the French-speaking countries, the Geçekondu S in Turkey, the Favela S with the Brésil, Jhugi or Bustee in India, Kachi abadi with the Pakistan, Kijiji or Korogocho with the Kenya, Mudduku with the Sri Lanka, Imijondolo in South Africa, Bairro de Lata with the Portugal, Lušnynai in Lithuania or Kartonsko naselje in Serbia. In the Spanish-speaking countries, one finds Barrio in Dominican Republic and with the Venezuela, Asentamientos with the Guatemala, Cantegriles in Uruguay, Ciudades perdidas or Colonias with the Mexico, Invasiones in Ecuador and Colombia, Poblaciones Callampas , Poblas gold Campamentos with the Chile, Chacarita with the Paraguay, Chabolas in Spain, Pueblos jóvenes or Barriadas with the Peru, Villas miseria in Argentine or Precario with Costa Rica.
The first definitions of the shantytowns go back to the 19th century, in particular under the impulse of the researcher and British philanthropist Charles Booth, author of Life and Labor off the People off London . The shantytown is seen there as “an amalgam of sordid poverty, disease, overpopulation, housing conditions and defect”, thus including a moral dimension. In The slums off Baltimore, Chicago, New York and Philadelphia of 1894, the slums are defined like “dirty zones of lanes, in particular when they are inhabited by a population of poor wretches and criminals”. This moral dimension will decrease during the 20th century, by realizing that the inhabitants of the shantytowns are more often victims than generating of the Criminalité.
It there not currently of “universal definition” of the shantytowns. Each country, even each city uses a different definition, with criteria adapted to the local situation. A very simple definition as suggested by a-Habitat is:
“an urban area very densément populated, characterized by a habitat lower than the standards and poor wretch. ”This definition includes the basic elements of the majority of the shantytowns: overpopulation, habitat of bad quality, and poverty. But vis-a-vis the various general standards, a-Habitat needed a definition operational, usable for example to count the number of inhabitants of the shantytowns; it thus listed the common characteristics of the shantytowns, according to the existing definitions:
- Lack of the basic services : mainly the access to the Drinking water and the Cleansing (Toilet S and Latrine S), but also electricity, Management of waste, lighting and paving of the streets…
- Habitat nonin conformity with the standards : not only the dwellings can not be in conformity with the municipal and national standards of construction (bad construction materials), but they can be located at an illegal site.
- Overpopulation/high densities : the houses can be occupied by several families; several people can divide the same part to sleep, eat, even work.
- unhealthy and/or dangerous Living conditions : the absence of cleansing involves a greater propagation of diseases; the houses are sometimes built on easily flooded grounds , polluted or prone to the landslides.
- Precariousness of housing : this characteristic is often central. It takes into account the fact that the occupants of the shantytowns often do not have a Leasing agreement or document of title, and that certain districts are built on nonlivable zones in the beginning.
- Poverty and social Exclusion : without being a characteristic inherent in the shantytowns (the poor also live in-outside shantytowns, and those do not shelter that the poor), poverty is a cause and often a consequence.
- minimal Size : so that a zone is regarded as a shantytown, it must comprise more dwellings than a simple camping. The current thresholds are about 700 m ² (Calcutta) or 300 people/60 hearths (Indian federal legislation).
“the inadequate access to drinking water, the inadequate access to the cleansing and the other infrastructures, the bad quality of the residences, overpopulation, and the precarious status of the residence. ”. In Africa, the growth of these dangerous districts reaches 4,5% per annum. In the developed countries, 6,4% of the total population live in shantytowns or slums.
The major part of the shantytowns, in any case at their beginning, are deprived of any infrastructure (electrification, flow of waste water, garbage collection… but also schools, stations of health,…). Poverty, promiscuity, the lack of Hygiene and the presence of culture mediums meet the conditions of development of infectious hearths, being able to cause future Pandémie S.
Many associations act to improve this situation and sometimes of the States, while making legal the occupation of the grounds, invested in the infrastructure. However, in the major part of the countries of the world, the “resorption of the shantytowns” consisted in pushing back always more far from the center town the families and groups living these shantytowns. By thus dispersing the people, the networks of survival, founded on the relations between people, are broken, making more random still the possibility of being left this situation.
In the developing countries, the majority of the shantytowns are located in periphery, but the inhabitants however seek to approach places as much as possible where they could find work.
Shantytowns by country
- In South Africa, Townships are distinguished from the shantytowns themselves. The first are built into hard and have a legal existence, often planned by the architects of the racial segregation then of the Apartheid, while the seconds are illegal constructions. The townships of South Africa gather the inhabitants of colors, mainly the blacks and can count until nearly two million inhabitants following the example Soweto close to Johannesburg. One can quote among most famous townships those of Mamelodi close to Pretoria, Kayelitsha close to the Cape, to Alexandria close to Johannesburg or to Sharpeville.
In Argentinian, the villas miserias is made with fairly solid materials of edge where are found the poorest classes and the low middle-class.
- With the Venezuela, the shantytowns name the barrios .
With the Morocco, the shantytowns are named Karyane in dialectical Arabic.
With the Canada, in Australia, with the the United States, as in the other grounds colonized S by the Great Britain, the historical term of township is perceived like a Campement of colonist S organized under the system canton Al of division of the grounds.
The historical term of township however remained and is associated today with the Ville S and Village S built on the campings of origin.
After the Second world war, because of destruction of certain cities, of the level of poverty, the rural migration and the arrival of foreign labor, a crucial difficulty of housing for without shelters arises. The shantytowns of Nanterre (located at the current site of the prefecture of the Top-of-Seine) and of Noisy-the-Large were most notorious in periphery of Paris. It will be necessary to await almost half of the Années 1970 so that the policy of resorption of the shantytowns impelled by the Prime Minister Jacques Chaban-Delmas bears his fruits completely and that these shantytowns disappear with rehousing from the families which lived there. The Abbé Pierre will be one of those which will carry assistance to the inhabitants of the shantytowns, especially during the winter 1954 which was particularly cold.
At the beginning of the 21e century, in France, perdurent of microphone-shantytowns, generally hidden with the sight, along transportation routes or in industrial waste lands:
- since tens of years, agricultural seasonal workers live in a shantytown with Berre-l' Étang (Rhone delta) without electricity nor without running water, but with the medical ones installed by the Fondation Abbé Pierre, Toilettes of the world and the Compagnons builders;
- the shantytown of Cassis, where 93 Tunisians resided, was demolished in 2005;
- in wood in the neighborhoods of Paris (Wood of Vincennes, Bois de Boulogne), one counts in 2007 approximately 200 people living in tax havens “into hard”, most of the time isolated (in order to be the least visible possible) but sometimes in small groups.
- at the end of 2006, a shantytown inhabited by immigrants of Bulgaria joins together several hundreds of people to the margin of Pantin, close to the Canal of Ourcq.
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