Friday, January 18, 2008

Slum-urban Planning

In his great Reckoning column in the Globe and Mail Doug Saunders discusses how "Slumming it is better than bulldozing it." (Jan. 12, 2008)

From the piece:
This is the crucial flaw in all top-down, slum-clearance plans: They are based on the belief that people are in slums because they have fallen out of mainstream society, but most slums are composed of people who are clawing their way into the mainstream — the new arrivals from the villages, the recent immigrants from overseas.

They know more than anyone does about what it takes to improve their condition. Given the right conditions — planning approval, utilities, accessible loans, proper deeds or leases on their property — they would probably advance to the middle class faster than any government agency could take them there.

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