Squatter settlements

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  • Created by: Phoebe
  • Created on: 05-01-13 16:13

Common in Poorer Countries

  • Built illegally around cities, often by people who can't afford proper housing
  • Big problem in growing cities in poorer countries eg Sao Paulo (Brazil)
  • Settlements are badly built and over crowded
  • There is:
    • little space between houses
    • no electricity or phone lines
    • no paved roads
    • no sewers
  • Houses are built from waste materials like plastic
  • There are many names for them: favelas (in Brazil), shanty towns or slums



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What life is like

Life can be hard and dangerous as there is a lack of basic services and some times a lack of policing, medical services and fire fighting.

Life expectancy is often lower because of this.

Inhabitants work within the settlement.

Jobs aren't taxed or monitored by the government - referred to as 'informal sector' .

Jobs are long hours for little pay.

There is a strong community spirit.

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Improving Squatter Settlements 1

1. Self-help schemes:

  • government and locals working together to improve life
  • government supplies building materials so locals can build own homes
  • helps to provide better housing
  • money saved on labour can be used to provide basic services (like electricity and sewers)
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Improving Squatter Settlements 2

2. Site and service schemes pay

  • a small rent for a site
  • borrow money to buy building materials to build/improve their house
  • the money from the rent is used to provide basic services
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Improving Squatter Settlements 3

3. Local Authority Schemes

  • funded by local government
  • improving the temporary accommodation
  • e.g. Rio de Janeiro spent $1200 million on Favela-Bairro project - aimed to improve life for the people living there
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Favela-Bairro Project - what it is

started in 1995 and has been so successful it has been suggested as a model for redeveloping other settlements.

involves 253,000 people in 73 favelas and extending

40% of the $300 million funding is from the local authority the rest is from Inter-American Development Bank.

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favela-bairro project - improvement

  • Social: 
  • Day care centres to look after the children whilst their parents worked 
  • Adult education 
  • Services to help people affected by drug & alcohol addiction and domestic violence.  Improving sanitation; add health facilities and sports areas.
  • Economic:
  • Residents can own their properties
  • training schemes so that they can get better jobs
  • however they is some taxes
  • Environmental:
  • replacing wooden buildings with brick houses with gardens
  • widening streets so emergency services and waste collections can drive down them
  • laying pavements, water pipes and electricity cables
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Favela-Bairro Project - community involvement

residents choose what improvements they want, so they feel involved

neighbourhood associations are formed to communicate with residents and making decisions

new services are staffed by residents, providing them with and income, and helping them to learn a new skill

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Favela-Bairro Project - a success

The standard of living and health of residents have improved

The property values in favelas that are part of the programme have increased by 80-120%

The number of local businesses within the favelas has almost doubled

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