Decalogue for Participatory Slum Upgrading
A Roadmap for Latin America and the Caribbean
The vulnerability of slum dwellers affects us all. The spread of COVID-19 illustrates this in an unprecedented manner. In an interconnected world, solidarity is an urgent necessity rather than a luxury good. Therefore, it is our joint responsibility to act and fight essential slum upgrading that improves the well-being of its inhabitants, realizes their rights, enhances political participation, and respects the environment.
Today, one billion people – equalling nearly 15% of the global population – live in informal settlements and slums, and it is predicted that this number will triple by 2030. In Latin America, 21% of the urban population resides in so-called substandard housing. These numbers prove especially significant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic as the urban poor are disproportionately at risk of infection due to high density and precarious housing situations.
We have joined forces with an alliance of civil society organizations, social movements, universities, research centers, international and regional organizations, and networks to launch the Decalogue for Participatory Slum upgrading in Latin America and the Caribbean to highlight ten concrete steps towards a truly integral slum upgrading process. This alliance was created within the framework of the Synergies for Solidarity initiative to collectively imagine a more just post-pandemic future, building a global network of collaboration and empathy.
While it is crucial to respond to immediate needs, integral slum upgrading programmes need to contribute to a long-term post-pandemic recovery to ensure that efforts are not in vain. It is clear that actors on local, national, and global levels can draw on knowledge and tools generated by decades of exchange and best practices that to do this. However, only by working together will we pave the way for these tools to be used effectively and to make a difference in people's lives. We invite local authorities and other stakeholders to join this discussion and learning process to support a truly sustainable and integral approach to slum upgrading while still recognizing that no countries and slums are the same or have the same needs.
Join us in collectively re-imagining our communities and moving towards cities and human settlements that foster political and social inclusion, equitable economic growth, and environmental justice!