Slums, in urban areas of the Global South, are often manifested as the spatial manifestation of urban poverty. In many local contexts, eviction of slums is treated as the recipe of urban development initiative, which is actually wrong and short-sighted unsustainable solution. This chapter addresses some of the interlinked issues and highlights how the megacities of the Global South can pursue a more holistic, pro-poor, and sustainable solutions by dealing this developmental challenge.
This chapter is basically an outcome of a policy research, combining information and arguments from different secondary resources.
This chapter offers a better understanding on the causes and consequences of the slums, along with ideas for the government to tackle this issue and promote better livelihoods for the poor citizens. Even though this chapter focuses on the sustainability challenges in Dhaka, it can have policy implications in other regions with similar social, economic, and political conditions.
The discussion in this chapter does not include an empirical modeling or analysis technique so that the problems can be proven quantitatively. In some future research, a more quantitative approach can help to quantify the losses people are facing in terms of social value, monetary losses, and environmental cohesion.
Without making any provisions for jobs and livelihoods for the poor slum dwellers, the process of eviction might cause the total “city management” system to collapse. Then it is no more an urban development initiative, but rather a government-initiated poverty generation process. Therefore, government can think for solutions at different levels – from local to regional scale, including long-term and short-term sustainability strategies.
Often the governments as well as the policy makers in the Global South treat the poverty problems (including slum formations) from a much narrower perspective. They should rather focus on the issue as part of a big developmental picture. The strategies can start both from macro- and micro-levels. On the macro-level, the government can initiate climate-resilient and pro-poor development strategies. On the micro-level, the government, along with nongovernmental organizations and national and international development partners, can focus on skill development opportunities and policies, so that the poor can live legally, wherever they want, with decent employment and livelihood opportunities.
Ahmed, S. and Rahaman, K.R. (2014), "Sustainability Challenges and the Spatial Manifestation of Poverty in Megacities of the Global South: Focus on Dhaka, Bangladesh", From Sustainable to Resilient Cities: Global Concerns and Urban Efforts (Research in Urban Sociology, Vol. 14), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 143-166. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1047-004220140000014007
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