Examples of Slum Upgrading Projects

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Project
Technical cooperation on a citywide slum upgrading programme

The Situation
The largest city in Brazil, São Paulo attracted millions of immigrants during an industralisation boom from the 1950s to the 1980s. This rapid growth resulted in a proliferation of informal settlements, many on precarious land with no services.

Partners
Cities Alliance and the São Paulo Municipal Housing Secretariat (SEHAB)

The Result
The Municipality of São Paulo established the Bairro Legal (Legal Neighbourhood) Programme, an initiative providing security of tenure and improved living conditions for slum dwellers.  The Municipality also created HABISP, a centralised database with information about the city’s precarious settlements that has become a valuable tool for urban development. HABISP has generated considerable interest internationally, and plans are underway to expand it to other cities in Brazil. 

Ekurhuleni, South Africa

Project
Upgrading for Growth initiative that integrates energy, economic development and housing needs

The Situation
The third largest city in South Africa, Ekurhuleni was created in 2000 from nine local authorities. The new municipality struggled to deal with the huge social and economic disparities that resulted from social planning during apartheid. Around 65 percent of the city’s population were living in informal settlements or townships.

Partners
The Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality, Cities Alliance, the World Bank

The Result
The city has adopted an approach to slum upgrading that uses the upgrading process to drive sustainable economic development. Instead of focusing solely on housing for slum residents, the Upgrading for Growth approach involves providing opportunities for economic growth that meet the livelihood and social needs of the poor within Ekurhuleni’s informal settlements.

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