Cities without Slums: A Reading Analysis

In the article written by Namrita Talwar entitled “Cities without Slums”, published in the UN Chronicle, the author made a brief discussion on the problem of illegal settlements all over the world. These illegal settlements are described to be unhealthy, foul-smelling, lack water, security, and sanitation, crowded tenements, and susceptible to diseases (Talwar). This is inhabited by over one-sixth of the world’s total population and has the tendency to keep on increasing if no action will be taken by the responsible governments (Talwar). The author placed emphasis on the fact that there is something to be done and it is being started and on-going at the present (Talwar).

Several mechanisms were introduced to prevent or mitigate the spur of slum dwellings in the cities and the most feasible is the upgrade of current slums into areas where standards of living are kept to a favorable condition (Talwar). This involves the participation of the slum dwellers themselves (Talwar). In the article, it was also pointed out that globalization is a contributory factor in the rise of slum places in cities (Talwar).The author relied on reports from the UN HABITAT, which is an organization worth of credence when it comes to settlements in the global level. There were also statements from people coming from the said organization to provide the readers an authoritative stance regarding the issue.

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This way, the article was able to present information regarding the issue in a concise and organized way while giving strength to the whole article. While giving information regarding the issue, the author was able to paint a clear picture of how pitiful the living conditions in these slums are. With this, the author is able to convince the reader of the urgency to do something, which adds the element of persuasion. What is lacking in the article is an explanation of why slums exist and the dynamics behind its continuous existence despite the low living conditions. By pinpointing these, it would be able to justify the actions to be done after.I agree with the stress placed by the author that action must be done by the governments and other concerned institutions.

Moreover, it is very important that there is cooperation solicited from the slum dwellers themselves. For example, they would have to be involved in the planning for the upgrade of their place instead of simply telling them that the upgrade will happen without consulting their needs and concerns. Also, it is important that the basic social services are present together with the upgrade of the slum places.However, I see human development as a key factor in the improvement of the slum dwellings, too. There should also be investment placed on the people living in these areas for them to be able to learn how to catch the fish instead of simply waiting for the fish to come.