Large numbers of people in urbanizing regions in the developing world live and work in unplanned settlements that grow through incremental processes of squatting and self-building. Slums: How Informal Real Estate Markets Work shows that unauthorized settlements in rapidly growing cities are not divorced from market forces; rather, they must be understood as complex environments where state policies and market actors still do play a role. In this volume, contributors examine how the form and function of informal real estate markets are shaped by legal systems governing property rights, by national and local policy, and by historical and geographic particularities of specific neighborhoods. Their essays provide detailed portraits of individuals and community organizations, revealing in granular detail the working of informal real estate markets, and they review programs that have been implemented in unconventional settlements to provide lessons about the effectiveness and implementation challenges of different approaches.
“Likely to be a frequently used and often cited book, Slums: How Informal Real Estate Markets Work provides an extraordinary array of information on a complex and highly idiosyncratic subject that existing studies treat only in a limited way.”—Robert Buckley, The New School
Chapters explore the relationships between informality, state policies, and market forces from a range of disciplinary perspectives and on different scales, from an analysis of the relationship between regulations and housing in 600 developing world cities to an ethnographic account of the buying and selling of houses in Rio de Janeiro’s favelas. While many of the book’s contributors focus on the emerging economies of India and Brazil, the conclusions drawn illustrate dynamics relevant to developing countries throughout the Global South. The diversity of perspectives combines to create a rich understanding of an important, complex, and understudied topic.
Contributors: Arthur Acolin, Sai Balakrishnan, Eugenie L. Birch, José Brakarz, Shahana Chattaraj, Sebastian Galiani, David Gouverneur, Yvonne Mautner, Paavo Monkkonen, Vinit Mukhija, Janice E. Perlman, Lucas Ronconi, Bish Sanyal, Ernesto Schargrodsky, Patrícia Cezário Silva, Susan M. Wachter.
Eugenie L. Birch is Lawrence W. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education; Chair of the Graduate Group in City and Regional Planning, School of Design; and Codirector, Penn Institute for Urban Research, at the University of Pennsylvania.
Susan M. Wachter is the Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate and Professor of Finance, The Wharton School; Professor of City and Regional Planning, School of Design; and Codirector, Penn Institute for Urban Research, at the University of Pennsylvania.
Shahana Chattaraj is a post-doctoral fellow in Comparative Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government, University of Oxford.