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Slums, Favelas, Ghettos and Shanty Towns: a Global Epidemic

Tenements, shanty-towns, ghettos, and Hoovervilles are all terms that have historical and social meanings that help to give us insight on what people consider slums globally. The term slum is often used interchangeably with similar words in local contexts to describe varying types of informal settlements. Often these informal settlements, herein called to asslums, refer to semi-legal or unsanctioned subdivisions of land within the urban sphere (The Challenge of Slums 197). One can find slums in one form or another in most parts of the world. Whether they be Brazilian Favela, shanty towns, gecekoudus in Turkey, or the various refugee camps that dot the globe due to conflicts, war or famine. The word slum became part of the modern English lexicon sometime int he 1820s in London. The word was used to describe very poor quality housing that lacked proper sanitary and was in an area prone to crime and health epidemics. Over 190 years later and conditions have barely changed, the difference is that slums have popped up all over the world. They can be found in

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