Globalization is the defined by Wikipedia as “the process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas and other aspects of culture”. On the other hand it defines squatter settlements or shantytowns as “a settlement of plywood, corrugated metal, sheets of plastic, and cardboard boxes”. The settlements are often based on the outskirts a city or town. The areas often require major services including sanitation, clean streams, medical facilities, infrastructure, and education centres. The lack of proper sanitation makes these places to be polluted. In most cases, shantytowns are also termed as slum areas. Scrap materials such as corrugated metal, plywood or plastic, are some of the materials used to build the houses. The materials can be assessed easily and are quite affordable to the poor.
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Urbanization is the main reason for the emergence of many shantytowns across the world. Rural to urban population is quite popular. In fact, migrations happened based on various reasons. For instance, individuals move to urban areas as a result of being affected by natural calamities such as droughts, floods or earthquakes. However, other people move to seek education, better employment or just to be free from their parents and community (Schuler 156).
The rate at which people arrive at the cities is high rate that the government is not able to control it in the long-run. Thus, the migrants live in poor conditions. Such groups of people experience unemployment issues due to their increased numbers. The people from the rural areas often have neither the knowledge nor the experience for the well-paying jobs in the city making them lose on the opportunities that brought them to the city. The rural people are then left unemployed and have to look for informal jobs like cleaning and street vending to survive. Some turn to criminal activities such as drug peddling to provide the basic needs for their families. The situation makes crime a problem in most of the inhabited areas.
The shanties had only bad roads that became muddy when it rained. Congestion was also one big problem. The areas had different individuals residing in the slums. The house-like structures were very small, but had around 10 people living in them. The population is still increasing in the shanties. The only advantage of the increased growth in the cities was that the population in the rural area reduced making farmers to have few people to feed and increase in land for cultivation. The problems associated with the squatting were numerous (Tidwell and Lerche 52). People moved to the urban centre expecting a better life, but ended up living in even worse conditions. Individuals came with no experience for the sophisticated city jobs and ended up being bankrupt forcing them to go back home or resort to crimes.
For a long time, the slums were of no concern for the government. Some slums were better compared to others and had people from all backgrounds. Slums were important in urban development since they were sources of workers for the informal jobs. Industries got casual labourers from the shantytowns (Schuler 155). The slums also provided maids, gardeners, and baby sitters for the big households.
Shantytowns existed prior to the twentieth century in the European Countries and US. New York had the first slum ever in the world called Five Points. The shantytowns later resulted in a large urban centre called the River Collect. The lake was highly polluted with trash. The tanneries and abattoirs that bordered the freshwater bodies deposited raw sewage straight into the stream. It was also a site for waste collection. The lake dried up in early 1800 and became a shantytown.
It was full of the migrants from China, Italy, and Ireland as well as freed slaves. The town was for the poor. Rural people moved here leaving their farms to look for well-paying jobs (Hurrell and Ngaire 460). The people persecuted in Europe came to New York City and stayed at the Five Points. The streets were filled with house-like structures and bars. In most cases, crime and violence was the order of the day.
The poor condition of the Five Points triggered politicians to discuss the issue. They decided to construct affordable houses to get rid of the slum. In fact, upgrading was done to ensure that slum dwellers had a decent life. It is also a way of the government to control the population in order to curb crime and outbreak of diseases that could affect the whole city. The upgrading also led to economic development of New York. The slums dwellers are a productive lot that when given the chance help in a flourishing economy. The upgrading also ensures improved infrastructure in the city. Investors will be attracted when the city has the infrastructure. Roads were developed and electricity put in place (Milanovic 670). The slum developed to a respectable neighbourhood in the New York City. The place is currently known as China World.
Shantytowns led to urban development. The towns led to increased aid from donors and well-wishers who want to see people live in a decent and safe place. The problem today is the increased number of slum dwellers. The high population is making it difficult for the governments to incorporate the slum dwellers into urban planning (Hurrell and Ngaire 461). The inefficiency is often due to lack of funds or experience on how to deal with the problem. However, other slums are not known to exist by the government. Some governments also fear that if they better the slums, more migrations to the cities will occur. With the increasing population, the number of shantytowns is increasing, hence, derailing the urban developments. Thus, with time, the slums will be all over the cities.
Hurrell, Andrew and Woods Ngaire. “Globalization and Inequality.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 24.3 (1995): 447-471. Print..
Milanovic, Branko. “The two faces of globalization: against globalization as we know it,” World Development, 31.4 (2002): 667-683. Print.
Schuler, Dana. Macroeconomic and Microeconomic Effects of Migration. New York,Y: BoD – Books on Demand, 2009. Print.
Tidwell, Alan and Charles Lerche. “Globalization and Conflict Resolution.” International Journal of Peace Studies 9.1(2004): 47- 59. Print.