A Home in the City: UN Millennium Project Report on Improving the Lives of Slum Dwellers

Garau, P., Sclar, E.D. and Carolini, G.Y.
Publication language
Date published
01 Mar 2006
Global Urban Development Volume 2 Issue 1
Shelter and housing, Urban

The world’s slum population is huge. According to the most recent international estimates, more than 900 million people can be classified as slum dwellers, most living under life- and health-threatening circumstances, often lacking several of the following conditions: access to adequate clean water, access to improved sanitation facilities, sufficient living space, dwellings of sufficient durability and structural quality, and security of tenure. Almost one out of three urban dwellers (one out of every six people worldwide) already lives in a slum.

Recognizing the urban context is critical to meeting all the Millennium Development Goals. If the urban context of poverty is not directly addressed, it will be impossible to achieve the Goals. By improving the lives of slum dwellers, we are also combating HIV/AIDS, improving environmental sustainability, reducing gender inequality, and addressing all the Goals in the most efficient manner. In other words, as the world becomes more urban, the integration and synergies emerging from the potential of comprehensively addressing the Goals in a specific, dense location are best achieved in the very settlements where slum dwellers live.