Globalization, poverty and some reasons for hope

Erminia Maricato
Full Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism of the University of São Paulo. Former City Secretary at the Housing and Urban Development Secretariat of the City of São Paulo (1989-1992). Former Vice Minister at the Ministry of Cities of the Brazilian Government (2003-2005).

Presented in the International Seminar HOUSING AND CITIES Facoltà di Architettura L. Quaroni / Università degli studi di Roma La Sapienza. Roma, june 2006

The impoverishment of Latin American countries in the last twenty years is evidenced by an increase in the number of informal human settlements in Latin American cities. These settlements include mainly favelas – which result from illegal occupation of urban land – and the so-called pirate allotment – which are land subdivisions that disregard urban or land property laws and regulations. In the short period between 1990 and 2001 the number of informal settlements in Latin America increased from 111 million to 127 million, a consequence of the rapid urbanization process taking place in the region (ECLAC, 2004).