Sunday, April 29, 2007
fortunes & misfortunes of squatters in Buenos Aires
The Washington Post offers a take on the growth 'Neighborhoods of Misery' of Buenos Aires, Argentina.
A good factoid from reporter Monte Reel: "even in places where rural migration to urban areas has begun to level off -- such as Argentina -- slums within cities continue to grow at a fast pace, through good economic times and bad." Despite robust economic growth, the money is not trickling down to the poor. "Population growth in the capital," he reports, "is fastest in its shantytowns, which continue to pop up beside railroad tracks, appear under bridges and even expand across the grounds of an ecological reserve."
He makes a key point: that the local name for squatter communities--'villas miserias,' or "neighborhoods of misery"--is actually a misnomer, for these are "slums that -- with enough money and infrastructure improvements -- conceivably could be transformed into permanent neighborhoods with full services"