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FOCUS September 2019 Volume 97

City and the Urban Poor Community


Many cities in Asia and the Pacific have urban poor communities. Their poverty provides a distinct contrast to the bustling city economy.

There are many reasons why cities have people who suffer from poverty. People from small towns and rural areas flock to the cities to improve their economic condition but fail to do so. There are also city dwellers who suffer from social discrimination.

Despite their poor economic and social conditions, the urban poor have important role in addressing the causes of their poverty.

This is seen in the renewal of urban poor communities. The urban poor have as much stake as the city government and the other city residents in any “development” of their communities. What is needed is “development” that does not exclude them, or push them out of their own communities.

The active participation of the urban poor in the development or redevelopment/renewal of their own communities should be upheld. Their exclusion from this process will perpetuate the many human rights violations and abuses arising from their situation of poverty.