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Differences in Views between Municipal Governments and Slum Residents: a Recipe for Regressive Urbanization - Essay Example

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Name Professor Module Date Differences in Views between Municipal Governments and Slum Residents: A Recipe for Regressive Urbanization Meaningful improvements of life and conditions in the slums have been hindered by the broken and antagonistic relationship between municipal governments and slum residents as evidenced by their divergent views on slums…
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Differences in Views between Municipal Governments and Slum Residents: a Recipe for Regressive Urbanization
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Download file to see previous pages In light of this, it would be ignorant to think that successive authorities and stakeholders concerned have not made efforts to address the situation but this begs the question, is it impossible to eradicate slums as the world enters a post modern era? What is the reason behind the failures of slum upgrading projects? Possible answers to these questions lie in studying the slums themselves and the dynamics that characterize the visions to make life better in the slums with special reference to municipal efforts versus the views of the slum residents. “How the other Half Lives” by Jacob Riis is an important piece of work that can give critical insights into the relationship between arms of the municipal government and the residents of slums. Sprawling slums in the form of tenements had developed in New York mostly due to emigration into the city accompanied by impoverishment as evidenced by “A Nation by Design: Immigration Policy in the Fashioning of America” by Aristide Zolberg (115). The poor relationship between these two parties and their differences in perspectives on the slums is the main reason behind regressive slum improvement. The Relationship between Slum Residents and the Authorities: It is perhaps wise to start by establishing the gains made in improving the lives of the individuals and families residing in slums. One instance in which cooperation is clearly visible is in the face of an oncoming disaster where the slum community and the relevant arms of municipal government cooperate and help to reduce the impact of such an eventuality. Riis (11) details a case in which an expected outbreak of cholera and the catastrophe in terms of deaths it would cause galvanized the slum community into cooperation with the government resulting in formation of the Board of Health and enacting of the Tenement House Act of 1867. These were two steps in the direction of remedial legislation that found goodwill with the tenement dwellers. Amidst much opposition from the house owners who found it a cost to improve the dwelling units and some tenants who wished to be left alone by the authorities, the instituted Board made gains in terms of improving ventilation and sunlight penetration in the tenements albeit after nearly five years. The durability of housing units alongside the accompanied overcrowding in slums is an issue of much importance as evidenced by its prioritization in the millennium development goals (Moreno 50). In this respect, the condition of housing in terms of whether it is dilapidated beyond repair or whether it can be repaired is the central issue (51). This is another situation in which the cries of the tenants can be seen to be handled by the authorities in terms of forcing the house lords to improve the conditions of the dwelling units at least to commensurate to the high rent charges they impose on their tenants. Daniel Murphy, an old house owner made a fortune out of the tenements, running into hundreds of thousands of dollars yet stubbornly refused to renovate the houses since it would be cost him (Riis 18). Murphy deems the blind residents as not deserving to dwell in proper houses (19). The municipal is present to save the tenants from their plight through forcing Murphy to repair the old buildings and to clean them up. One area that causes major concern among slum ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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