The Invention of Abandonment and the Rescue of a Neighborhood: A Tiny Glance to Franklin’s Sanitas Building, in Santiago de Chile.

Gabriel Espinoza

Urbanization is traditionally presumed to be a catalyst of productivity, industrialization, and socioeconomic transition (Cobbinah et al., 2015b). Despite a recent study (Vollset et al., 2020) pointing out fluctuations in the world’s projected population, the consensus remains that the global urban population will continue increasing. As of 2015, 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas and is projected to reach 70% by 2050 (UNDESA/PD, 2012). The majority of this growth will occur in Africa, with nearly a quarter (1.3 billion) of the world’s urban population by 2050. While some developing countries like China reap the benefits of urbanization (Cohen, 2006), it seems to rather disrupt urban functionality and stall socio-economic development in most African countries (Cobbinah et al., 2015a). This underlies the long-held pathological-indeed Malthusian-view that overurbanization is the prime cause of urban development problems in African cities (Boateng, 2020a). One of these critical urban challenges is unplanned urbanization—also called informal urbanization. For the purposes of this paper, our central focus is on the spatial by-product of informal urbanization by the urban poor— that is, slums. 

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