- "Shantytown" and "Huntment" redirects here. For the created gold-mining town in New Zealand, see Shantytown, New Zealand.
A shanty town (also called a squatter settlement) is a slum settlement (sometimes illegal or unauthorized) of plywood, corrugated metal, sheets of plastic, and cardboard boxes. Shanty towns, which are usually built on the periphery of cities, often do not have proper sanitation, water supply or aqueduct, electricity or telephone services.
Shanty towns are mostly found in developing nations, or partially developed nations with an unequal distribution of wealth. In extreme cases, shanty towns have populations approaching that of a city. As of 2005[update], one billion people, one-seventh of the world's population, live in shanty towns.
Shanty may have derived from the Irish seantigh, pronounced shant-tí, meaning "old house". The synonym shack may also have passed from Gaelic into English from teach, pronounced chaċ, meaning "house".
Hutment means an "encampment of huts". When the term is used by the military, it means "temporary living quarters specially built by the army for soldiers". The term is also a synonym for shanty town, particularly in third world countries.
Since construction is informal and unguided by urban planning, there is a near total absence of formal street grids, numbered streets, sewage network, electricity, or telephones. Even if these resources are present, they are likely to be disorganized, old or inferior. Shanty towns also tend to lack basic services present in more formally organized settlements, including policing, medical services and fire fighting. Fires are a particular danger for shanty towns not only for the lack of fire fighting stations and the difficulty fire trucks have traversing the absence of formal street grids, but also because of the high density of buildings and flammability of materials used in construction A sweeping fire on the hills of Shek Kip Mei, Hong Kong, in late 1953 left 53,000 squatter dwellers homeless, prompting the colonial government to institute a resettlement estate system.
Shanty towns have high rates of crime, suicide, drug use and disease. However the observer Georg Gerster has noted (with specific reference to the invasões of Brasilia), "squatter settlements [as opposed to slums], despite their unattractive building materials, may also be places of hope, scenes of a counter-culture, with an encouraging potential for change and a strong upward impetus." (1978) Stewart Brand has also written, more recently, that "squatter cities are Green. They have maximum density—a million people per square mile in Mumbai—and minimum energy and material use. People get around by foot, bicycle, rickshaw, or the universal shared taxi ... Not everything is efficient in the slums, though. In the Brazilian favelas where electricity is stolen and therefore free, Jan Chipchase from Nokia found that people leave their lights on all day. In most slums recycling is literally a way of life." (2010)
Third world 
Shanty towns are present in a number of countries. The largest shanty town in Asia is the Orangi Township, in Karachi, Pakistan.[dead link] while the largest in Africa is Khayelitsha in Cape Town, South Africa. While shanty towns are less common in Europe, the growing influx of illegal immigrants have fueled shantytowns in cities commonly used as a point of entry into the EU, including Athens and Patras in Greece. In francophone countries, shanty towns are referred to as bidonvilles (French for "can town" - can being a reference to tin metal); such countries include Tunisia and Haiti.
Other countries with shanty towns include India, South Africa (where they are often called squatter camps) or imijondolo, Kenya, the Philippines (often called squatter areas), Venezuela (where they are known as barrios), Brazil (favelas), Argentina (villas miseria), West Indies such as Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago (where they are known as Shanty town), and Peru (where they are known as "young towns"). There is also a major shanty town population in countries such as Bangladesh and the People's Republic of China.
Developed World 
Although shantytowns are less common in first world countries, there are some cities that have them. In Madrid, Spain, a low-class neighborhood named Cañada Real (which is considered a shanty town) has no formal education system, professional nurseries or modern health clinics. In Portugal, shanty towns known as "barracas" are made up of immigrants from former Portuguese African colonies and Gypsies from Eastern Europe. The settlements are so bad that they can be compared to other shanty towns in third world countries. In the United States, some cities such as Newark and Oakland have witnessed the creation of tent cities. Other settlements in developed countries that are comparable to shanty towns include the Colonias near the border with Mexico, and bidonvilles in France, which may exist in the peripheries of some cities.
While most shanty towns begin as precarious establishments haphazardly thrown together without basic social and civil services, over time, some have undergone a certain amount of development. Often the residents themselves are responsible for the major improvements. Community organizations sometimes working alongside NGO's, private companies, and the government, set up connections to the municipal water supply, pave roads, and build local schools. Some of these shanties have become middle class suburbs. One such extreme example is the Los Olivos Neighborhood of Lima, Peru. The Megaplaza shopping mall, one of Lima's largest, along with gated communities, casinos, and even plastic surgery clinics, are just a few of many developments that have transformed what used to be a decrepit shanty. A few Brazilian favelas have also seen improvements in recent years, enough so to attract tourists who flock to catch a glimpse of the colorful lifestyle perched atop Rio de Janeiro's highlands. Development occurs over a long period of time and newer towns still lack basic services. Nevertheless there has been a general trend whereby shanties undergo gradual improvements, rather than relocation to even more distant parts of a metropolis and replacement by gated communities constructed over their ruins. Many shanty towns are starting to implement composting toilets and solar panels, also many of the people living in slums may have access to cell phones and even the internet. However, in spite of all this, inequality associated with shanty towns has only increased over time.
See also 
Regional names 
- Asentamientos in Guatemala
- Baraccopoli in Italy
- Paraggoupoli in Greece
- Barrios de invasión in Colombia
- Basti in India
- Bidonvilles in France
- Campamentos or poblaciones callampa in Chile.
- Cantegriles (or more recently, Asentamientos) in Uruguay
- Colonias or "Migrant camps" on the Mexico – United States border
- Favelas in Brazil
- Gecekondu in Turkey
- Hoovervilles in the United States (historical)
- Invasiones in Puerto Rico
- Poblados chabolistas in Spain
- Pueblos jóvenes (young towns) or barriadas in Peru
- Putri in Hungary
- Tent cities in the United States
- Tugurios in Costa Rica
- Villas Miseria or just villas in Argentina
- Zona marginal in Mexico
- Ghetto in Panama
- السكن العشوائي Al Sakan Al Ashawayie in Syria
Specific places 
- Favela da Rocinha (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
- see also List of favelas in Brazil
- Cité Soleil (Haiti)
- Dharavi (India)
- Joe Slovo (Cape Town, South Africa)
- Kibera (Nairobi, Kenya)
- Khayelitsha (Cape Town, South Africa)
People and organizations 
- Akhtar Hameed Khan
- Hernando de Soto (economist)
- Mike Davis (scholar)
- Chinese New Village (Malaysia)
- Orangi Pilot Project
- Slum Dwellers International
- Slum upgrading
- United Nations Human Settlements Programme
- Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign
- The Susso, welfare in Australia originating in the Great Depression
- Occupy Wallstreet
Related concepts 
- Poverty in France
- Refugee shelter
- Skid row
- Slumdog Millionaire (film)
- District 9 (film)
- City of God (film)
- Tent city
- Trailer park
- Urban decay
In popular culture 
- The film Police Story starts off in a shanty town
- One of the alternate titles for Demented Death Farm Massacre is Shantytown Honeymoon.
- One of the areas in Resident Evil 5 is located in a shanty town.
- One of the sections of the new Tomb Raider (2013 video game) is located in a shanty town, like on one of the multiplayer levels.
- David Whitehouse, "Half of humanity set to go urban", BBC News, May 19, 2005.
- "Hutment". Free Dictionary. Retrieved April 6, 2013.
- Jorge Hernández. "Sólo tres unidades de bomberos atienden 2 mil barrios de Petare" (in Spanish).
- See the report on shack fires in South Africa by Matt Birkinshaw  as well as the wider collection of articles in fires in shanty towns at 
- Georg Gerster, Flights of Discovery: The Earth from Above, 1978, London: Paddington, p. 116
- Stewart Brand, "Stewart Brand on New Urbanism and squatter communities", The New Urban Network, reprinted from Whole Earth Discipline, Penguin,
- Dharavi - National Geographic Magazine
- Ardeshir Cowasjee, 2007. Karachi – Numero Uno.
- Squires, Nick; Anast, Paul (September 7, 2009). "Greek immigration crisis spawns shanty towns and squats". The Daily Telegraph (London).
- Health and Social Conditions in the Dhaka Slums.
- Demolitions limit slum villages to city outskirts.
- "Slums" sting Chinese cities, hamper building of harmonious society.
- Jane Kelly, Review: Planet of Slums, By Mike Davis, Verso, 2006, £15.99. Socialist Outlook: SO/10 - Summer 2006.
- "Siloam Christian Ministries". Siloam.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
- "Some 'Young Towns' in Lima Not So Young Anymore", Council on Hemispheric Affairs, August 16, 2011.
- Clarke, Felicity (May 16, 2011). Forbes [ Favela Tourism Provides Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Rio [http://www.forbes.com/sites/megacities/2011/05/16/favela-tourism-provides-entrepreneurial-opportunuties-in-rio/] Favela Tourism Provides Entrepreneurial Opportunities in Rio]
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- Informality: Re-Viewing Latin American Cities, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanitie.
- Bill Gates' foundation puts money on solar-powered toilet - AlertNet
- Youth Bring Low-Cost Solar Panels to Kenyan Slum | Worldwatch Institute
- Slum children get free internet access | Education | guardian.co.uk
- "UN study says wealth gap in Latin America increases- A study by the United Nations suggests the gap between the rich and the poor in much of Latin America is widening.". Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- Daniel Carter Beard (1920). Shelters, shacks, and shanties. C. Scribner's Sons. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
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