Talk:Shanty town

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From the current version of the article:

During the Great Depression of the 1930s (caused by the stock market crash of 1929), shanty towns- in America called Hoovertowns after the then-current President Hoover,- appeared in cities across the United States because of the massive unemployment.

So, what happened to them later? Were they systematically dismantled or otherwise taken care of by the government(s)? Did they evolve into modern "ghettos"? Did their population gradually dwindle when economic conditions improved? --Cotoco 17:43, 30 April 2006 (UTC)

They were probably improved

Shanty towns are a great part of our national heritage and deserve recognition as sources for many of our greatest artists, politicians, businessmen, inventors, thinkers, leaders, visionaries. For whatever reason the residents of these buildings and neighborhoods generation after generation through our nation's history often establish themselves as seminarians to our country's future. Maybe ironically, but it seems cetainly typically, the children of the entitled classes in our country have often failed to participate in envisioning our nation's future. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:15, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

In Western Europe?[edit]

I am curious as to whether shanty towns exist in Western Europe, or there are only failed high-rise housing schemes. Photos will be helpful, otherwise the article is biased against third-world countries.x

  • It probably is biased on 3rd World countries, because how many times have YOU ever seen a shantytown right on the outskirts of your town? Well, not here, in the U.S. -Uagehry456|TalkJordanhillVote 00:48, 28 April 2007 (UTC)
  • Yes you do actually occasionnally see shanty towns on the outskirts of some western European cities, but they are almost always inhabited by illegal immigrants who don't qualify for welfare, or Gypsies. The closest thing in the United Kingdom I've seen would be some travellers' (Gypsy) sites with caravans and makeshift buildings, but conditions nowhere near as bad as your average third world shanty towns.
  • Spain and Portugal both have significant Shanty towns, a shanty town on the out skirts of Madrid is the largest in western Europe called 'La Canada Real'[1]. Whilst the La Canada Real is the largest in Western Europe Portugal is home to some significant ones which have genuinely third world conditions which would be considered shocking to most Westerners. [2] The website which this reference refers is of a Christian charity which works there, this contains pictures. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:17, 25 August 2009 (UTC)
  • They live on the street.
  • January 2008, I have seen a few mini shanty towns in Paris, usually next to the railroad and only small settlements of less than 10 "units", mainly cardboard and plastics. Anyway I don't think that would make Paris qualify to this article, right? Alchaemist (talk) 00:43, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
    We use the word "shack" in the case of small settlements like these. "Slums", according to UN and NGO definitions, need a minimum size. le Korrigan bla 17:07, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

Shanty Towns in Canada? Where?[edit]

The list of countries with shanty towns has Canada in it, after India and South Africa, implying that Canada has a significant number of people living in shanty towns. I live in Canada, have traveled extensively across Canada and have never seen, nor heard of, a shanty town in Canada. Canada is an rich, industrialized country with a substantial social safety net, on par with Western Europe. The inclusion of Canada in this article is either misleading or incorrect, depending upon what the definition of "shanty town" was when generating this list. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:52, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

I have removed Canada from the list of nations with shanty towns. While Canada has housing issues for the poor, notably on some Indian reservations, these are not shanty towns within the normally recognized meaning of the term in this country. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:42, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Suggested merge[edit]

I think that the search terms 'slum' and 'shantytown' (and other synonyms like favela, barrio etc. should redirect to an article called 'informal housing' which would be a merger of those articles. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:10, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

It has been suggested that "Slum" be merged into "Shanty Town." I think the other way around is better. Slum is a more familiar term to most. Hellno2 23:31, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

  • oppose merge no they are similar but different, slum refers to poverty. Shanty towns are slum, but a different subject sorry. The sunder king 22:48, 2 November 2007 (UTC)
  • support merge they are slightly different manifestations of poverty. I think there should be a single article (perhaps in "Slum" instead of "Shanty Town" because it is an older term, and used by the UN), and there should be a section where its different flavors are explained. Many different terms are used in different countries, so this should be stated within this article. For me certainly there is no sense in having one article for each of the different terms, if the meaning only varies in a little detail, instead having only one (well organized) article would allow a more uniform definition, its differences would be more evident, and it would be easier to maintain. Alchaemist (talk) 22:39, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • support merge : if you see differences, please explain them. At UN- and NGO-level, we use the words "slum" for large sttlements and "shack" for very small ones. On Wikipedia, the subject would benefit from being dealt with in a single article to start with. le Korrigan bla 17:06, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • Oppose Merge: A "slum" isn't necessarily composed of informal housing; the word is often used to describe areas suffering from severe urban decay. Shanty towns tend to also be slums, but not necessarily; look at the Freedom Tunnel in the 1990s, which featured an expansive shanty town that wasn't necessarily located in a slum of New York City. The two are distinct and the articles should remain as such. -Lamarcus (talk) 04:42, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
  • support merge : it would provide a more comprehensive overview of what is the same thing in the minds of most people likely to visit the page. COGITO ERGO SUM 11:27, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Merge: I disagree with a single article but suggest a compromise. I tried twice to create slumdweller as a page but each time it was merged with slum. Broadly slums are people, houses and cities. Why not simply include the broad topic in each of the existing categories 'Houses' (btw 'Home' exists too) and 'Cities' and 'People'. Then specific words like shack, shanty, slum, slumdweller can branch off on their own pages from these? Wikipedia has a section for 'Sloane ranger' (consisting of maybe a few thousand UK people) but not 'slumdweller' consisting of hundreds of millions. I do not want to include slum under architecture. Slum is the opposite of architecture. The wikipedia entry for architecture cannot embrace slums within its definition. Slums politics, sociology and philosophy is important and would be good to have as a separate page. I dont agree that slums are severe urban decay. They might be, or they might be creative thriving communities, cities in embryo or whatever. I dont like the phrase 'informal housing'. Tkay (talk) 03:59, 27 February 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose Merge: To my mind these things are completely different. A shanty town is by definition made up by 'make-shift' accommodation, but historically slums (in, for example, Victorian Britain) were run-down areas of town - perfectly well-built permanent housing, but massively overcrowded with poor sanitary conditions (e.g. Greek Thompson's Gorbals in Glasgow). (talk) 11:50, 5 March 2009 (UTC)
  • support merge but think that shanty should be merged into slum, not the other way around. As noted above, slum is the word used in UN reports and many other contexts, and can refer to a wide variety of situations where there is poverty and poor-quality housing – including run-down areas that used to be good, and informal settlements of tin shacks, etc. It is, admittedly, quite a big and vague category, but with separate pages there would be too much overlap and pointless confusion over precisely what the distinctions are between each term, when the reality is that they are often used interchangeably. (talk) 20:48, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 05:56, 10 November 2007 (UTC)

South Africa over-represented[edit]

Why are there 3 images of shanty town ins South Africa? Anyone would think that that is the only place in the world with shanties. We need more variation. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Gulivar (talkcontribs) 06:01, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree, south africa has very few shanty towns (suprisingly to some) and this is mispresented by 3 images and constant reference throughout the article. This is clearly being bias, because China, India, Brazil etc. have far more - and a bigger percentage of them (since south africans grow more in formal housing complexes). please can someone respond on my talk if they disagree with me --Bezuidenhout (talk) 16:42, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

Shanty town vs Slum[edit]

What is the difference between a shanty town and a slum. Both looks quite similar. Looks like two names for the same thing. Ahirwav (talk) 04:09, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

I'm not sure if you'll find official definitions. In general, however, a slum is an area of "normal" buildings that has fallen into disrepair due to the poverty of their inhabitants. So a slum is poorly maintained housing stock that would have originally been built "to code". It would generally still have municipal services like water, electricity, and telephones.

A shanty town is a collection of makeshift housing thrown together with no recognizable organization. From its beginnings a shanty town is very poorly constructed. It generally lacks even basic municipal services.

Even in its disrepair, a slum generally has far superior housing stock than a shanty town. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:17, 10 December 2008 (UTC)

Isn't the difference between a slum and shanty that a slum can be an inner city street, area or district, whilst a shantytown is normally on the outskirts of a city or town? A slum can be found in many western cities, but there are not many shantytowns outside the poorer south and east. Perhaps a few good examples and a little clear thinking might bring into focus more about what is going on in this area? Tkay (talk) 03:39, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

There's clearly no consensus to merge these articles (nor should there be, as they are very different things), so I'm removing the merge proposal templates. faithless (speak) 01:12, 2 April 2009 (UTC)


When I was in Soweto, I saw almost no plywood. Plywood was for gods. I saw Palet wood, which was split Poplar, nailed together with bottlecaps, and plastic. Just another clear example of someone writing an article, who has no clue about reality.-- (talk) 18:14, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

Neza-Chalco-Itza barrio & Orangi Township -proof[edit]

"The largest shanty town in the world is the Neza-Chalco-Itza barrio in Mexico."

I've tried hard to find proof that this area in the Mexico City metropolis is worthy of that title and couldn't find much. This quote seemed duplicated from a repeated article that mentions more about Dharavi in Mumbai. I've seen other sources meantion Dharavi or Kibera as the world's largest shanty town/ slum. Although Nezahualcoyotl and the other neighborhoods (barrios) of Mexico City are dirty and poor, it is outrageous to consider Nezahualcoyotl one gigantic shanty town as it is a real city.

EDIT: I can say the same things regarding the Orangi Township in Karachi. Does it have to be considered a shanty town? (talk) 00:24, 8 April 2009 (UTC)Anon

List of words[edit]

As Wikipedia is not a dictionary it should be shortened. Sarcelles (talk) 20:28, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Main article - Impovrished Setlements or ???[edit]

There is much "universal" information contained in the various articles about "impovrished setlements". I attempted to group then altogether in the "see also section" and noticed some important ideas in all of them. Perhaps someone with better editing abilities than myself could organize and merge these into a single main article. All the various terms could then focus on the particular aspects associated with that term and not need to repeat information. All could link to the main article. The Slums and Shanty towns articles than need not be merged but could be more specific and shorter. (talk) 06:44, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Shantytown, Wisconsin[edit]

Should probably remove the Shantytown, Wisconsin note from above the introduction. I can't find anything notable about a place once called Shantytown in Wisconsin. It is not a listed town in the US postal service. No wikipedia article. It is carried forward from some old maps. At one time there might have been a something like a town where it appears on maps but I couldn't find anything about it. I also looked at the place on Google Earth, nothing notable there either. There are many other places in the US called "shantytown" but I haven't found any with that as an official name . —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:37, 26 May 2009 (UTC)

  1. ^
  2. ^

2 notices[edit]

I noticed 2 things on this article.

  • I personally, think that the article is a bit biased on the United States. I am surprised that they make little to NO reference to shanty towns in the United States. I have been to the United States and saw some shanty towns (the city of Oakland has many) and the so called "trailer parks".
  • And in the list of specific places section, it lists "Kingston, Jamaica". So your saying that the whole city is a shanty town? This might be due to a poverty map we have on the slum article which claims Jamaica has more than 70% of the population living in slums. I believe this is over-exaggerated (I will go as far as to say it was an error) and the CIA lists Jamaica having a poverty rate less than 20%.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Kanzler31 (talkcontribs) -- Signed by Kanzler31 originally, but signature didn't render: my sig appeared when I closed a ref tag. TFOWR 22:30, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

Too biased on 3rd world countries....[edit]

Enough with it. This article is too biased against 3rd world countries. It makes no reference to the United States (which I can tell you has loads of shantytowns, especially in the west coast) with the exception of a small reference to hoovervilles and goes as far as to say the whole city of Kingston is a shanty town. Please, make a new section called "shanty towns in first world countries".

I agree with this. The article seems to ignore shanty towns in the United States. Even after the addition of the section on shanty towns in first world countries. (talk) 12:25, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

What about the solution to help the people?[edit]

I see a lot about the "horrors and evils" of people trying to make a living with what they have available, why is there not anything in the article that describes what is being done to help these people? This article makes these poor people out to be a nuisance or wrong for trying to survive! Sure they are not civil engineers but I think what they are doing is ingenious, recycling and living very minimally like humans used to to get by. So other than the big bad UN and World Bank trying to destroy their homes and take away what little they do have, what is being done to help them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:14, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

As of 2005, one billion people, one-sixth of the world's population,[edit]

one-sixth maybe this should be changed to one-seventh... — Preceding unsigned comment added by Kreutznaer (talkcontribs) 17:42, 13 November 2011 (UTC)