The number of urban slum dwellers worldwide could double to 2 billion in less than three decades, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) said today.
A new book to be released next week in conjunction with World Habitat Day, entitled "Global Report on Human Settlements: the Slum Challenge" and produced by the UN agency, examines the factors leading to slum formation at all levels and evaluates the main policy responses of the last few decades.
The book is the first global assessment of slums and emphasizes their problems and prospects, UN-HABITAT said, noting that it was written specifically to support the Millennium Development Goal of improving the lives of 100 million slum dwellers by 2020.
The book uses a newly formulated operational definition of slums, and presents estimates of the numbers of urban slum dwellers, suggesting that the slum population could double to 2 billion by 2030.
UN-HABITAT calculated slum populations by looking at the percentages of poor households having access to permanent housing in compliance with local laws, as well as water within 200 yards (meters) of the dwelling plus sanitation and electricity.