The problem of inadequate housing and the lack of basic water and sanitation infrastructures is not new but goes back to the formation of the first cities. However nowadays 31,6% of the world urban population lives in slums, in other words one urban citizen out of three lives in an inadequate housing condition. Slums are not anymore marginalized parts of the city, but on the contrary in many developing countries they have become the main type of human settlement. Slums are the physical and spatial manifestation of urban poverty and intra-city inequalities and they are the result of the lack of low cost houses for the urban poor. There is an extensive literature on slums of Developing Countries, however this phenomenon is still not documented or studied in “Developed Countries”, where slums are presents but in a smaller extent. The present work wants to document the presence of slums in Rome, which has become the “capital city of the housing crisis”. In fact the most vulnerable parts of the population cannot afford to rent or buy a house on the market and they do not receive any support from the State. These people form the “forgotten” housing demand, a part of the housing demands that is not fulfilled by the market or the Welfare State. The hypothesis of this work is that the presence of an unsatisfied demand for low cost houses has forces those excluded from the housing market and abandoned by the State to find informal housing solutions as the slums. However, in Rome this “forgotten” housing demand is very diversified and each segment of this demand has built slums with different characteristics. The work is structured in three parts. The first part contains the theoretical background of the thesis and it presents the slums as a global phenomenon. First of all, the international definition of slum elaborated by UN-Habitat is presented together with the main critics that have been raised by scholars. Secondly the evolution of theories and practices concerning slums is analyzed. Finally an overview of the presence of slums in the world is made. The second part is the central part of the work in which the research hypothesis is tested and the presence of slums in Rome is documented. At first an historical reconstruction of the housing problems of the city of Rome is presented in order to contextualize the problem of slums also in an historic point of view. However the actual housing crisis in Rome is not due, as in the past, to an housing shortage but has deeper roots to be found in the neoliberal system that has cancelled urban planning and transformed our cities from common goods to economic assets. The general causes of the housing crisis in Rome are analyzed: the end of housing public policies and the process of finanziarization of cities. In order to understand the different components of the forgotten housing demand both the demand and the supply of low cost housing are analyzed. Specifically, for the supply side are studied the rental and the purchase markets. Concerning the demand side, the main categories of people that compose the forgotten housing demand are analyzed: young people, migrants and political refugees. A new definition of slum, suitable to the context of Rome, is presented and used to identify the different types slums present in Rome. Slums are then classified regarding to: type of settlement; main characteristics of the dwellers; regularity or irregularity of Visa; temporality which has to be considered as the expected time of staying in the city of Rome. The most descriptive slums visited during the field work, conducted from January 2010 to February 2012, are presented with a fact sheet describing the main characteristics of the settlement and the dwellers. In the third part the possible and feasible solutions to the problem of slums in Rome are outlined. Slums are multi-dimensional phenomena and need to be addressed with an integrated approach that combines political, technical and socio-economic solutions. Only a multi-sectoral approach can bring a real improvement in the quality of life of slum dwellers and not only to a physical renewal of houses and infrastructures. In this part the political, technical and socio-economic solutions identified are analyzed and adapted to the different types of slums previously identified.
La domanda abitativa dimenticata: gli slums a Roma / Agostini, Giulia. - (2013 Nov 18).