Without Housing Reform, is a "Tower of David" Coming to Your City?

Justin McGuirk’s Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture should be required reading for anyone looking for ways out of the bleak social inequality we’re stuck in. There were 40 million more slum dwellers worldwide in 2012 than there were in 2010, according to the UN. Private markets clearly can’t provide universal housing in any way approaching efficiency, and governments are often hostile to the poor.

In his book, McGuirk analyzes numerous de facto housing solutions for overcrowded cities, including the infamous “Torre David” in Caracas, an abandoned high-rise which became an iconic squatter’s structure partly because of government ineptitude and indifference.

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