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urban problems

Urban problems

Housing problems

  • Housing is not only a shelter to weather, but also includes access to such basic services as electricity, water and transport. Therefore, problem occurs when the quantity and quality of provision of housing do not reach satisfactory levels.
functions performed by a house as residence
Functions performed by a house as residence
  • a shelter that protects the residents from environmental hazards
  • a place where residents can enjoy privacy
  • a place where essential physical, psychological and social needs are satisfied.
criteria to assess the standard of a house
Criteria to assess the standard of a house
  • building materials used and the construction method, which determine the house’s ability to protect its residents
  • living density, as measured by number of people per room. This determines the degree of privacy enjoyed by individuals
  • availability and quality of facilities in the houses. These are essential for meeting various needs of the residents

MDC City

LDC City




Inner city

Outward migration of

higher-income group

housing problems
Housing problems
  • Inadequate quantity
    • Housing shortage
    • Overcrowding
  • Poor quality
    • Slums
    • Squatters
    • Poor sanitation, pollution, social problems…
  • Urban decay
inadequate quantity of housing
Inadequate quantity of housing
  • common in LDC cities
  • demand for housing exceeds supply, leading to housing shortage / housing attainability --> overcrowding
poor quality of housing
Poor quality of housing
  • common in both LDC and MDC cities
    • urban slums = legal, low-rent housing in inner city areas
    • squatters = illegal (usually not rent-paying) housing in inner city areas / at city margins / on hillslopes
urban decay
Urban decay
  • common in both LDC and MDC cities
    • substandard and derelict buildings
    • poor sanitation / inadequate facilities
    • congested / overcrowding living condition / high building density
    • narrow streets / traffic congestion
    • lack of recreational space / parks / social facilities
    • lack of planning / mixed land use
    • environmental pollution / environmentally degraded
    • poor aesthetic value
    • fire hazards
    • social problems like family conflicts / mental distresses / theft / vandalism
    • urban ghetto / racial segregation
1 1 1 causes and impacts of housing problem in ldcs
1.1.1 Causes and Impacts of Housing Problem in LDCs
  • Inadequate quantity
  • Large natural increase
  • Rapid rural-urban migration from rural push factors
  • Over-population and pseudo-urbanization
1 1 1 causes and impacts of housing problem in mdcs
1.1.1 Causes and Impacts of Housing Problem in MDCs
  • Housing demand > supply
  • Keen competition of land uses
  • Second World War
  • Overcrowding
rural urban migration and overseas in migration
rural-urban migration and overseas in-migration
  • started in the early 20th century
  • The nowadays' most affected destinies are the USA, UK, South Europe
  • The immigrants usually come from Africa, China, Eastern Europe, South America and Middle East.
  • United States - Inflow of foreign-born population from Asia (total) as a percentage of total inflow: 1984 – 37.9%; 2004 – 35.7%
limited space but keen competition among different land users
limited space but keen competition among different land users
  • economic development pushes the urban land value up
  • forcing many low-income residents and high proportion of minority groups to live in slums in inner city areas
second world war
Second World War
  • many houses were seriously damaged and destroyed during WWII.
  • The housing stock was badly depleted.
  • overcrowding and tenants sub-letting their units mainly occur in older housing near the CBD --> forming slums in inner city areas
substandard housing
Substandard housing
  • Socially, both slums and squatter housing are a reflection of unequal access to urban resources because squatter residents belong to the low-income, poor, socio-economically and politically marginal group in society.
  • they are found in transition zones next to the CBD, where
    • houses are deteriorating, without adequate amenities
    • the tenants are too poor to improve the living conditions
  • in MDC cities, landlords have moved out to the suburbs (suburbanization of the high-income groups) due to improved transport links
  • some areas are ghettos of minor racial immigrant groups
  • some industries have relocated to the suburbs (suburbanization of industrial activities)
  • local government has little income from tax to improve the living environment
  • they are illegal, temporary housing found
    • on roof tops
    • hillslopes fringing the urban areas
    • and on stilts or boats in the sheltered coastal areas near the city
  • they are usually the result of a large influx of new-comers / rural migrants to the city and also be the population growth of the poor
  • squatters settlements are known as “shanty towns” which are characterized by:
    • scrap materials, e.g. wood and metal sheeting
    • insufficient basic services, e.g. sanitation, water, electricity
    • overcrowded settlements
poor living environment
Poor living environment
  • Environmental pollution
    • due to the mixed land use (workshops and retail units + residential units)
    • land-use conflicts
    • poor air quality + noise and land pollution
  • Fire and health hazards
    • these squatter huts are built of wood and cardboard
    • there are no surface roads / electricity supply / water and sewage facilities
    • creating fire and health risks
  • Social problems
    • family conflicts
    • mental distresses
    • theft, robberies, crimes, vandalism
    • ethnic and social segregation
solutions to housing problems
Solutions to housing problems
  • New town development
  • Urban renewal
  • Slums / squatters clearance
  • Provision of more housing
new town development
New Town development
  • new town = a planned community aiming at solving certain problems, e.g. population redistribution
factors of new town development
Factors of new town development
  • to relieve congested urban areas
  • to decentralize industries
  • for land use separation
  • for administration purpose
new town development1
New town development
  • The development of new towns / satellite towns general involves the outward movement of urban residents to the peripheral areas.
new town development2
New town development
  • However, not all the residents are willing to move though they are suffering from rather poor living environment because
    • they cannot afford the higher rent in the new town
    • they have to spend more time on journey-to-work
    • they have to pay higher transport cost in jorney-to-work
new town development3
New town development
  • Therefore, new town development / satellite towns must be associated with the process of industrial decentralization. In this way, people moving outward may find their new jobs in the surrounding areas easily.
urban renewal
Urban renewal
  • Redevelopment = the demolition of bad housing
  • Rehabilitation = involves improvement of existing old buildings and environment rather than demolition of buildings
what is rehabilitation
What is rehabilitation?
  • Rehabilitation includes the renovation and management of buildings, such as
    • improving external appearance of buildings by cleaning and repairing
    • fitting new windows and new doors
    • installing indoor toilets and baths
    • redesigning recreational areas
  • causes less disruption to residents
  • less social disruption and resentment
  • involves less financial cost, especially compensation
  • helps preserve and restore buildings of cultural, historical and architectural value
  • the living environment is greatly upgraded
slum squatter clearance
slum / squatter clearance
  • replaced by public housing
  • to solve the problems of landslides / fire hazards / poor living conditions
building more adequate houses
building more adequate houses
  • through public organizations, e.g. Housing Authority / Housing Society in Hong Kong
  • or private sectors / developers
Poor quality
  • Urban slums
  • Squatters
    • On the roof tops
    • Hillslopes fringing the urban areas
    • On boats in the sheltered coastal areas
  • Environmental pollution
    • Workshops and retail units intermingle with residential units
Fire hazards
    • Built of wood and cardboard
  • Social problems
    • Family conflicts
    • Mental distresses
    • Theft, robberies, crimes, etc
1 1 2 solutions to housing problems in ldcs
1.1.2 Solutions to housing problems in LDCs
  • To upgrade the squatters and shanty town
  • To increase job opportunities, esp in rural areas
  • To control the migratory flows
  • Birth control
1 1 3 case study kuala lumpur
1.1.3 Case study: Kuala Lumpur
  • The city has grown rapidly since WWII
    • 1947:176,000; in the late 1970s: 820,000
  • poverty is also widespread
housing problems in kuala lumpur
Housing problems in Kuala Lumpur
  • Increasing pressure on urban resources and services
  • High population densities and Inadequate amenities
  • Squatter settlements
    • Living conditions in many squatter camps are poor
solutions to the squatter problem in kuala lumpur
Solutions to the squatter problem in Kuala Lumpur
  • Relocation housing schemes
    • low-cost housing schemes, notably in the Klang Valley
    • multi-storey apartment buildings
    • Not welcome
  • Upgrading schemes
    • supplied with services such as roads, water and electricity
  • Sites and services schemes
difficulties encountered
Difficulties encountered
  • Expensive
  • Time-consuming
  • Uncontrollable rural-urban migration
  • Long term solution?

The housing problems are virtually the result to poverty…….

1 2 housing problems in mdcs
1.2 Housing Problems in MDCs
  • keen competition from industrial and commercial landuse =>$↑↑↑
  • influx of destitute third world immigrants
  • Slums: old, crowded, sanitarily poor and structurally dangerous but their rents are low
  • transition zones next to the CBD


  • Ghettos: the Blacks, Puerto Rican and Chinese
  • sub-urbanization=> urban decay
  • socio-economic problems:unemployment, health hazards, juvenile delinquency, social unrest and inadequate public services…
  • Large influx of new comers: Squatters
  • Less welfare: homeless
1 2 2 solutions to housing problems in mdcs
1.2.2 Solutions to housing problems in MDCs
  • Building more houses
  • Urban renewal
  • Rehabilitation
  • New town project
Building more houses
    • only the start of a solution
Urban renewal
    • demolition of buildings
    • the renewal is bound to be piecemeal in nature
    • not all the individual landowners are willing to sell their land
    • expensive and time-consuming


New town project
    • A new town or satellite town is a planned community aiming at solving certain problems, e.g. population redistribution. It should be accompanied the industrial decentralization and facilities.
suburb areas
  • comprehensive planning and heavy expenditure