Nearly 40% of the World's Urban Expansion takes place in growing Slums

Feb 20, 2015

Hon. Dr Morais Guy, (left) Minister without Portfolio (Housing) speaks to Dr Arun Kashyap and Dr Elsie Laurence-Chounoune at the Launch of PSUP Phase II.on 20 February

Nearly 40% of the World's Urban Expansion takes place in growing Slums



At the Ministry of Housing launch of Phase II of the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme PSUP, this morning, Dr. Arun Kashyap, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative gave opening remarks and pointed out that globally, more people live in urban areas than in rural areas.


He also pointed out that in 2014, 54% of the world’s population lived in urban areas and by 2050, it is projected that 66 per cent of the world’s population will be urban.  UN statistics also tell us that 93% of urbanisation occurs in poor or developing countries; and that nearly 40% of the world's urban expansion takes place in growing slums.


In Jamaica, internal migration and intra-parish movements are the main drivers of urban growth. The urban population is projected to increase to 58% by 2030 in Jamaica. A rapid assessment of squatting carried out in 2007 shows that 22% of Jamaican population is living under these conditions with 82% of these communities being in urban areas.

This has important development implications.


Dr. Kashyap said that countries must ensure that urban centers have the capacity to cater to the growing needs of the urban population, and that services to rural areas are improved in order to strategically manage the rural urban migration.


He said failure to manage this rural urban migration leads to the widespread development of informal/squatter settlements/ slums and pointed out that there is ample evidence confirming that slums demonstrate failure of urban planning and urban governance. This failure leads to inadequate access to basic services and which in tandem with unmet essential needs drive the growth and spread of slums.


Jamaica is one of five Caribbean Countries implementing the UN Habitat’s Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme. Under Phase I of the Participatory Slum Upgrading Programme Jamaica completed its national urban profile as well as profiles for May Pen (Clarendon), Old Harbour/Old Harbour Bay (St. Catherine) and Montego Bay (St.James).  The second phase of the programme aims to empower national, city and community representatives, as well as planning authorities to address the needs of slum dwellers.  This will include involving the slum population directly in designing slum-upgrading programmes in the three informal settlements selected under the first phase.


Importantly, Dr. Kashyap offered assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to access funding from the Global Environmental Facility for an integrated programme on Sustainable Cities, building on the PSUP.



Media Contact


Mrs Gail Hoad

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United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

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Kingston 5, Jamaica W.I.

Tel:   (876) 978-2390-9 ext. 2015

Fax: (876) 946-2163
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