The UN defines “informal settlements” as a “group of ten or more dwellings located on public or private land, built without the owner’s authorization, and independent of any legal formalities or respect for the laws of urban planning.”
Included on the agenda of international organizations for more than thirty years, the urban management of informal neighborhoods has been a privileged site for observing the international diffusion of urban experiences and models. Over time, an entire range of local and international actors have incessantly spread these models, circulated the results of their measures, and identified best practices that must be repeated if answers are be found to the continued development of informal neighborhoods, the inhabitants of which now represent a third of the planet’s urban population—nearly a billion people. (UN-Habitat, 2003).
Source: The journal Geocarrefour. The article analyzes the recent history of policies aimed at rehabilitating and moving Phnom Penh’s informal neighborhoods. The Asian Coalition for Housing Rights (ACHR) has played a very active role as a civil society organization fighting all forms of illegal and unjust evictions.
File translated by Michael C. Behrent – Assistant Professor – Department of History – Appalachian State University – Boone, NC 28608