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Squatter Settlements

  • By: Tahire Erman
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Squatter settlements are basically a Third World phenomenon; they are part of the urban landscape of many Latin American, Asian, Middle Eastern, and African countries. Billions of people live in them. For example, in 2003, 55.5% of the urban population in India, 44.1% in the Philippines, 42.6% in Turkey, 37% in South Korea, 36.6% in Brazil, and 33.1% in Argentina lived in squatter settlements.

Squatter settlements are defined as residential areas built on vacant land, either private or public, in an unauthorized fashion. A typical squatter settlement is located on the fringe of a large city; the land is occupied illegally without legal title to it; the houses fail to conform to building codes and regulations; and the settlement lacks or has very limited infrastructure and ...

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