New: Book Report: Shadow Cities

This book, by Robert Neuwirth, changed the way I think about the world. It's about slums, squatter cities, shanty towns, favelas. It's about people who build on land they don't own. It's about people who rent land from people who don't own that land. It's about governments trying to help homeless people--things that work, things that don't. If people are living in shanties without sewer connections or electricity and you kick them out--are you helping them or harming them? Before I read this book, I would have said "You are helping them, in the long run." Now--now I don't know what I think. This book shows you the way that people live in communities governed, not by title deeds, but by anarchic agreement. This book talks about property versus possession. This book made me think.

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Posted 2007-01-29