A Billion Squatters, A New Urban World
Routledge – 2006 – 344 pages
In almost every country of the developing world, the most active builders are squatters, creating complex local economies with high rises, shopping strips, banks, and self-government. As they invent new social structures, Neuwirth argues, squatters are at the forefront of the worldwide movement to develop new visions of what constitutes property and community.
Visit Robert Neuwirth's blog at: http://squatterci ty.blogspot.com
'Neuwirth gets the lowdown on the low life by becoming a resident of four of the most happening squatopolises: the thriving extralegal pockets of Istanbul, Mumbai, Nairobi, and Rio. His ghetto epiphanies include impeccable civility, self-organizing local governments, bustling economies, modest crime rates, and squatter millionaires.' - Josh McHugh,Wired
'Urban squatters - families that risk the wrath of governments and property owners by building dwellings on land they don't own - represent one out of every ten people on the planet. Squatters create complex local economies with high rises, shopping strips, banks, and self-government in their search for decent places to live. This book reveals squatter communities from Rio to Bombay that give a glimpse into our urban future and show new visions of what constitutes property and community.' - architecture week
'Shadow Cities is at its best shining an investigative lens into areas of urban life that have seldom been described before. It is a wonderful story of the vitality and creativity of ordinary people who have managed to survive and sometimes even prosper in the face of government indifference if not hostility.' - Robert H. Nelson, a professor at the University of Maryland's School of Public Policy; Reason Magazine
'[A] superbly probing book…Compelling, thought-provoking and written with laconic grace, Neuwirth's study is essential reading for anyone interested in global urban affairs.' -Publisher's Weekly
Robert Neuwirth is an investigative reporter who specializes in urban issues. He has written for The New York Times, The Nation, Metropolis, The Village Voice, New York Magazine, and many other publications. He received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for his work on squatter communities.