Cities can learn from slums, says Aravena

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Chilean architect and Venice Biennale curator Alejandro Aravena wants governments to stop fighting urban migration and look to Latin America’s sprawling slums as inspiration for new housing.

The winner of the 2016 Pritzker Prize says favelas, highlight human resilience and capacity for home building.

He said if cities are going to successfully absorb the projected 1.5 billion new arrivals predicted by the United Nations over the next 15 years, they must learn lessons from urban slum dwellings.

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“This is not, even for a second, a kind of romantic look at the favela as a kind of a pre-civilized, paradisic state of living,” said Aravena.

“Not at all. I mean, the favela is a disaster. But there are forces there that we should be able to channel through design.”

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