the favelas of Kabul…

Low income housing spreads into the hills on the outskirts of Kabul, photographed on October 4, 2012. According to the World Bank more than a third of the population of Afghanistan lives below the poverty line, and more than half are vulnerable and at serious risk of falling into poverty. (Roberto Schmidt/AFP/Getty Images)

When I saw this photo, it made me think about the idea of favela chic and examinations of the informal city in Latin America. Has anyone applied the concept to Afghanistan? Or to put it another way, what can the “informal housing” of modern day Kabul tell us about future contemporary urbanism(s)? Why so much focus on the examples from South America or Mumbai. Sure, I knew Kabul as the/some sort of secure(d), post-conflict, narco-ville, but what else…

One paper by Peter Gotsch, I came across suggested some possibilities. It spoke of the “migrational landscapes” of Kabul and “camp architecture”, “informal settlements” and “container or villa architecture”.


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