Popular culture and the urbanization or integration of informal settlements

Deneulin, Severine (2018). 'Popular culture and the urbanization or integration of informal settlements' Paper presented at the annual conference of the HDCA, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2018.


The objective of this roundtable is to discuss the relationship between the culture of the residents of informal settlements (named as ‘popular culture’ or cultura popular in Latin America) and the urbanization-integration of informal settlements into the larger city. It will discuss the different characteristics and meanings associated with ‘popular culture’ in poor urban areas, and if and how popular culture is being challenged by urbanization policies which aim at integrating the residents of informal settlements to the larger city.

The questions that will be discussed among the participants are:

- Is there a specific popular culture among the residents of informal settlements? If so, what are its main characteristics?

- How does the urban integration of settlements to the larger city affect the culture of the residents and their values?

- What sort of problems should the urbanization of settlements take mostly into account when considering the residents’ culture?

- What social policies should be implemented to guarantee a ‘good’ integration of slums to the urban area and the inclusion of their inhabitants?

This round table will address these questions through a discussion between informal settlements civil society leaders (especially religious leaders), academics, and policy makers. The roundtable will be conducted in Spanish with English translation.

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