Improving shanty towns

A crowded township in Soweto
Soweto township in Johannesburg, South Africa

Over time the conditions in shanty towns may improve. In many LEDCs, local communities, charities and government departments are working together to improve conditions in squatter settlements.

Improving conditions in a squatter settlement can lead to improvements in the residents' quality of life.

Site and service schemesThese give people the chance to rent or buy a piece of land. The land is connected to the city by transport links and has access to essential services (eg water). People build their own homes using money from a low-interest loan.
Self-help schemesThese give people the tools and training to improve their homes. Low-interest loans may be used to help people fund these changes. People may be given legal ownership of the land.
Rural investmentImproving the quality of life and creating greater opportunities in rural areas may prevent people from migrating to urban areas. Investment in rural areas may therefore help to improve conditions in the city as well.