Tower of David

skyscraper-slum

The Tower of David, located in Caracas, Venezuela, is perhaps the highest and most developed squatter community in the world. In the remains of a failed development over 3,000 people inhabit this 45 story structure, building brick dwellings on the steel and concrete bones. The tower was abandoned half-built when the original investor died shortly before Venezuela experienced a financial crisis. Now, squatters inhabit the building up to the 28th floor. The homes are painted and decorated and electricity runs illegally to all occupied floors. Water, as well as other necessities, are carried up from the ground floor. This is the largest example of a trend in Caracas. As of last year there were as many as 150 “invaded” buildings, including one shopping mall. The resourcefulness of people dwelling in the slums outside the city, whose homes are constructed by neighbors and by hand, is evident. They easily move into and fit these abandoned places with the necessities of survival. True, what they are doing is illegal, and society and the government of Venezuela does not approve of their activities, but  there is something admirable in their adaptability and creative force in such barren spaces.

sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/01/world/americas/01venezuela.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2013/10/the-real-tower-of-david.html

http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/venezuela/overview

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