Slowly but surely western influences are gathering ground in third world countries. It is important when trying to maintain the cultures of these countries that these influences from outside are integrated into existing structures with caution. Western modern-day architects have been active in this field from all over the world for years , Has their way of thinking changed over time or do they still rely on neocolonial views, modifying them for a continent like Africa?
In Venezuela 93% of the population live in cities, half of which inhabit urban slums. Upgrading initiatives to date have tended to focus on housing solutions to improve living conditions. However, graver issues affect the livelihood of slum dwellers on a daily basis. Alarmingly high homicide rates, frequent adolescent pregnancies and very high school dropout rates compromise every slum dweller´s quality of life and condemn them to a perpetual cycle of poverty. Health issues and low self dignity associated with living in severely degraded environmental conditions also diminish their livelihood. Improving the situation, therefore, goes beyond supplying mortar and brick to build better houses; it requires a holistic approach that seriously considers social and environmental deficiencies.