Will cities of the future be filled with vertical slums?
November 4, 2012
After a skyscraper in Caracas was abandoned, it quickly became home to 750 families. As cities develop, will slums build up instead of out? Fast Company Co.EXIST explores.
The 45-story Torre David office tower in Caracas, Venezuela, was nearly complete in the early 1990s when a pair of events changed the building’s trajectory forever: First, the project’s developer, David Brillembourg, died in 1993.
Then, the next year, Venezuela’s economy cratered. Torre David, about 90% finished at the time, was abandoned–as both a project and a property.
Looters, not surprisingly, picked over the remains. Then came the families: More than 750 of them who moved in anyway over the years, occupying the skeletal office tower like a kind of vertical slum.
The world’s resourceful poor have for years manufactured makeshift communities on the edges of mega-cities. But this was a notably different model, a one-time high-end high-rise turning the sprawling shantytown on its ear. After all, why should such a formidable structure, designed by Venezuelan architect Enrique Gómez, sit vacant?
If a luxury hotel won’t move in, why can’t the poor? . …