Were there is no money and poverty is a problem, it is amazing to see how humans have been able to adapt to their surroundings. Creating homes and thriving communities out of the limited resources they have.
The capital of Venezuela, Caracas is home to a population that is largely in poverty. Nearly 70 precent live in slums that appear on the hills surrounding the city.
In the center of Caracas is the Torre David. This 45-story unfinished office tower lies un-complete as the developer died in 1993. Around 8 years ago people moved into the abandoned construction site. It is now thought to be the worlds largest vertical slum.
The building has no lifts or escalators, so to reach the very top you have to walk up, all 45 stories. Typically the younger and more healthy live at the top, and the older and weaker live at the bottom.
The average temperature in the building reaches 28 degrees. Residents have made holes in the walls to help improve airflow and to help navigate the building better.
Inhabitants use whatever they can in order to make their rooms seem more like home. Newspaper is being used here as wallpaper.
Every room is made to feel like a home.
The tower functions as its very own micro-economy, and each floor has its own shops and services. There is a church, a grocery store and a gym on the 30th floor. The weights are made using the left over elevator equipment.
Lagos, Nigeria is Makoko is a community of 150,000 who live on stilted structures above the lagos lagoon.
Makoko is an impressive example of Nigeria’s population growth and ability to adapt in these difficult conditions.
Even places like the barbershop have been adapted to be on water.
Despite being a disadvantaged community, you will regularly find bands floating down the lagoon playing live music to cheer up the atmosphere.
Forced evictions are common in Makoko. In response to the governments plan to clear the area for development, Kunle Adeyemi, a local architect built a school which is now used by the whole community.
Under the cliffs of the Mokattam Rocks in Cairo, Egypt lies the community of Zabaleen. A community of Coptic Christians who make their living by collecting recycling.
In Zabaleen, living amongst rubbish has become completely normal. Here in the background, you can see a window looking out onto a huge pile of rubbish.
On the street level the area seems to be in complete dissaray, but step inside one of the homes and you will find a whole host of grand interior design choices.
In the provinces of Shanxi, Henan and Gansu in China. There is a collection of underground cave dwellings that are dug out form the soft Loess Plateau Soil. In the early 2,000’s an estimated 40 million people still lived in sunken courtyard houses which are sunken in the ground.
For the poor farmers, building a yaodong costs next to nothing. All that is needed is a shovel and a few friends to dig the soil.
All photos by Iwan Baan